The key to keeping wood floors shiny and healthy is sweeping or vacuuming daily with a floor-brush attachment to remove grit and debris. A no-shoe policy and using rugs in entryways can also help cut down on scratches.
If you need to mop, use a microfiber-padded mop and distilled water to avoid mineral buildup. Skip harsh chemicals and oil-based products, especially pine oils, she warns.
Whether your floors are natural, engineered or laminate, they require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Sweeping and vacuuming remove grit that can scratch or dull the finish. Regular mopping with a commercial wood floor cleaner formulated for your floors keeps surfaces clean and bright. Always wipe up spills as soon as they happen, and use furniture pads under heavy pieces to prevent scuff marks.
To avoid putting too much stress on your hardwood flooring, consider investing in a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a soft brush roll or a dedicated hard floor head attachment. Also, avoid abrasive scrub brushes as these can damage the surface.
While wood floors can be durable and easier to clean than carpet, they do require gentle care to retain their beauty. If you use abrasive chemicals or scour them with rough pads, they can warp or dull. You can avoid this by choosing the right cleaning products and using them correctly.
To maintain your floors, sweep or vacuum daily to remove dust, dirt and grit. Clean spills and scuff marks immediately, and apply a solvent-based wood floor wax, like Trewax Paste Wax, on a biannual basis. The wax helps protect floors against moisture and wear, and it shines up dulled wood. You can make your own natural cleaner by combining white vinegar and lemon essential oil. To mop, saturate a rag or sponge mop in the cleaner and wring it out so it’s damp, not dripping wet.
Sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda, is inexpensive, readily available and has superpowers that include zapping odor molecules. It’s also gentle enough for wood floors and won’t damage factory finishes.
According to Flooring, this spot-cleaning remedy is appropriate for linoleum and porcelain and will not harm glazed tiles, but it’s not recommended for use on wood floor finishes such as urethane because it may react with the tannins in some types of wood, staining them. It may also irritate skin.
To remove stains such as grease or water, sprinkle a thick paste of baking soda and water on the affected area. Allow it to sit for an hour or so, then blot with a cloth dipped in washing-up liquid or white vinegar. Rinse with clean water and a soft cloth dampened with mafi wood floor soap or the appropriate mafi care oil balsam.
For more frequent and deep cleaning, experts recommend using a pH-neutral floor cleaner formulated specifically for wood floors. According to Better Homes & Gardens, this type of cleaner will remove dirt and grime that regular sweeping and dust mopping leave behind.
Vinegar is a natural and inexpensive household staple that can be used to clean many items in the home. It cuts through grease, lifts stains, and removes limescale. This type of vinegar can be mixed with water to create a floor cleaning solution that is gentle on the surface and won’t damage the finish.
To make your own homemade wood cleaner, mix one cup of white vinegar with a gallon of lukewarm water. Before applying to the floor, test the vinegar in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t dull or damage the finish.
Mineral spirits are an effective cleaning product and paint thinner that will remove oil-based stains from wood surfaces. They are a mild solvent that will not cause damage or strip away natural oils from the wood. Before using mineral spirits, test them in an inconspicuous area to ensure they won’t damage the surface. Once the stain is removed, wipe away any residue with a dry cloth.
Before applying mineral spirits to the wood surface, make sure it is free of dust and dirt. This will help the spirit to absorb into the wood fibers and be more effective. Mineral spirits will temporarily darken the wood, but this effect will dissipate as the solvent evaporates. This is why some woodworkers use mineral spirits to “preview” how a finish will look on their project before beginning.
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