How to clean hardwood floors without damaging them | The Sun

KNOWING how to clean hardwood floors correctly is a must if you have this flooring option in your home.

Floors take a lot of wear, including daily traffic, spills scuffs and the odd mishap. But don't panic, cleaning your flooring can be a quick and easy task – and here's exactly how.

How to clean hardwood floors

Water is the worst enemy of hardwood flooring and if water penetrates your floor, it can cause it to buckle, split, warp – and potentially damage your wood flooring.

So it's important to keep in mind – you would want to prevent water from sipping in to your hardwood floors, as much as possible.

Step One – Find out what type of flooring you have

The main thing to determine before you start cleaning is your type of flooring – solid hardwood flooring, engineered hardwood flooring, or laminate wood-look flooring.

They all look similar but care for laminate differs from solid or engineered hardwood.

Solid and engineered hardwood flooring can receive the same cleaning regimen but never use hardwood floor cleaners on laminate – as the oil and waxes in the ingredients can dull the surface.

So, it's important to find out what flooring you have before you begin.

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Step two – Gather your cleaning tools

To achieve a professional finish on your flooring, you need to make sure you have all the right cleaning tools and materials to hand.

You will need a broom, a dust mop or a vacuum cleaner – and a microfibre mop.

You will also need a commercial wood cleaner – or if you prefer to use a homemade cleaning solution, you will need water, distilled white vinegar or cleaning vinegar.

Step three – Sweep or Vacuum

This quick and easy task should become part of your daily routine if you want to keep your flooring looking sparkly clean.

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The best choice is to use a microfibre dust mop – the fibres in the mop attract and trap the dirt and you can toss the mop head in the washing machine, so you have a clean mop each time.

All you have to do is sweep or vacuum the entirety of your flooring – making sure to remove dirt, grit and crumbs.

Step four- Mop your flooring

If you're using a homemade cleaning solution, you will need to take a large bucket and combine one gallon go water with one distilled cup of white vinegar or half a cup of cleaning vinegar.

Next, dip a clean microfibre mop into the solution of your choice and wring the mop until it is just damp and not dripping. 

Start at the far corner and work your way toward the door until you have cleaned the entire room – then rinse the mop.

Step five – Let your flooring dry

Now you can sit back in relax – just make sure you find a spot in a different room.

This is because you need to allow the floor to air-dry before walking on it.

How to remove stains from hardwood floors

If you have children or pets, the odds are there’s at least one stain on your hardwood floor. 

But don't worry – there's a way you can remove those unwanted stains and regain your hardwood floor’s former beauty.

Step one – Gather your cleaning supplies

To remove stains from your hardwood flooring, you may need a number of different products to hand.

These include, baking soda, washing up liquid, floor oil, white vinegar and steel wool.

Step two – Identify the type of stain and clean

Not every stain will require the same method of cleaning.

So, it's important to identify what type of stain you're trying to remove first.

For general scratches and scuff marks – you will need to use baking soda.

All you will need to do is putone tsp of bicarbonate of soda on a damp sponge and rub over marks.

If you're removing an oily stain – rub the area with a soft cloth and a little bit of washing-up liquid to break down the grease.

Then rinse with clean, warm water and repeat until the stain has gone.

If you notice a dark spot on your flooring, such as water marks or stains from pet urine – the take a fine grade steel wool.

Then take a soft cloth and dip it in floor oil – this will provide you with the perfect cleaning method to polish where the stain once was.

A top tip is to chose an oil colour that will match the colour of your flooring.

If the area still remains dark after those steps – apply 1 tbsp of vinegar and let it soak into the wood for approximately one hour.

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Then rinse with a damp cloth and once again buff with floor oil.

For those extra stubborn stains that don't respond to treatment – lightly sand the floor with fine paper, clean with fine grade steel wool and white spirit, then buff up with the oil that matches your floor’s natural colour.

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