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Cleaning and Maintaining Wood Flooring in Your Home

A good quality wooden floor lasts for decades and, when properly cared for, can actually look better with age. Wooden floors are easier to clean than carpet, but small errors can greatly damage the surface of your wood, causing scratches and water damage that are much more difficult to repair. In order for you to avoid these simple errors and keep your wooden floors in top condition, we’ve compiled this how-to guide.

Standing on wooden floor

Prevention

Placing doormats on the entrances to your home lessens the amount of dirt that is trampled on to your floor, reducing the amount of cleaning needed. Marks and scratches can be prevented by placing floor protectors under furniture and rugs.

Day-to-day Care

Simply sweeping your floors daily with a soft bristled broom or vacuuming with the bristles extended will remove grit from the floor that can potentially cause scratches, and keep the floor looking tidy.

Identifying your Hardwood Finish

Once a week, or fortnight depending on the amount of foot traffic in your home, it will be necessary to give your floor a deeper clean. Before undertaking this task, you will need to identify what kind of hardwood finish you have in order to know what cleaning products are suitable for use. Stained or unfinished floors are easily detected as they don’t have a glossy surface, however it’s much more difficult to determine between shiny floors. Here are some tips on identifying your finish:

  • To test your floor for a wax finish, rub a patch of your floor with some damp extra-fine steel wool (preferably somewhere not too noticeable!) If a grey smudge appears on the wool, then you will have a wax finish
  • A good surface seal test is to place a few drops of water and to a worn patch of floorboard. If the water remains beaded then you have a modern seal. If the water soaks into the wood then you have an old seal that requires careful handling.

Tip: If in doubt of your floor type, choose the gentler method of cleaning. Hardwood floor is an expensive commodity that you shouldn’t take risks with.

Deep Cleaning

To clean hardwood with a modern surface seal:

  • Sweep
  • Dilute a ph-neutral water-based cleaning agent with distilled water
  • Mop
  • Use a cloth dipped in your cleaning solution for tough patches
  • Wring out your mop and go over your mopping until your floor is fairly dry. Surface seals won’t tolerate long periods of soaking
  • Rinse your mop and go over your floor to remove streaking, and repeat the dry-mopping process

To clean all other hardwood:

  • Sweep
  • Mop the floor with distilled water, ensuring that the mop is only slightly damp
  • Use a cloth sprayed with odorless mineral spirits for tough patches
  • Buff the floor with a terry cloth
  • If you notice any scuff marks, you can use an eraser to gently eradicate the mark

Tip: avoid bleach, ammonia, abrasive cleaners or anything that will leave a residue, such as oil or furniture sprays and waxes. These products will damage your hardwood and void your warranty. It is also best to avoid hard water as it can leave your floor streaky.

Repairing Damage

Don’t panic if you do spot a scratch on your floor – it can be repaired. Most hardware stores sell wood repair kits which can be used to carefully paint over the scratch. Allow the paint to dry, then apply hard floor wax with a soft paintbrush until it matches the smoothness of the surrounding floorboards.

Taurus Flooring supply a range of high-quality, easy to fit timber or hardwood floorings to suit any need. With over 8 years’ experience, our professional and friendly team have the expertise to guide you in your decision and ensure a quick and stress-free installation. For more information on our services, contact us here.