How to clean your hardwood floors without ruining them

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Whether you installed it yourself or inherited it from a previous owner (or it was there when you rented your home), real hardwood floors can change the feel of a home. whole space. Whether they are light or dark in color, wide planks or parquet, parquet is a sought-after element in a home.

But hardwood floors (as opposed to laminate, vinyl, or tile floors designed to look like wood) also require some maintenance work. Even though it can last for centuries, the condition will deteriorate over time without the proper care. Here’s what you need to know to clean your hardwood floor in a way that won’t damage it, thanks to advice from the Hardwood Distributor’s Association (HDA).

Determine the finish

If you already know what type of finish was used on your hardwood floor, you can go ahead and skip this section. For everyone else, you are going to want to understand this. Here’s how the experts at HDA suggests doing this:

To tell the difference in the blink of an eye, simply rub your finger on the floor. Make sure you do this on a clean floor. If no stain appears, the floor is sealed on the surface. If you are creating a stain, the floor has been treated with a penetrating gasket, oil finish, shellac, varnish or lacquer, then waxed. Also think about when your floors were installed. If you have a newer wood floor, it is probably surface sealed.

How to safely clean different types of hardwood floors

Regardless of the floor finish, the HDA recommends place floor mats at all exterior entrances to your home, inside and out. Not only will this help prevent water damage from coming in rain or snow, but it will also help reduce the amount of dirt, grime, and gravel entering your home and potentially damaging the hardwood floor ( have an effect).

And as practical as vacuum cleaners are, the HDA advises using a high quality broom or microfiber cloth to daily clean hardwood floors. If you are going to use a vacuum, make sure it is a vacuum without a rotating beater bar (which can scratch the floor).

Sealed surfaces

If your hardwood floors were installed fairly recently, they likely have a sealed surface, also known as urethane or polyurethane, and have a durable, water-resistant protective coating.

The easiest way to find a safe cleaning product is to see what the flooring manufacturer recommends. If this is not possible / available, the HDA says any generic hardwood floor cleaner will do, as long as they’re not wax or petroleum based.

Wax finishes

Use only cleaning products specifically designed for wax finishes and follow directions carefully (including how long the product should remain on the floor). Then, once the floor is clean, apply a new layer of solvent-based wax, according to the HDA.

Acrylic impregnated finishes

These finishes create a very durable floor, when injected into the wood (hence the name). But they are mainly used in high traffic areas of commercial buildings, so they are probably not in your house, the HDA explains.

If they are (or if you are working in a location that does), you first need to determine what finish has been injected into the wood. For urethane-based finishes, follow cleaning instructions for surface finished floors. For urethane-free finishes, use a spray and polish system and products recommended by the manufacturer.


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