What’s the best way to keep your wooden floors clean?
Unlike carpets, polished wooden floors are simplicity itself to keep clean. A quick wipe with a mop and hey presto – spills, mess and dust are easily cleaned away, leaving the surface sparkling once again. But apart from a wipe over with a mop, what is the best way to keep your polished wooden floor really clean without damaging that delicate surface?
To vacuum or not to vacuum?
That is the question. Using a vacuum cleaner on a wooden surface is perfectly fine, as long as you have it on the correct setting. Check the height of your vacuum’s brushes to ensure that they are set specifically for hard surfaces and not carpets. A vacuum is one of the best ways to remove surface dirt that could scratch the polished surface of a wooden floor, so it’s wise to vacuum before using a mop to thoroughly clean the surface. By doing this you can ensure that dirt particles are not trapped in the fibres of the mop head and rubbed across the floor, preventing them from scouring the surface.
If you have had your floor treated by professionals, there shouldn’t be any cracks or gaps in the surface. But as floors wear, cracks and gaps do develop and once that happens a vacuum cleaner is ideal for getting the dust and dirt out that could otherwise dull the surface of the floor.
Squeeze that mop…
The commonest and easiest way to clean a wooden floor is by running a mop over it. But before you do, ensure that your mop is thoroughly squeezed and that there is no excess moisture in the head. Slopping a soaking mop onto a wooden floor will leave puddles of water on the surface, and this can mark and even damage the wood, leaving ugly white residue and staining. So ensure that your mop is properly wrung out before you apply it to the surface.
Also make sure that the mophead itself is clean and doesn’t have any dirt or grit in the fibres. There’s nothing worse than wiping a mop over a pristine polished floor and discovering a new scratch scarring the surface, thanks to an overlooked piece of grit in the mophead!
Use the right cleaner
While it might be tempting to use any old cleaner to give your floor a quick wipe over, be cautious. Obviously any abrasive cleaners are off the list, as they will put scratches into the surface very easily. But also beware of using astringent cleaners such as anything with an acidic base. Even diluted vinegar will affect the surface of the wood, and could react badly with certain finishes.
Try to avoid using soap-based cleaners too, as they tend to leave a chalky, powdery residue on the surface that can eventually mark polished wooden floors. The best cleaner to use is a pH-neutral one that is specially formulated for wooden floors.
Because spills and general mess is so much easier to wipe away from the surface of a polished wooden floor, it may be very tempting to use ordinary household cleaning products for that ‘Ribena emergency’ or if a glass of red wine topples over. But before you reach for the bottle, check to ensure that the contents don’t contain anything that could do permanent damage to your wooden floor. Bleach and harsh industrial cleaners are commonly used in many household cleaning products, so sometimes a damp cloth is a much better way of cleaning up the mess than a blast of chemical cleaner.
If you’re not sure as to the best way to keep your polished wooden floor looking clean, talk to your local experts. With their help, you’ll be able to keep your wooden floor looking beautiful for years to come, no matter what life throws at it!