Hardwood floors are an outstanding asset to home’s both old and new. Keeping your hardwood floors in top condition means ensuring they receive proper care and maintenance on a regular basis. However, applying incorrect or inappropriate cleaning techniques to your hardwood floor can end up doing more damage than good.
Often, floor restoration companies are brought in to repair and correct flooring that has been damaged due to inappropriate cleaning. The unfortunate aspect in most of these cases is that the damage to the flooring could’ve been avoided had the proper cleaning techniques been used in the first place. Here we look at which cleaning techniques you should avoid to preserve and protect your hardwood floors while properly maintaining your wood floor’s enduring quality and beauty.
Using Too Much Water
Using a mop that is too wet to clean your wood floors is a quick way to ruin them. Excess water can seep between the cracks and the fibers of the wood in the floorboards. This water can cause the wood to swell, buckle, and become malformed over time. Water damage can also happen when wood floors are steam cleaned, or when excess cleaning solution is not removed from the floor after cleaning. When cleaning your wood floor only use a small amount of moisture and make sure to dry the floor off after cleaning. This helps to avoid water damage to your wood floors.
Cleaning with the Wrong Products
Using the wrong type of floor cleaner can cause immediate damage to your hard wood floor. Harsh cleaners can damage the finish on your hardwood floor or even the wood underneath. Different hardwood floors or engineered wood floors have different finishes, which need to be treated differently. Harsh cleaning solutions may strip the finish or damage the surface of your hardwood floors, leaving you requiring expensive refinishing to get your floors looking smooth and sleek again. Some DIY cleaners also contain wax which might give a shiny finish on first use, but which builds up in a clumpy grime over time. It’s best to always check with a professional hardwood floor cleaner or your flooring installer before using a cleaning product.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Many people think that going natural is always best, so using vinegar on hardwood floors shouldn’t be a problem. Some cleaners even recommend using vinegar. However, because vinegar contains natural acetic acid, this can actually eat away at your wood floor finishes over time. It’s best to avoid using vinegar and choose a recommended wood floor cleaner instead.
Using Harsh Tools or Vacuum Attachments
Harsh tools like wiry brushes, bulky floor polishers, or even the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner can cause heavy damage to wood floors. Wood floors rarely require harsh treatment with cleaning tools, and if you do have problem areas on your floors, it’s best to recruit the assistance of a professional floor cleaner. Rather than trying to clean your hardwood floors with heavy tools, use a soft cloth cleaning pad to sweep and clean your floors. If you want to use the vacuum, disengage the beater bar, or use the ‘hard floor’ setting to prevent damage.
Preserving and maintaining your valuable hardwood floors means this precious asset can add beauty to your home for years to come. Always clean your hardwood floors carefully with the right tools and cleaning solutions, and contact your local hardwood floor cleaners for professional advice on deeper cleaning.