What Is The Best Way To Clean a Hardwood Floors?
What is the best way to clean a hardwood floors? Hardwood floors are very popular because lots of people want the resiliency that the material of hardwood offers. So, lot and lots of flooring is made out of hardwood floors. Another reason hardwood floors are so popular is, it doesn’t hold in allergens like carpet does. And it’s easier to clean.
However, if you drop something like a knife or a dish that’s sharp – and it hits your hardwood floor it could dent or ding your hardwood floor. And then little bits of dust and pockets of grime build up in those little dents and dings. So how do you clean a hardwood floor?
A Dust Mop
Well, there are a variety of ways but one of the easiest ways is with a dust mop. A dust mop is a great big mop and it’s about 2 feet wide. About feet wide or two feet long. It’s got a great big head on it and it’s made of fibers it could be microfiber, it could be some other kind of fabric.
And you go ahead and you just dust your floor like you would sweep and mop or whatever. And scoop everything together and then when you’re done, shake your mom that will create a little pile of debris and that will allow you then to either vacuum that pile up or you can sweep it up with a dustpan.
Now once all of the debris has been collected from around your house. You can go ahead and mop your floor. If you don’t have a dust mop and I don’t recommend carrying one with you to a customer’s house. Most customers who have hardwood floors have one. Or, they have a vacuum that already is designed for hardwood floors.
Now that’s another way to vacuum a hardwood floors. If you have a vacuum that is conducive to a hardwood floor where the wheels that are plastic, are not going to scratch the floor as you go backwards from the vacuuming motion.
If you have a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors it probably also has an attachment that has the little crevice piece.
Go around the corners and underneath the cupboards and around pieces of furniture and you can pick up all of the debris and dust and dog hair that has collected around those areas. So once all of the corners and all of the furniture legs have been vacuumed around then you’re ready to mop.
Okay, So what kind of a solution do you use to clean a hardwood floors?
Alright this is a trick question because there are lots of different chemicals that are on the market. And my recommendation is stay away from them all. Just stay away from them. Here’s the reason why. Wood which is what your hardwood floors are made out of Wood comes from trees. Trees have been out in the elements for years. Sometimes hundreds of years. And so, they have dealt with rain and wind and tornadoes and weather. Okay?
Wood is very resilient. When they cut those trees down in the winter prepare these hardwood floors they put a special veneer on that wood so that it would protect the wood. And so, when you start spraying chemicals and stuff on it breaks the veneer down so don’t do that. There’s a myth going around right now that you should. use rubbing alcohol on your hardwood floors. Please don’t do that.
The alcohol will dry out the wood and it will leave it a dull finish. So, you don’t want to do that it might look nice for a few days but as that veneer breaks down, then it dulls the finish of your floor. So, please don’t use that.
Use Vinegar To Clean Hardwood Floors
Now, you can use vinegar. Vinegar is a very nice household friendly non-toxic cleaner and it’s really great for cleaning up things like dog slobber. So, if you have little dogs and pets and cats. Here’s the thing we don’t wear shoes in our house to protect our floors. But we don’t have that same rule for our animals. And our animals come in and out of the house they bring with them whatever is on the bottom of their feet.
They bring those in a track those all over our floor. And as you going to a customer’s house, you’re going to see all kinds of little dog and cat footprints. And then there’s dog slobber and there’s stuff that spilled and even some water.
If you just have water from rinsing your hands and it doesn’t dry properly and it drops on your floor, you can have lots of water spots. So, what you want to do is you want to get a little mop bucket and you don’t need a lot of water like I said less is more. You want to put maybe a gallon or a gallon and a half two gallons of water in a mop bucket.
And you want to use the hottest water you can stand. And then you put about a cup of vinegar inside your mop bucket. And the cup of vinegar is going to break down all the dog slobber and the spots and all that stuff and clean all that up without damaging the wood.
