Dirty floors are unattractive and can damage wood, requiring costly repairs or replacement. Regularly cleaning hardwoods with natural products will prevent dirt buildup and keep the floor looking good longer.
Depending on your household, damp mop your hardwoods weekly or every other week. Use a microfiber padded mop or a cloth wet with water to clean the surface.
Sweep and Vacuum
If your floors have a surface finish, sweep and vacuum them regularly to remove dust, dirt, and debris that can scratch the surfaces. You can also use a disposable electrostatic mop or a broom with a soft-bristle attachment to avoid scratching the hardwoods. Vacuuming is a must, as it will remove most of the loose gunk that builds up on wood flooring. Vacuuming daily or weekly will also prevent dirt and grime from being ground into the floor by furniture, shoes, or kids’ toys.
Older wood floors or those that have been improperly installed may have cracks between the boards. These can trap dirt and dust and make it difficult to remove it. Using a broom, a vacuum cleaner with a floor brush, or a disposable mop that is soaked in a solution made from water and vinegar will clear away this trapped dirt.
Sweeping and vacuuming are a great start, but regular deep cleaning will keep your old wood floors looking new for years to come. Damp mopping is recommended once a week or once a month, depending on how much traffic your floors get and whether you have children and pets. It’s best to damp mop in small sections so that you don’t over-dampen the floors.
Once the floors are dry, reapply a polyurethane finish to restore the shine. You can rent a buffer and attach a light screen to it that works like sandpaper and prepare the old surface for a new polyurethane coating. To determine if your floor’s finish is water-based or oil-based, take a cotton ball and apply rubbing alcohol to it in an inconspicuous area. If the surface becomes lighter in color, it is water-based; if it darkens, it’s oil-based.
In some cases, a badly scratched or dull floor will need to be screen-sanded and refinished by a professional. If you have old wood floors in dire need of recoating, consider getting a buffing machine and changing the buffer pads to a sanding screen rather than a pad. This will allow you to use a 150-grit screen to prepare the old surface for a new coat of polyurethane.
If your wood floors have become particularly dirty and are suffering from tough stains, you can make your own homemade cleaning solution using one of the most common household staples: vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that will safely and effectively remove most tough stains from hardwood floors without damaging the wood or leaving any residue behind.
To clean wood floors using a vinegar-and-water solution, first vacuum the floor to remove any dirt and dust particles that may scratch the surface. It’s also a good idea to test your cleaning solution on a small area of the floor beforehand to ensure it won’t damage your wood flooring. Once you’ve vacuumed the floor, pour the solution into a bucket, and mop it over the entire surface of your wood floors, being careful to remove any excess water as you go.
You can use a scrub brush to gently rub away stubborn stains on those hard-to-clean areas of your wood floors. A stiff, bristled toothbrush can also be used to remove any dirt or grime stuck in cracks and crevices of your wood floors. Afterward, rinse the floor with a mop and damp cloth, ensuring no excess water is left on the surface of your wood floors.
Another alternative to vinegar is to use a plant-based wood floor cleaner like Method. This cleaner is eco-friendly, safe for the environment, and more cost-effective than store-bought wood floor cleaners. You can find this type of cleaning product in a variety of scents, including lavender, rose, and cedarwood, so you’re sure to find the perfect fragrance for your home.
To keep your wood floors looking clean and fresh, it’s a good idea to put down an indoor/outdoor rug or large doormat at every entryway of your home. This will help to trap dirt and debris so it doesn’t get tracked into your home and re-smudged onto your floors. For those with pets, you can also use a pet deodorizer to reduce the smell of urine and feces on your hardwood floors.
You might be surprised to learn that hydrogen peroxide is a very effective cleaner for hardwood floors. This strong cleaner is able to remove dark marks and stains from your floor without damaging the wood. It is a great alternative to harsh chemicals like ammonia, furniture spray, or wax that can damage your floors.
To clean your floors with this cleaner, mix a small amount of peroxide into water in a spray bottle and apply it to your floor. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then use a microfiber cleaning cloth to wipe away the excess. The cleaner should leave your floors looking clean and new. If you have stubborn stains, scrub harder with the cloth.
Greasy stains are difficult to remove from hardwood floors. Soaking a cloth in hydrogen peroxide and applying it to the stain can help lighten the mark and lift the greasy texture from the wood. This method will require some elbow grease, but it is worth it to save the expense of replacing your hardwood floors.
Paint splatters are another common issue on hardwood floors. These can be a challenge to remove, but most of them can be removed with a little effort. Mix a small amount of dishwashing liquid with water and apply it to the affected area of your floor. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rub the stain with a microfiber cloth. This will remove most of the paint splatter and make your floors look new again.
Regularly cleaning your old hardwood floors with the methods described here will extend their life and keep them beautiful for years to come. This will also prevent the need for costly repairs or refinishing in the future. If you have any questions or concerns about cleaning your hardwood floors, please contact a professional flooring company. They will be able to recommend the best cleaners and methods for your specific floors. Keeping your floors clean is the best way to avoid serious and expensive damage that can occur over time. Keeping your floors clean will also prevent mold and mildew growth that could cause further damage to the wood.
Even the best-maintained hardwood floors can start to look dull after years of use. This is especially true of old floors that are still coated in a thick layer of polyurethane, which can start to crack and discolor. Luckily, there are several simple ways to clean dirty old hardwood floors, most of which involve the use of a standard household dishwashing liquid. For the best results, sweep and vacuum first to remove as much dirt as possible before mopping.
During the cleaning process, it is important to work in small sections and dry each area before moving on to another section. This helps minimize the risk of water damage and makes it easier to spot areas with more attention. In addition, if you are dealing with tough stains, it is always best to scrub them up rather than just wash over them.
It is also a good idea to regularly clear away clutter and debris from wood floors, as this will help them look cleaner and newer for longer. In addition, it is a good idea to place area rugs or runners at all entrance doors to trap dirt and grit that might scratch the finish on the hardwood floor. It is also a good idea to use a doormat at all entrances to prevent dirt and grime from being tracked onto the hardwood floors in the first place.
If your wood floors are looking duller than usual, it is a good idea to do a deep clean every 2-3 months. You should use a wood floor cleaning product diluted according to label instructions and a wood floor mop. This will help to remove any dirt, grit, and sticky residue that isn’t removed by regular vacuuming or damp mopping. Although buying a special hardwood floor cleaner may be tempting, you can save money by making your own cleaning solution with a standard household dishwashing liquid. A ratio of 1 cup vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water is generally recommended, but you should always test the solution in an inconspicuous area before using it to avoid damaging your floors.