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Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Maintaining hardwood floors can be a daunting task, but the results can make any room shine with spotless gleam.

You’ll need a dry mop or vacuum, wet mop, some cloths (we recommend non-abrasive Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths, a sponge, or terry towels), hardwood cleaner (optional depending on your type of floor finish), and a bucket.

Most people, when doing general maintenance on their floors, will clean around large furniture pieces or area rugs. However, for the best results, first clear the surface area of any movable furniture or personal items.  If you have a dry mop or vacuum, it is preferable to use these items to lift any debris, dirt or pet hair from the surface of the wood.  The purpose of removing the debris is to eliminate any particles that may be able to scratch the surface of the wood.   We recommend dusting, vacuuming, or dry mopping your floor weekly, but you can do so more/less often depending on the traffic of the area.  To get a deeper clean and make your floor shine, you will need to also incorporate a wet mop application.

Intex DIY - Mopping a hardwood floorDepending on what type of floor finish you have will determine how to prepare your wet cleaning solution. If you have a surface-sealed floor, or if your floors have polyurethane on them, you can simply wet a mop with some water and common dish detergent. The good news is that these types of floors are stain and water resistant.  However, if the floor finish is seal-treated or oil-treated, this type of floor finish needs a liquid or paste wax.

PRO TIP: Avoid using water if you have lacquered or shellacked hardwood. These types of floor finishes are not as resistant to water as surface-sealed finishes. Water on lacquered or shellacked hardwoods can actually buckle and stain the wood if it sits on it too long.  Instead, use a wood cleaner (liquid or paste wax) designated specifically for these types of floors.

BONUS TIP: Here’s a trick if you don’t know which kind of floor you have; simply rub your finger across the floor.  If you leave a residue behind, the floor is not sealed (you must use a wood cleaner liquid or paste).  If you do not leave a residue behind, then the floor is sealed, and it is safe to use plain soap and water.

Once you pour your cleaning solution into a bucket, dip in your mop, saturate it fully, and wring out the excess solution.  The mop should not be dripping wet, but damp.

PRO TIP: If you spill any solution while wringing out your mop, clean it up immediately, as standing water or detergent solution on a floor could damage the wood.

When you start to mop, keep in mind that it is important to mop with the grain of the wood to get the best results.  As you mop, once the liquid gets dirty, empty the contents of the bucket, mix a new cleaning solution, and continue to mop. If you do not have a mop available, you can also soak either a Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloth, a sponge, or a terry towel into your cleaning solution, and clean the floor with them.

Pureclean Multipurpose ClothsAfter applying soap or a detergent mixture to your floors, you are going to want to make sure all of the product put onto the floor is lifted off. Any residue left on the floor will leave a foggy appeal.  This next step is where you turn that dull floor into a floor with gloss and shine.  To do so, use a soft absorbent cloth; we recommend Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths or terry towels to buff the floor.  Pureclean ™ Multipurpose Cloths are our top recommended cloth for this final step due to their soft bulk feel of a terry towel with the cleaning power of a microfiber cloth. To pick up soap and detergent residue, you will need to dry and lift in a circular motion.  The circular motion is essential to restore the shine to the floor. Once you have buffed the floor, it is time to sit back, relax and enjoy the shine.

 

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