And also leaving at streak-free so that it doesn’t show all the lines where you where you mopped. And if your floor is extra dirty let’s say that you have dried food or you have mashed food or you have dog slobber that just won’t come up. A couple of drops of dawn dishwashing soap is excellent. The vinegar will break down the dish soap so you don’t need to rinse it when you’re done. Just a couple of drops. And that is strong enough that it will pull up that stuff.
So, as you’re moping, what kind of mop do you need?
Well that’s an excellent question as well because over the last few years there are tons a really great mops that are on the market. So really comes down to your personal preference. You can use a string ring mop. You can use a microfiber mop or what whatever mop you want to use.
You may want to try a couple. And if you are the house cleaner and you’re going to a customer’s house if you’re just getting started, you might ask if you can use the customers mop. And you might decide within using two or three different kinds of mops that there’s one that you love.
Now for me personally I’ve loved the ring string mop. What that is, is it’s a string mop that when you dip it inside your mop bucket and you pull it out it’s got a little handle on it. You twist the handle and it rings all the water out so now you just have a mop that’s damp. Now less is more you do not want a whole lot of water on your wood. Because when the water gets on the wood at seats through the cracks and it helps the cracks, it helps the wood to warp.
And so, then what happens is you have all kinds of creaking sounds on the hardwood floor and stuff can get in there. So you don’t want a lot of water you want to keep that seal in place. So, what you want to do is you want to start at one corner of the room preferably at the top of the left corner of the room. And mop your way backwards with the grain of the wood. Now that’s not always possible. Sometimes there are things in the way and that’s it just doesn’t work out that way or there’s somebody sitting there or whatever.
It may not always happen that way but create a system for you that works. And you’ll mop with the grain of the wood. And when you are done with two or three streaks the floor should be dry. You don’t want any standing water on the floor.
Steam Mops To Clean Hardwood Floors
All right now what about steam mops to clean hardwood floors?
Because there are a lot of steam mops that have hit the market in the last few years. Now I happen to be a fan of one of them. The steam mop that’s designed for hardwood floors. Is it actually has a couple of settings. There’s a setting that’s great for ceramic tile that cleans the grout. And actually has another head on it so you pop the one head off and it’s got some little bristles that are great for grout on tile.
You put the other piece back on and there’s a pad that goes underneath it. It’s a soft pad that allows you to use steam on hardwood floors.
Now if you have dogs that come in from outside and there is lots of dog slobber or there’s spit or there’s dog urine or whatever you’re going to find from animals in people’s homes.
The steam works excellent. Because it just steams everything and it cleans it as you go. And like I say after two or three streaks of that on the floor. The floor is dry there’s no standing water whatsoever it just sucked it right up and it shined the floor as you went.
Hoover Mate steam cleaner designed for hardwood floors. It’s perfect and amazing for homes that are you know three, four, five, six thousand square feet. And it works really well and without any hand fatigue it’s going to allow you to steam those hardwood floors.
A Paper Towel To Hardwood Floors Cleaning
Anyway, It’s very easy to clean a hardwood floors but the secret to hardwood floors cleaning is to do it frequently. And so, if you are a homeowner and you have a hardwood floors area that’s used frequently like next to the kitchen sink. Nothing but a paper towel. A wet a paper towel and just wipe around, and underneath the cupboards. And around the area where you’ve been cooking will pick up a lot of the debris.
This is without even vacuuming. A wet paper towel will pick up all the debris, the dog hair, any food that you’ve dropped and it will mop your floor at the same time. You can use regular microfiber cloths and things like that for a quick clean up. Prefer the paper towel because then you can discard the one paper towel and you can do all of that with one of those half sheets of a paper towel. And then you discard it.
You’re not taking all that debris and junk that you just cleaned up and putting it in your washing machine with the rest of the stuff that you’re washing. So, for quick clean ups for hardwood floors, use paper towels. And it’s a great investment because a quick clean up.
But if you’re doing a customer’s house obviously you wouldn’t clean the floor with paper towel on your hands knees because that’s not cost effective and that just doesn’t make sense. But for quick cleanups, is perfect.