How to

Clean a Wood Floor

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How to Clean a Wood Floor

cleaning products for wood FloorsMany people find the range of wood floor cleaner confusing and rightly so, there are a myriad of cleaner on the market, all promising to do something that the others have missed out on.

We’ve all seen the commercials raving about hot steam mops, Oil Soaps and many other cleaners, polishers and conditioners.

Do these products actually work? And what is the best way to maintain your hardwood floors?

Let’s go through the more popular products together…

Wood Floor Polishes and Conditions

Wood floor polishes are one of the biggest advertised products for wooden floor maintenance. It sounds so simple and easy doesn’t it – just mop one of these magic products onto your dull looking floors and they’ll look brand new again! What could be easier???

Unfortunately, many have found out the hard way that these “miracle” cleaners and polishers don’t exactly live up to their claims. Once you’ve applied them it’s too late, now you may have streaking on your beautiful floors.

There are two main issues with these types of cleaners…

1) Sticky Residue

Many people have found after applying one of these products that they now have a sticky film of residue all over their floor that is extremely difficult to remove.

2) Contamination Issues

Maybe your wooden floor will look ok for the moment after applying one of these products, but… when you go to have it recoated down the road, you could find out that you have major contamination issues and the new finish won’t adhere properly. This is because the product has penetrated into the pores of the wood which causes a bonding problem with any future attempt at coating. This almost always results in having to completely strip your floors back to bare wood and start all over again.

RH Wood Floor Recommendation:
Avoid if possible

Steam Cleaners

This seems to be the latest trend in floor cleaning products. These magic mops will sanitize, deodorize and disinfect your hardwood floors with the greatest of ease! In theory, they sound great, but… what are the long-term drawbacks of these contraptions?

Reports have been coming back from users and flooring inspectors that show various bad effects after multiple uses, such as the finish starting to peel and finishes turning cloudy and white. Joints in floors can also start to turn an ugly grey colour with overuse.

It’s not hard to see how this could easily happen if you are forcing steam into hairline cracks and joints of wood floors repeatedly. These steam cleaners break one of the most basic wood floor maintenance rules – Don’t mix wood and water!

And as we all know well, steam is just vaporized water.

RH Wood Floor Recommendation:
Good cleaner but don’t overuse. Mop quickly over the floor so boards are not subjected to high temperatures and large volumes of steam.

Vinegar and water

Granny’s favourite. . . For many years a mixture of vinegar and water has been used and recommended by many as a good, natural and environmentally safe wood floor cleaner. And compared to some of the products we talked about above, it actually would be the better choice.

The problem with vinegar though is that it’s acidic. The problem with water is that too much can severely damage your floors. Put together and you don’t have the best combination. This is one of those systems that won’t show its bad effects instantly, it will usually take a while to see. But, if you use acidic vinegar regularly over many years, then your floor’s finish will eventually dull and lose their shine. Also if you’re not careful and use too much of this mixture, your floors will start to show signs of water damage.

If you still insist on using vinegar and water, please only use plain white vinegar, not any other types that we’ve seen recommended like apple cider, red wine etc. These have a tendency to leave a sticky residue on the floor.

RH Wood Floor Recommendation:
Good for Granny back in the day, but there are better products available.

What cleaning products RH Wood Floors Recommend

We recommend the Bona cleaning system which has products specifically matched to your wood floor sealer, be it oil or water based. The product is called “Bona Wood Floors Cleaner” which leaves a streak free cleaner specifically formulated to clean hardwood floors and not leave a film. If your floors ever need to be re-coated down the road, there will be no issues with this product.

It’s an effective, environmentally responsible and non-toxic formula for all types of residential hardwood floors. Specially designed to be safe for floors and families.

  • Residue-free
  • Ready-to-use
  • Safe for all unwaxed, polyurethane finished wood floors

Bona Wood Floor Cleaner is not fancy like using a steam mop and it doesn’t have big euro infomercial behind it but it works great and it won’t damage your floors.

Hardwood Floor Mob

We will also be happy to answer any of your hardwood floor cleaning questions in person when quoting for your flooring works or just call me for a chat in general on 087-6268100.

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