Many people consider hardwood the best possible flooring material, thanks to its unparalleled combination of durability and good looks. Better still, hardwood floors represent a wise long-term investment, as they will help to increase the value of your home when the time comes to sell. Of course, this value remains highly contingent on the condition of the wood.
A regular cleaning and maintenance routine makes all the difference in this regard. Yet cleaning your hardwood floors the wrong way can often leave them worse off than they were before. If you would like to learn more about how to clean and maintain your hardwood floors the safe way, read on. This article will outline three safety tips for boosting the appearance of a hardwood floor.
1. Wet Mop Sparingly
Many people assume that the best way to clean a wood floor involves a mop, a bucket of soapy water, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease. While such an attitude deserves to be commended, those who rush into mopping with too much zeal - and too much water - may find themselves having to deal with problems they never imagined.
Even hardwood floors that have been treated with a nice thick layer of polyurethane may suffer damage if you mop with an excessive amount of water. Inevitably that water will find its way down into the cracks between floorboards. As it soaks into the unprotected wood, it will cause the floorboards to swell and warp.
If water exposure is great enough, it may even lead to permanent damage. For that reason, those who opt to mop their floors must be sure to use as little water as possible. Wring out your mop as much as you can. It should only feel damp to the touch. This will ensure that water remains only on the surface of the floor.
2. Skip The Vinegar
A lot of different theories can be found floating around about what to add to mop water for the best results. One persistent strain of advice urges homeowners to add a certain amount of vinegar to their cleaning solution. Those who adopt this message argue that the vinegar acts not only to disinfect the floor, but also to loosen up even the worst types of gunk and grime.
Unfortunately, there exists a strong likelihood that vinegar will strip off way more than just unwanted dirt. This highly acidic substance may also eat away at your hardwood coating. This is true for a wide variety of coatings, from poly coating to wax, to oil. Virtually any floor sealing substance will be vulnerable to the destructive effects of vinegar, which means you should always avoid its use for cleaning a hardwood floor.
3. Dust Using Microfiber Pads
In many cases, cleaning a hardwood floor doesn't even need to involve wet cleaning methods like mopping. Regular dusting - in addition to spot cleaning any spills - represents the most effective cleaning solution. And the best weapon for dusting is a soft microfiber cloth or dusting pad.
Even dusting can be dangerous if not done correctly. The trick involves keeping the dusting cloth in contact with the floor for as long as possible. Picking up the pad and putting it back down often traps larger bits of debris beneath it. Such debris can easily scratch or gouge the surface of your finish as you push the cloth across. Instead, try to zigzag your way across the floor without picking up the pad.
Hardwood Floor Experts
Getting the most from a hardwood floor means cleaning it regularly and carefully. For more information about what it takes to keep your floor in the best possible condition, please don't hesitate to contact the experts at Beach Hardwood Floors and More.