How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have become more common in the home and in the workplace thanks to newer floor technologies. Through vinyl hardwood, you can gain the look of real wood without having to put in as much maintenance using the real deal.

It’s not to say those floors won’t still need cleaning regularly. How to go about cleaning them isn’t too difficult, even though buying any random floor cleaner isn’t always the best plan.

Some cleaning methods work better than others. Here are some practical tips if your hardwood floor is overdue for a scrubbing.

Soap and Water Still Works Well for a Basic Cleanup

Most sources still say using soap and water is the best cleaning solution available. Keep in mind this would only be for basic cleaning maintenance. Simply mix up a soap and water combination and use a damp mop to clean.

Before thinking about using any powerful cleaning solutions, it’s worth remembering not all of those are going to work on hardwood floors. Some of them may have abrasive chemicals harming the floor’s wood surface.

If you do use name-brand cleaning solutions on your hardwood floor, it might also void your warranty since those products can potentially do damage.

Using a damp mop with soap and water is much simpler anyway. However, it’s worth noting too much water on your hardwood floor could also cause some problems.

How Often Should You Clean?

It’s generally a good idea to mop your hardwood floors once or twice a week to keep it looking pristine. This mostly depends on how much floor traffic you receive. If you own a business with hardwood floors, a twice-per-week cleanup will maintain what it looked like when new.

For a floor with less traffic, mopping once a month is more than suitable. Sweeping and vacuuming are also good methods for basic cleaning. Just be careful that your vacuum doesn’t have any devices (like brush rolls) that could cause floor scratches.

One thing to avoid is using any cleaning solution containing ammonia or alkaline. These are known to dull and scratch the finish of hardwood floors, and it’s the same with using vinegar. This is why the warning above to primarily use soap and water is more sound advice.

Don’t think all cleaning solutions are disavowed, though. Depending on the manufacturer of the floor brand, you can sometimes find floor cleaner solutions designed for the hardwood floor you purchased.

Not Using Too Much Water

Another thing to remember is too much water on hardwood can cause more harm than good. While many vinyl hardwood floors are waterproof, it’s better to not soak down your floor with excessive liquid.

Your best approach is to just dampen your mop as you clean. To prevent too much water from accumulating, clean one small area at a time and allow those spots to dry before continuing.

Using tools like spin mops often helps pick up the water faster rather than having to clean with a cloth. Nevertheless, if you do use more basic methods to clean, you can simply use another clean cloth or a dry mop to wipe up excess water.

Dish soap is usually the best type of soap to mix up with warm water as your basic cleaning solution.

Cleaning Off Scratches, or a Dull Look

If your hardwood floor finish looks overly dull lately, some floor polish always works well. Using this also provides a protective layer against all future wear.

A liquid scratch concealer is yet another vital item to have on hand. These products remove all scratches that come from excessive floor traffic (or furniture moving).

Any cleaning solution used should be approved by the floor manufacturer to ensure safety. The good news is major floor brands like Armstrong put out their own hardwood floor cleaners if you need something a little stronger to pick up stains.


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