When you’re looking to keep your hardwood floors clean it might seem reasonable to jump right into researching which products to use. What is the best hardwood floor cleaner? Do I need to buy a special wood floor mop, or will any mop do the trick?
Considering the best hardwood cleaning products is definitely an important factor when it comes to caring for and maintaining your floors. However, the first thing you need to do is decide on a consistent cleaning schedule and a plan of action for daily, weekly and monthly cleanings.
Protect Your Investment
Imagine how you felt at the exact moment your hardwood flooring project was complete. The last coat of finish has dried and cured. You’ve put the finishing touches on moving and perfectly arranging all your items in the room. Now you step back and take it all in. With a feeling of pride you welcome the warming effect that this beautiful hardwood floor has on your room.
Maybe you just built a brand new home or completed a new hardwood floor installation during a remodeling project. Or maybe you just went through a complete sand and refinish to bring your floors back to life. Whatever the case may be, you undoubtedly put a lot of time, planning and resources into your hardwood floor project. You may have even invested in top of the line floor care equipment along with the best hardwood floor cleaner money can buy.
It is only natural that you want to keep your floors looking like new for years to come. So what is the best plan of action when it comes to keeping your floors clean? Before you spend too much time wondering which hardwood floor cleaner to use, you must first consider what type of cleaning schedule to implement.
Sticking to a regular cleaning schedule is by far the best way to keeping your floors in peak condition. Take the time to plan a total floor care routine for daily, weekly and monthly cleaning. That may sound like a lot, but with a little clever planning it doesn’t have to be labor intensive or time consuming.
Sweeping and dusting your floors is the first line of defense against scratches and abrasions and should be done daily. It does not take long for dust and debris to build up on your floor and as it continues to accumulate, your risk for damaging the finish goes up.
You can use a regular broom and dustpan for larger messes, but it is best to use a microfiber dust mop to remove dust and other microparticles from the floor. Most microfiber pads are statically charged to attract dust and dirt and trap it in the pad. A quality dust mop will make this daily chore a quick and easy step to keeping your floors in great condition.
Making the commitment to daily sweeping and dusting is important, but you’ll want to schedule weekly cleanings that go a bit deeper. For weekly cleanings it is best to vacuum and mop your floors.
Vacuum your floors first to remove any dirt and debris that may scratch the floor during mopping. Use a vacuum cleaner designed for hard floor surfaces to get rid of dirt build up in the corners of the room as well as the tiny spaces in between the floorboards. Exercise caution while vacuuming to prevent scratches from any wheels or brushes that your vacuum may be equipped with.
Once you have vacuumed the floor it is time for mopping. However, traditional mopping exposes your floor to high amounts of water and moisture that can cause damage over time (water and hardwood don’t mix). For this reason, using a high quality hardwood floor cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors is your best option. Use a spray bottle to mist the cleaner onto the floor, then use a mop with a microfiber pad to gently clean the floor.
Your daily and weekly cleaning routines will do wonders to keep your floors looking like new, but every month or two the finish on your floor could use some extra attention. Even if you’re using the best hardwood floor cleaner available, it is inevitable that the floors finish will get a few smaller scratches and blemishes along the way. Use a wood floor polish to remedy this problem. Polishes work by filling in the tiny scratches and abrasions that accumulate on your floor, restoring a smooth shine to the floor’s finish.
Developing a regular cleaning schedule is the best way to keep your floors in tip-top shape and protect your investment over the years. With proper and consistent cleaning you will cut back on the need for complete sanding and refinishing work, although you should consider doing this every 3 to 5 years. Far more important than which products to use, an effective cleaning routine doesn’t have to be hard or even time consuming, and you will reap the benefits of the long-lasting beauty of your hardwood floors.