Do you have hardwood floors that need to be cleaned? If so, you should know what steps are involved. Here is a guide on cleaning your floors.
1. Surfaced-Sealed Floors- Newer floors tend to be sealed with polyacrylic, urethane or polyurethane. Floors that have been surfaced-sealed are resistant to stain and water damage. All you have to do is take a broom to it and mop. It’s that easy.
2. Oil Treated And Penetrating Seal Treated Floors- These are very common floors. You can protect them by using specifically designed liquid. You can also use a paste wax.
3. Untreated, Lacquered, Shellacked and Varnished Floors- All of these finishes are not as resistant to moisture, as well as to spills and wear when compared to the previously discussed sealants. If your floors have these sealants, then you can treat them the same way you would a penetrating seal treated floor. You can use a paste wax or liquid.
You might not know what type of finish you have, but don’t worry. Simply rub your fingers across your floors and if no smudge appears, then the floor has been sealed. If there is a smudge, then your floor has been treated with varnish, oil finish, lacquer or penetrating seal, and it has been waxed. However, there are some do’s and don’ts you want to keep in mind, and they include:
1. Don’t use waxes or furniture sprays. Stay away from oils too. If you use such products, then your surface will become slippery and wax will make it harder to re-coat your floor.
2. Don’t use pure ammonia. Stay away from abrasive cleaners too and products that are alkaline-based. They will scratch your finish and ruin your floors.
3. Do use a good floor-cleaning product or you can choose to use just regular soap and water. If you can’t afford products, then soap and water can work great. All you have to do is mix a little bit of plain liquid soap and water and then you can mop the floors. You’ll be surprised at how well this works and what your floors will look like afterwards.
4. Don’t rely solely on vinegar or water alone. Your floors won’t become clean if you use just water and vinegar and water is not an effective mix and your floors may become duller sooner if you use vinegar and water. Soap and water is the best mix to use if you don’t have access to floor cleaning products.
Routine cleaning is another task you’ll want to perform. You should try to mop your floors weekly and sweep regularly. If areas are not that trafficked, then sweep and mop less frequently.
Just remember if you mop the floor, be careful with the amount of water you use. Simply damp your mop. Soaking it and then using your mop will just create a hazardous situation.
Prepare a cleaning solution in a bucket and then dip the mop into it. Wring it out and then mop the floors. When the water becomes too dirty, you can empty it out and then add a fresh batch of solution before continuing mopping.
Also, if you have, get on your knees and hands, which may be necessary if your floor needs a serious clean. Simply take a clot and use it on your floors. Doing this will ensure you get as much dirt as possible, especially dirt that is difficult to remove with just a mop and water.
You might need help tackling common issues that affect wood floors. This may include things such as scuff marks, which you can use baking soda and a sponge to get rid of them. Also, use a commercial cleaner to get rid of grease stains or food stains. Hairline cracks in your floor can be fixed by leaving them alone and simply using a humidifier because eventually, the cracks should close once colder weather passes and things start warming up.
If your finish is looking dull, then re-coat it, but make sure you sand the floor first. Also, make sure you use a good product to clean your floors and try to use a liquid wax that was made for wood floors. Paste wax works great too, but make sure you get a product that is highly recommended.
Liquid wax doesn’t leave a thick coat like paste wax, so keep that in mind. Also, don’t ever use water-based waxes or one-step waxes. If you do this, your floors could end up turning white and your surface may become slippery.
If your floors have been waxed, then don’t use a wet mop. Instead, sweep and vacuum on a daily basis. This is the best way to clean waxed floors.
You’ll also want to remove the old wax once in a while, but you’ll want to use a stripper to do it. Mineral spirits can work well too. Just make sure you keep the area ventilated.
Once the floor has dried, then add a little bit of wax. Use an applicator or you can use a cloth. After the wax has dried, then go ahead and add a second coating, if you wish.
You can get a buffing machine and use that to buff the floor. You can also use a cloth, but a buffing machine is easier. Don’t worry because you can rent a machine.
If you notice there are water spots on the finish, then use mineral spirits. Add the spirits to a wool pad and then rub the affected area. This should get rid of the spots.
Heel marks can go away if you use a tiny amount of wax and a wool pad. Just rub the affected area in a circular motion and this should take care of the problem.
Food stains can be removed by using a damp cloth. Dry the floor afterwards and then apply wax. Make sure you work on the outside edge and make your way towards the center.
Make sure to sweep your floors often or vacuum them. Doing this will help prevent dirt from building up. If you want to make things easier, add a floor mat to the area that is trafficked the most.
Finally, choose the right type of carpeting because you want to properly protect your floor. Simply ask one of the workers at your local carpet store, and they will recommend what you can use. Getting the right type of carpet is important, so make sure you ask a professional and they will tell you what kind of carpet you should get. The last thing you want is to get the wrong type of carpet and for its dye to stain your floor because if this happens, then getting rid of the stain may be nearly impossible, and don’t just buy the cheapest carpet you come across because you may regret it in the future.