How to clean a wooden floor without damaging it
When it comes to cleaning a wooden floor, the actual process is simple and straightforward. That being said, there are specific steps that produce much better results and certain factors that can cause more harm than good to your wooden flooring. For this reason, I wanted to outline how to clean a wooden floor and the best way to improve the appearance and increase the lifespan of the flooring in your home.
Now, let’s take a look at some factors which can help you when it comes to how to clean a wooden floor:
Maintenance and the Benefit of Wooden Flooring
For many people, carpets are still the most comfortable option but the truth is, wooden floors are much more valuable from an investment point of view. After all, wood floors are low maintenance and much more conducive to the odd spillage here and there. In other words, you don’t have to maintain them as often as carpet and when something spills, it’s much easier to clean things up.
On the other hand, this also means that many homeowners ignore and neglect their wooden floors. You see, there may not be a visible stain or distinctive mark but over time, a build-up of dirt or grime will certainly take away from the appearance of your wooden floor. What’s more, while it can appear harmless at first, much of this debris is abrasive such as food particles, pet hair or even dust and this can damage the floor.
Anyway, the point being, you need to take care of the ground beneath your feet and know how to clean a wooden floor without causing any damage to the appearance.
With this in mind, regular maintenance is always advised and when it comes to daily cleaning, a mop and broom is usually enough to keep this build-up from getting out of hand. In this sense, you should use the broom or dust-pad to brush away any loose particles and then spend a few more minutes cleaning the wooden floor with a damp mop.
What Solutions or Chemicals Can You Use to Clean a Wooden Floor?
Vinegar and Water – Ideal for deep cleaning a wooden floor and removing oil, dirt and grime.
Tea-bags – Suitable for removing light stains. Steep two tea bags in boiling water and wait for the solution to cool down. Soak a cloth inside this solution and then use to wipe the flooring.
Water, Vinegar and Essential oils – For a nice aroma, add essential oils to the first mixture but no more than a few drops is necessary.
Special DIY Solution – Stubborn grime or slime can be removed a lot easier when you mix vinegar, water and a plant-based detergent/soap.
Lemon Juice, Olive oil and Water – Slightly fancy way to cleanse a wooden floor and bring a shine to the surface. Again, try not to add too much oil to the mixture for best results.
Chemicals – As you know, there are many chemicals which you can use to clean a wooden floor such as pledge or black diamond. However, sometimes the above solutions are enough to get the job done.
**Tip – Make sure you have cloths on hand to dry up afterward. Also, mops tend to be much more useful than brooms or disposable for this process as they pick up debris rather than just move the dirt around.
Can You Use a Jet Washer to Clean Wooden Flooring?
Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no….but let me explain.
I love the jet washer and often use this fantastic machine to clean roofing, driveways and patio areas. In fact, I sometimes take this pressure washer to wooden decking or outdoor furniture.
However, there is always the risk of causing more damage than good to wood floors with a pressure washer. That is to say, while I have personally “mastered” this process, it’s somewhat risky for people without enough experience to tackle wooden floors with a pressure washer.
Now, with that being said, the answer to this question really depends on the situation and type of wooden floor. What’s more, it also depends on how you use this machine and the power being applied to surface below.
Moral of the story: It’s possible to use a jet washer on wooden floors but without experience, it’s best to avoid using this machine.
Note About Using a Buffer on Wooden Flooring
As you may know, using a buffer for the first time is a surprisingly tricky process. In fact, it’s very easy to cause serious damage to the floor without the right experience and approach. However, the buffer is also a fantastic machine which can bring the shine back to your wooden flooring. On the other hand, you need to know that not every wooden floor is suitable for buffing and the surface must have a polymer coating before you can take this machine to the floor.
How to Clean a Wooden Floor in Five Easy Steps
- Clear the Area and Sweep the Floor
It’s usually best to take off your shoes and place them outside before getting started. After all, even the smallest particles act as an abrasive on wooden floors. Next, remove any mats and furniture and give the area a good sweep.
- Mop the Floor
Now, even though the area is swept, taking a vacuum to the floor is a great way to ensure the best results. Either way, use a mop to lightly dust off the wooden floor and remove any reminding debris.
- Pay Attention to Stains
Now, before you mop the area, take your solution and give some attention to whatever stains you might see. It’s important to do this first and not when the floor is looking shiny at the end.
- Prepare Solution and Mop the Floor Again
As already mentioned, there are many solutions that you can use to clean a wooden floor. Vinegar and warm water is common and for this mixture, one cup of vinegar is more than enough for a gallon of water. Now, it’s also important to mop the floor in the same direction as the floorboards so that you do not leave any nasty streaks.
- Dry the Floor
Afterward, you can use a clean cloth or towel to dry the floor. Alternatively, you might want to open some windows or doors to let some air onto the surface.
Some Last Minute Tips for Cleaning a Wooden Floor
Removing Scuff Marks with a Tennis Ball
As you know, scuff marks from shoes and furniture are common on wooden floors. However, most homeowners make the same mistake of scratching away at these marks in hope that they might disappear. Instead, take a tennis ball and buff the affected area until the scuff marks disappear.
Using an Eraser to Tackle Grease
Grease can also seem tricky at first but the truth is, a simple eraser can remove grease in an instant. After rubbing the area lightly with this eraser, simply wipe the area with a damp cloth.
Olive Oil for Sticky Stains
Sticky stains on wooden floors are also common. Save yourself some time by placing some vegetable oil on the area and leaving this solution to break down the stain for a few minutes. When you wipe this area ten minutes later, you should see that most sticky stains will disappear quite easily.
Taking an Iron and Lemon to Water Stains
Water stains are very difficult to remove in the beginning but if you wait a couple of days, this process is much easier. You see, when the area has time to dry out, you can place a dry cloth on top and begin ironing the area. Now, it’s important not to use any steam and keep the iron moving so that nothing burns or causes further damage.Finally, if you can still see some residue of the water stain, apply a drop of lemon and rub lightly with a cloth until the stain disappears.
Hiring a Professional to Clean Your Wooden Floors
As you can see, cleaning a wooden floor is quite a simple task and simple maintenance is certain to maintain the shine of this floor over time. However, stains do happen and some wooden floors can really deteriorate to the point of needing replacement.
At the same time, you would be amazed with what can be achieved with the right approach. In other words, professional cleaners know precisely how to turn an old wooden floor into something that looks more like a renovation. In fact, this is exactly why most homeowners will at least seek the services of a cleaner before taking any steps to replace the floor.
But the cost of this cleaning is rather high, right?
Well, industrial cleaners or specialist agencies tend to charge a pretty penny for this kind of service. However, if you contact a local window cleaner, you will often find the same service and results at just a fraction of the price. It’s true, you might want to check the reliability or trustworthiness of your local cleaner but at the end of the day, this is usually the most affordable and effective way to clean a wooden floor.
If you need any assistance with cleaning your wooden floors, Reach Wash Cleaning is a local cleaning service with plenty of experience when it comes to cleaning wood flooring.