How to Clean Wood Floors

Nothing beats the look and feel of a beautiful, well-maintained wooden floor. Whether it’s old flooring or something more modern, the natural look of a wooden floor will add warmth and character to your home.

Aesthetically pleasing, hard-wearing and just improves with age, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice. But, it’s important to make sure your wooden floor is cleaned and maintained properly on a regular basis for it to retain its original beauty. 

We understand that figuring out the best way to clean wooden floors may feel a little daunting, with so many products and home remedies out there it can be tricky to learn which is best. So, to help, we’ve put together this complete guide on how to clean wooden floors, how best to maintain them and what you absolutely should not do!

5 Steps on Cleaning Wooden Floors

It’s pretty much impossible to stop dirt from entering the house and being left on your wooden floors. Unless you’re extremely strict and refuse to let anyone walk on them! But even then, the floors will still need to be cleaned for them to look fresh. Luckily, it’s not as difficult or as complicated as many make it seem. Follow these 5 steps below to achieve gleaming wooden floors:

  1. First sweep or vacuum the floors to pick up any loose dust, dirt or debris that might scratch the floor if it gets dragged around with a mop. 
  2. For the best possible care, you’ll want to invest in a proper PH balanced floor cleaner that’s specially designed to clean wooden floors. Often the standard cleaning products in your local supermarket are too harsh for wooden floors. We’d recommend using the Bona Cleaner Concentrate with the Bona Wood Floor Spray Mop. Add the required amount of cleaner to a  bucket of warm, but not hot, water.
  3. Give the water a good stir with the mop to make sure it’s been mixed thoroughly and remember to wring the mop out so it’s not dripping wet. Ideally, the mop should just feel slightly damp.
  4. Clean the floor using even strokes and getting into every nook and cranny. Don’t forget to rinse the mop out regularly to keep everything clean and dirt-free.
  5. Allow the floor to dry and, if you want to, buff it with a clean cloth or towel to really make it shine!

How to Maintain a Clean Wooden Floor

Once your wooden floor is clean and sparkling again, you’ll want to maintain it so that it always looks its best. Maintaining a wooden floor is just a matter of routine care. You don’t need to give it a proper wash every week, in fact, hardwood floors hate getting soaking wet so the less water used on it the better. Here are a few little things you can do to keep your wooden flooring clean and damage-free:

Brush/Sweep often

The easiest and most effective thing to do is to brush or sweep your wooden floor with a soft-bristled brush regularly. This will clear the floor of dust, fluff, lint, dead skin and any lingering dirt that you may not even notice. Getting into the habit of sweeping your floors once or twice a week can make a huge difference and can help them last longer too. 

Vacuum occasionally

While of course vacuuming is quicker and easier than sweeping, more often than not the bristles in a vacuum can damage the surface of your flooring over time. It’s perfectly fine to vacuum occasionally but be as gently as possible, using a light touch with a soft bristle head so you don’t risk scratching the floor.

Dry up any spills quickly

We’ve all experienced the dread of spilling something on floors and whether it’s carpet or wooden floors the trick is to not panic but act quickly. While your wooden floor may be treated for spillages, it’s not foolproof. From red wine and coffee to juice and even a puddle of water, if left long enough it can easily soak into the floor and cause damage. As soon as you notice the spill, wipe it clean with a dry cloth and then use a slightly damp cloth to finish.

What Not to Do

There are plenty of myths and miracle cleaning solutions out there, but, more often than not, they don’t do anything to help clean your wooden floor and could actually cause it some damage instead. Here are the products and tools you absolutely should not use on your wooden floors:

  • Steam mop – As tempting as it may be, it’s not recommended that you use a steam cleaner for wooden floors as water and wood don’t get along and it could break down the finish and damage the wood itself.
  • Baking soda – While this product is often used for cleaning stubborn stains, baking soda is an abrasive and should not be used on wooden floors as it could scratch or stain them.
  • Vinegar – Using vinegar and water can also have a negative impact on wooden floors because it is too acidic and will break down the finish, leaving it looking dull.
  • Use multiple different products – There’s no need to use an excessive amount of cleaning or finishing products as this will only run the risk of discolouring the wooden floor.

Our Top Tips

Our experts at Leaders Floors have offered some of their top tips to ensure your wooden floors remain in the best condition possible.

  • Get protective pads for furniture feet to prevent them from scratching the wood.
  • Invest in a high-quality doormat to catch as much dirt as possible before entering your home.
  • Avoid high heels on wooden floors.
  • Remove all outdoor shoes before entering.
  • If possible, avoid direct sunlight on your wooden floor as this could discolour it.
  • When it comes to scratches, always consult a professional.

Choosing to have solid wood flooring in your home is a luxury choice that’s always been popular, discover the 7 key benefits of solid wood flooring.

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