Friday, September 17, 2021

How to clean hardwood floors without damaging them

Must read

  • At all times clear hardwood flooring with a mild resolution — harsh soaps and extra moisture can warp them.
  • Consultants suggest vacuuming and mopping as soon as every week and deep cleansing each 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Stains — together with markers, gum, and urine — require particular remedy to stop everlasting harm.

Cleansing hardwood flooring is a fragile act. Our intestine intuition could also be to douse a grimy ground with cleaning soap and water; however, Brandon Pleshek, third-generation skilled janitor of @cleanthatup, says that may do extra hurt than good. Whereas engineered wooden can stand up to extra aggressive chemical compounds than stable hardwood panels, it is at all times finest to be light.  Pleshek recommends options with an impartial pH base that will not depart a soapy residue, harming the wooden’s end. 

Extra moisture can even warp hardwood, by Sarah McAllister, CEO and founding father of Go Clean Co. “Wooden by no means sleeps, so the humidity ranges in your house can affect your flooring, too,” she says. If it is too dry, your boards can raise, and it will probably strip the end if it is too moist.

From pesky stains to the right vacuum method, these are all the pieces you want to find out about cleansing and sustaining hardwood flooring.

Fast tip: Microfiber flat mops are the best in absorbing dust from hardwood flooring. 

What you want

  • Vacuum
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 10 cups water
  • Retailer-bought impartial base cleaner, corresponding to Zep or Bona
  • Spray bottle or bucket
  • Microfiber flat mop

Learn how to clear hardwood flooring

  1. Begin by vacuuming. The dry cleansing step is integral, however contemplate ditching your broom, which may kick up all of the mud and hair. As a substitute, use the comb extension in your vacuum because it’s mushy and will not scratch the flooring, says Pleshek. An alternative choice is a canister vacuum, which sucks up dust extra powerfully on hardwood flooring. 
  2. Combine up the cleansing resolution. Pleshek says white vinegar is appropriate to make use of in a do-it-yourself cleansing resolution, so long as there’s sufficient water to dilute its sturdy acidity. When you go the do-it-yourself path, Pleshek’s ratio is 1 cup white vinegar to 10 cups water. The pH impartial base won’t depart any damaging residue. Retailer-bought cleaners are additionally efficient — so long as they’re additionally pH impartial. Pleshek advises in opposition to common wooden cleaners since they depart residue and entice dust. When you do use them, solely use a cap full and dilute with a beneficiant quantity of water.
  3. Apply the cleansing resolution. One of the best ways to scale back additional moisture is to mist the answer straight onto the ground with a sprig bottle or spritz it onto a microfiber flat mop, says Pleshek. When you want to place the cleaner in a bucket, you may dip your mop in it, however bear in mind “the much less moisture, the higher,” so calmly plunge it in so you aren’t getting the hardwood too moist.
  4. Mop in sections. When you’re cleansing in a 10-by-10 space, Pleshek recommends beginning in a single nook and cleansing in five-foot sections. Spray the answer as you go to keep away from any drying earlier than you get to mopping the floorboards.
  5. Exchange the mop heads and water as you go. It is necessary that your flat mop at all times stays clear. When you’re tidying a excessive visitors room, rinse the mop head within the sink or swap it out for a brand new one as dust builds. When you’re utilizing a bucket in your resolution, McAllister says to exchange it with a brand new combination three to 4 occasions, relying on how soiled it’s. In any other case, “it is sort of like washing your face with a grimy face fabric,” she says.

Cleansing various kinds of stains

Stains are available in numerous consistencies and might harm wood flooring in a spread of how — that is why it is essential to wash them with strain-specific therapies.

Learn how to take away stains from wood flooring

  • Water stains: To do away with water stains, apply a small quantity of baking soda on the floor of a stain (massive parts can dry out the wooden). Based on Pleshek, baking soda can pull the moisture out of the wooden. “You do not need to scrub the baking soda in although. Let it sit there for a pair hours.”
  • Markers: Rubbing alcohol is the go-to for these stains, however ensure that to “dilute it 50/50 with water and by no means apply it straight to the wooden ground,” Pleshek says. Put it on a microfiber towel, then gently dab the realm.
  • Pet urine: McAllister says enzyme-based cleaners will kill micro organism and cut back odor. Her go-to resolution for cleansing is a teaspoon of powder Tide and a gallon of sizzling water. You should use a tiny pattern of this combination to wipe a pet stain, then rinse. 
  • Gum and slime: Typically you may scrape up gum and slime with a plastic butter knife, but when it is sticky, Pleshek suggests ready for it to dry so you may peel it up extra simply.
  • Oil and grease: For this one, you need to use the identical do-it-yourself vinegar combination as above with the addition of 1 or two teaspoons of Daybreak dish cleaning soap, which Pleshek says will act as a degreaser. After misting it on the ground and wiping with a towel, rinse it with heat water to do away with any cleaning soap residue.

How typically do you have to clear hardwood flooring?

The overall rule for sustaining hardwood flooring is to wash them not less than as soon as every week; however, excessive visitors rooms may have greater than that. Based on Pleshek, you must clear areas like the kitchen and household room on three to 4 occasions every week, particularly when you have pets and children.

Deep cleansing — which includes getting in your fingers and knees and scrubbing with microfiber towels and your alternative resolution — must be carried out each 4 to 6 weeks. 

Insider’s takeaway

Whereas it positively requires additional consideration to elements, cleansing hardwood flooring is pretty easy. It is essential to keep away from aggressive chemical compounds and use pH impartial options, be it store-bought or do-it-yourself. Regarding making use of the answer to the ground, “much less is extra,” Pleshek says. Regularly vacuuming and mopping will make the method much less laborious when it is time for a deep clean.


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