Dry Soil Is The Hardwood Floor Killer
You may not have known this but dirt and soil are one of the top damaging things to hardwood floors. Soil not only makes the finish look hazy but it slowly breaks it down. When you walk on your hardwood floor the soil and sand acts as sandpaper slowly removing microscopic layers of the finish. To combat this, sweeping regularly with a broom or dust mop will remove a great amount of soiling from the floor. Use a dust mop with a microfiber pad for a gentle yet slightly more aggressive sweeping.
When Sweeping Isn't Enough
Before grabbing the latest and greatest wood floor cleaning product. Try using a damp(not dripping wet) cloth to wipe your hardwood floors with. There are many stand up cleaning products that feature a cleaning head and pole that a microfiber pad can be attached to. Lightly dampen the pad rinsing it out as it becomes soiled from picking up the dirt that sweeping missed. One of the bigger issues we see is that people are obsessed with using cleaning products to maintain their hardwood floors. Regular sweeping/dust mopping in combination with using a damn cloth is sufficient. There is a time and place to use cleaning products.
Choosing The Right Hardwood Cleaning Product
We recommend using a neutral floor cleaner made for hardwood floors. There are a few reasons for that and we will list them here:
- Neutral cleaners tend to not leave residue that dull the finish.
- They are typically not powerful enough to remove the finish leaving your floor protected.
- We find that neutral cleaners are more family friendly and not harsh on the lungs and safer for your floor.
In recent years, a lot of steam mop products have hit the market claiming they can be used on hardwood. We do not recommend using them on a true hardwood floor as they can damage and dull the finish. For engineer or vinyl plank type of flooring steam mops works well.
More Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tid Bits
Use Rugs To Protect - area and oriental rugs are a great way to protect your hardwood floor. We do recommend that you use some type of padding or anti-slip material underneath them. Failure to do so can cause damage to your hardwood as the rug shifts back and forth it acts like sandpaper and will damage the wood. If you have hardwood in your kitchen we highly recommend you place an absorbent rug in front of the sink to stop water from dripping onto the hardwood.
Avoid using wax products - This is a big one! We can't tell you how many times we have had to remove coats of wax from a wood floor. The thing about wax is after it is applied is it supposed to be buffed to increase the shine and clarity of the wood. We find that many people keep applying more and more once the shine goes away causing a large build up of wax that will dull the floor. It gets to the point that buffing will not fix the issue and it needs to be removed with a new protective coating applied.