Wood floors can be challenging to maintain. If you are not careful, you will find yourself replacing your floor earlier than you planned. On the other hand, if you pay attention to the material you use in cleaning and maintaining your floor, it can possibly last a lifetime.
6 Ways Not to Clean Your Wooden Floors
The best way to avoid damaging your wood floor is to know what you should not do. The list of things you can or should do can be endless. But if you know which ways to avoid, you will do an amazing job of maintaining the durability and aesthetics of your floor. Keep the following in mind:
Do not drown your floor with water when mopping.
It is general knowledge that water can cause wood to swell because it absorbs water like a sponge when exposed to water for too long. This does not mean that you should absolutely avoid mopping your floor. Look for the best mop for hardwood floors and use just the right amount of water to clean your floor.
The right amount of water means just enough to dampen the mophead but not to soak it thoroughly. If you soak the floorboards with excessive amounts of water from the mop, you will risk causing your floorboards to swell, causing your finish to discolor, and it can also possibly cause the boards to squeak or produce other noise.
A microfiber mop head is preferred. You can use it to first sweep away dirt and debris and then dampen it with water or spray it with a cleaning solution for hardwood floors to mop the floor.
Do not use brooms with stiff bristles when sweeping.
Stiff-bristled brooms may scratch your wooden floorboards. A soft-bristled broom will do an excellent job sweeping off dirt and debris from your floor. If you want to make sure that dust, debris, and other materials are cleared off from your floor, buying the best vacuum for hardwood floors will be a good investment.
A broom has advantages as it allows you to reach nooks and crannies. Nevertheless, it does not clear off as much of the dirt and dust on the floor as you would have preferred. With a vacuum cleaner, even the finest dust will be cleared and no dust bunnies will linger.
Do not ignore spilled liquids of any kind on the floor.
The absorbent nature of wood will cause problems for you in the future if you keep ignoring spilled liquid on the floor. As mentioned earlier, water can damage the floor. Meanwhile, other liquids may cause discoloration on the floor or may leave sticky residue on the floor where dust may collect and crust.
It will be harder to clean floors with crusted up dirt because you may need stronger cleaning agents that may also cause damage on the floor. You may also need to apply more force to clean up crusted dirt, which may also leave scratches on the floor. Thus, to avoid damaging the floor, clean up spills as soon as it happens.
Do not forget to switch your vacuum’s setting when moving from one surface to the next.
If you are using a vacuum cleaner, do not forget to switch the setting as you move from a surface such as a carpet to another such as floor. Even if you are using the best vacuums for hardwood and carpet, do not forget to use the right setting. Otherwise, you will only end up damaging your floor.
A vacuum that is set for carpet cleaning lowers the bristles, allowing the beater bar, a tool designed to ruffle the carpet and lift as much dust and debris as it can. If you do not switch from the carpet setting or change the vacuum head as you proceed to vacuum the floor, the beater bar can scratch your wooden floor.
Do not use strong cleaning materials.
Using waxes, polishes, and soap come with risks. Applying wax can result in build-up on your floor’s surface and cause it to be slippery. Similarly, despite what its name promises, polishes will only cause your wooden floor’s finish to become dull. Soaps, if you have not yet discovered yourself, leave residue on a wooden surface.
Vinegar is also among the most common cleaning materials, but it is too strong and can cause your wooden floor to become dull and damaged. If you really want to use a cleaning solution, find one that has a neutral acidity level of pH level 7.
You will find that your wooden floor can still be restored to its original luster and shine even if you just simply remove the dirt and dust that settles on it. You do not really need to apply any cleaning solution on it.
Do not use steam cleaners on your wooden floor.
Remember that wood expands and contracts when temperature changes. Steam cleaners will leave moisture on our floor and damage it. Hardwood flooring materials are often manufactured with finishes that cannot tolerate extreme temperatures. Exposing them to extreme heat from steamers can cause it to become discolored, flake, or peel.
If you find yourself dealing with tough grimes or stains, a damp microfiber rag or mophead will clean it up just fine. Do not risk damaging your floor with steam cleaners.
Extreme weather conditions and other environmental factors may also affect your hardwood floor. It will naturally react to such factors. However, damaging it by doing all the wrong ways of cleaning it will only hasten the process of wear and tear.
Vacuuming and sweeping wooden floors is enough to maintain its durability and luster. If you find it insufficient, you can also find specially formulated cleaning solutions that are manufactured for hardwood floors.
Always remember that some cleaning tools are useful for certain flooring materials but not for others. Steam cleaners, for instance, may be good for vinyl flooring material but not for hardwood floors. A vacuum cleaner and soft-bristled broom is enough to keep hardwood floors clean.