People have now warmed up to the idea of wooden flooring in India too. Big interior designers favour wooden finish over stone flooring. However, if you are sitting on the fence, simply because you are puzzled about how to clean wood floors, read on. Yes, wooden flooring requires regular maintenance. However, it is not as taxing or challenging as it is believed to be. Follow the simple yet effective cleaning routines given here to keep your wooden floor shiny and inviting.
How to Clean Wood Floors
The cleaning strategy you employ will depend on the finishing of your wood flooring.
Ingredients to Keep Handy
a) Dishwashing liquid
b) Steel wool
c) Floor wax
d) Vacuum cleaner
e) Microfibre dust mop
How to Clean Finished Wood Floor
Hardwood floors which are covered in a sealant like urethane, polyurethane and polyacrylic coatings are called finished wood floor. The sealants protect the wood beneath it from stains and water. Use the steps given here to clean finished wood floors.
Step 1: Dust
Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of surface dirt and dust.
Step 2: Prepare Cleaning Solution
Mix 3-4 drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water. Soak a microfibre dust mop in the cleaning solution. Wring it to remove excess moisture. Too much exposure to water can damage your wooden floors. Ensure that the mop is just damp enough to wipe clean the wood floors.
Step 3: Allow Air Drying
Turn on the fan to facilitate faster drying of your wood floors.
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors
Wooden floor that looks matte finished is called unfinished wood floors. They do not have the shiny surface. It is mostly found is old-style cottages and rustic bungalows. You should not use water to clean this type of wood floor. As water can seep into the wood and cause the growth of mould and mildew. Follow the steps given below to clean unfinished wood floors.
Step 1: Sweep the Floors
You can use a microfibre dust cloth or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of surface dirt.
Step 2: Treat the Stains
Rub a small amount of floor wax on the stained area of the wooden floors with a steel wool. Ensure that you do not use too must wax as it can lead to discoloration of your floors.
Step 3: Allow Air Drying
Once the stains are gone, allow the surface to air dry completely.
How to Keep Your Wooden Floor Clean
You can start with a no-shoe policy in your home. Keep a doormat at the entrance. Ask your family members and visitors to leave their shoes at the entrance itself and wipe their feet clean to avoid bringing in dirt like abrasive sand particles that can actually ruin the texture of your wooden flooring.
To repair scratches, take a crayon matching the colour of your wooden flooring and fill the gap. Blast hot air on the crayon using a hair dryer. Once the crayon has set into the flooring, buff it with a soft, cleaning cloth.
Occasionally, you can also treat your wooden flooring with tea. Place 2-3 bags of tea in boiling water. Let it cool down. Now, use the black tea to mop your wooden floor. The tannins in the tea will help you restore the shine on your wood flooring.
Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Wood Floors
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions while using commercial cleaning products. Better yet, run a patch test to check for the compatibility of products on an inconspicuous area of your flooring.
Do not use homemade cleaning agents like lemon juice and vinegar on your hardwood flooring. These elements are acidic and can damage your wood sealants.
Cleaning wooden floors effectively is often a matter of strategy – it’s so easy to undo all your hard work by walking all over it. Start at the point furthest from the door, and systematically clean until you finish standing in the doorway.
If you are using a vacuum cleaner to dust your wooden floor, use the soft brush attachment.