To effectively clean wood floors, a little preventive care goes a long way. Make sure to use the right tools for the job. Use a high quality broom with soft bristles to sweep up grains of dirt, dust and other particles. This helps prevent wear and tear on the wood floor finish.
You’ll also want a vacuum cleaner that does not have a “beater bar”. Vacuums can help remove dust and dirt trapped in between the wood planks and any other hard to reach places. Once dirt and grimes are gone, a light buffing of the surface can help restore your wood floor’s luster.
Do not use ammonia based cleaners or any type of oil soap on a wood floor, as these products will dull the finish and shine of your floor. Even worse, using these products also makes it harder to re-coat your floors later. Since wood naturally expands when it is exposed to moisture, you should never or use excessive amounts of water to clean or mop your floor. Too much water causes the wood in your flooring to swell up and might cause your wood floor to splinter or crack. Since wood is a natural product, wood flooring will occasionally expand and contract due to changes in moisture levels. Take care to minimize moisture overexposure to your wood floors by cleaning up spills as soon as they happen.
Specific cleaning techniques will depend on the finish of your wood floor, as well as how it was installed.
To clean “finish in place” wood floors, it is recommend that you use an 8”x14” mop (terrycloth is the best choice). If the mop has a rotating head, cleaning corners, along the base boards and other hard to reach places will be an easy task.
Finish by spraying whichever professional-strength wood floor cleaning product is recommended by your wood floor’s retailer to safely remove stubborn stains and sticking spills without harming the finish of your wood floor. If your wood floors have a urethane finish make sure the cleaning products you use will not leave a film or residue.
NEVER use floor wax, as this may permanently damage the finish of your floor. Stickier stains and other spots can be cleaned up with a damp sponge or towel.
If you have “pre-finished” wood floors, your flooring’s manufacturer will most likely recommend their own specific products that are designed for their own floors’ routine cleaning and maintenance.
It takes little investment of your time and effort, but by following these tips and keeping a regular schedule of cleaning and professional maintenance, your wood floor maintain its shine and luster for years to come.