How to clean hardwood floors | The Sun

How to clean hardwood floors | The Sun

February 6, 2023

HARDWOOD floors need a bit of extra attention when it comes to keeping them clean.

Although all floors take a lot of wear, including daily traffic, spills scuffs, not all floors can be cleaned in the same way, so here's everything you need to know to keep your hardwood floors in tip-top condition.

How to clean hardwood floors

Water is the worst enemy of hardwood flooring and if water penetrates your floor, it can cause it to buckle, split, warp – and potentially damage your wood flooring.

It's important to keep in mind when cleaning – you would want to prevent water from sipping into your hardwood floors as much as possible.

Melissa Witulski, the business operations manager for Merry Maids, told Real Simple that it's best to clean your floors little and often to prevent them getting overwhelmingly dirty.

1.Find out what type of flooring you have

The main thing to determine before you start cleaning is your type of flooring – solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, or laminate wood-look flooring.

They all look similar but care for laminate differs from solid or engineered hardwood.

Solid and engineered hardwood flooring can receive the same cleaning regimen but never use hardwood floor cleaners on laminate – as the oil and waxes in the ingredients can dull the surface.

So, it's important to find out what flooring you have before you begin.

2. Gather your cleaning tools

To achieve a professional finish on your flooring, you need to make sure you have all the right cleaning tools and materials to hand.

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You'll need a broom, a dust mop or a vacuum cleaner and a microfibre mop.

You'll also need a commercial wood cleaner – or if you prefer to use a homemade cleaning solution, you will need water, distilled white vinegar or cleaning vinegar.

3. Sweep or Vacuum

This quick and easy task should become part of your daily routine if you want to keep your flooring looking sparkly clean.

The best choice is to use a microfibre dust mop – the fibres in the mop attract and trap the dirt and you can toss the mop head in the washing machine, so you have a clean mop each time.

All you have to do is sweep or vacuum the entirety of your flooring – making sure to remove dirt, grit and crumbs.

"The best way to clean hardwood floors is to use a microfiber dust mop to remove dust, dirt, and whatever other particles were brought into your home," cleaning pro Melissa Witulski, told Real Simple.

4. Mop your flooring

If you're using a homemade cleaning solution, you will need to take a large bucket and combine one gallon go water with one distilled cup of white vinegar or half a cup of cleaning vinegar.

Next, dip a clean microfibre mop into the solution of your choice and wring the mop until it is just damp and not dripping. 

Start at the far corner and work your way toward the door until you have cleaned the entire room – then rinse the mop.

5. Let your flooring dry

Now you can sit back in relax – just make sure you find a spot in a different room.

This is because you need to allow the floor to air-dry before walking on it.

How to remove stains from hardwood floors

If you have children or pets, the odds are there’s at least one stain on your hardwood floor. 

But there's a simple way you can remove those unwanted stains and regain your hardwood floor’s former beauty.

1. Gather your cleaning supplies

To remove stains from your hardwood flooring, you may need a number of different products to hand.

These include baking soda, washing up liquid, floor oil, white vinegar and steel wool.

2. Identify the type of stain and clean

Not every stain will require the same method of cleaning.

So, it's important to identify what type of stain you're trying to remove first.

For general scratches and scuff marks – you will need to use baking soda.

All you will need to do is put one tsp of bicarbonate of soda on a damp sponge and rub over the marks.

If you're removing an oily stain – rub the area with a soft cloth and a little bit of washing-up liquid to break down the grease.

Then rinse with clean, warm water and repeat until the stain has gone.

Then take a soft cloth and dip it in floor oil – this will provide you with the perfect cleaning method to polish where the stain once was.

A top tip is to choose an oil colour that will match the colour of your flooring.

If the area still remains dark after those steps – apply 1 tbsp of vinegar and let it soak into the wood for approximately one hour.

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Then rinse with a damp cloth and once again buff with floor oil.

For those extra stubborn stains that don't respond to treatment – lightly sand the floor with fine paper, clean with fine grade steel wool and white spirit, then buff up with the oil that matches your floor’s natural colour.

Cleaning hacks and tips

Here are some tips to help you clean your home like a pro:

  • How to clean your washing machine in a few easy steps
  • Keep on top of cleaning your oven regularly
  •  Clean your shower to ensure it's always sparkling
  • How to clean your microwave using cheap household items
  • Here's how to get rid of that nasty limescale in your kettle
  • You're cleaning your carpet all wrong – here's how to get it spotless again in no time
  • Unblock a toilet without a plunger
  • Clean your fabric or leather sofa in a few easy steps
  • If you haven't cleaned your mattress in ages, here's how
  • Steps to cleaning your dishwasher to leave it looking brand new
  • This is how to clean mirrors and windows without streaking
  • Keep your toilet clean in four easy steps
  • Give your TV screen a once-over
  • Did you know your Venetian, Roman, vertical, or roller blinds also need cleaning?
  • Deep-clean your fridge in five simple steps

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