Hardwood floors are known for their beauty, durability, and easy maintenance. However, life can take a toll on your floors, especially if you have pets and children. It is recommended to deep clean your hardwood floors every month to ensure they maintain their charming characteristics. Here are the steps you can take to deep clean your hardwood floors without damaging them.
Remove Dirt and Dust
The first step is to remove all of the dust, dirt, pet hair, and crumbs from your floors. The best way to do this is by using a vacuum designed specifically for hardwood floors or one that comes with the hardwood floor attachment. An alternative for picking up particles from the floor is to sweep them up with a microfiber cloth mop. These mops are great for removing dirt without scratching the floors. Brooms are another great option for sweeping the floors; however, make sure that the broom used has fine soft bristles that can access the crevices in your floors without scratching the finish on your hardwood floors.
Identify the Finish
Next, identify the type of finish on your hardwood floors as this will not only affect how you deep clean your hardwood floors but also which products are best suited for your floors. If the wrong products are used, the damage to your floors may be permeant. So, are your hardwood floors protected by a surface finish or a penetrating finish?
Surface finishes are commonly found in homes. They are usually treated with polyurethane, oil-based urethane, water-based urethane, and moisture-cured urethane. These finishes are applied as a top layer finishing coat to protect hardwood floors from water and other liquid spills from absorbing into the floor. They are easy to clean and make floors exceptionally durable. They usually give hardwood floors a glossy or semi-glossy look.
Penetrating finishes (also known as oil finishes) absorb deep into the wood to harden them from the inside out. Most floors with penetrating finishes are coated with floor wax to add surface protection; however, they are prone to water damage as liquids can seep into the wood and cause it to warp.
Pick and Apply Cleaning Products
Once you have identified the type of finish on your hardwood floors, you can now pick out the best cleaning products for your floors. For surface finished hardwood floors, it is safe to use water-based solutions. For penetrating finished hardwood floors, avoid all water-based solutions. Since the floors are not completely sealed, a water-based solution will be absorbed into the wood and warp your hardwood floors. Choose a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for penetrating or oil-based finishes.
Now that you have chosen the correct cleaning product, you are free to mop your floors. Apply the cleaning solution to your floors and use a microfiber mop to spread the solution. Make sure to mop in the direction of the floorboards to prevent streaks and ensures an even clean.
Water and wood do not mix, so it is vital to use the correct products on your hardwood floors. Once you have established a consistent deep cleaning routine, your floors will be much more protected, gleam brighter, and look incredible.