Learn how to properly clean and maintain your hardwood floors using our proven DIY cleaning methods. If you have hardwood floors in your home, but you're not sure how to properly clean and maintain them, stick around as we show you one of the easiest, time-tested methods to achieve the best possible results.
Everyone has different hardwood floors that come in different sizes, shapes, colours and finish. Since there are so many different types of hardwood floors, there's no one right solution that works best for all types. That's why you should always consult with your manufacturer's guidelines and try a few different methods available to see which one works best for your floors.
The best way to avoid unwanted damage when you're planning on cleaning your floors with a new solution or a method you haven't tried before is to test it out on a smaller area of your floors.
If you're not sure whether you're working with finished or unfinished hardwood floors, the simplest test you can conduct is to drop a little bit of water on the floor and observe what happens to it. If the water remains, then you're dealing with finished hardwood, if it gets absorbed than that means you have unfinished hardwood floors which cannot be cleaned with water. Determining the type of hardwood you have is an important step in finding the appropriate cleaning methods that will protect and maintain the quality of the wood.
Note: use our tips as general advice but still check in with the manufacturer or installer of your hardwood floors so you can make sure your floors are protected and maintained properly.
Now that you've determined the type of hardwood you have, let's take a look at some of the tools and supplies you'll need to properly care for your floor.
Microfiber twist mop and a wringer bucket
To prepare your hardwood cleaning solution, add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and a cap of vinegar in a bucket of hot water, and you'll be all set to clean your floors.
While vinegar can be damaging to the finish and can even take it off, a capful of vinegar is enough to clean and sanitize the area without causing any damage to your floors. It disinfects the area, takes care of greasy and oily stains and doesn't leave streaks behind, leaving your floors looking clean and shiny.
Remember that water can damage sealed hardwood floors as well as unsealed ones, so always use a damp mop instead of a soaking wet one when cleaning your hardwood floors.
Now that you have your solution ready, it's time to get to work.
Let the mop head soak in the solution for a few minutes, so it absorbs the water and the product
Wring out your mop until it's almost dry
Use the S-pattern to clean your floor, starting with one corner and moving your way to the other one, then coming right back down, creating an S-pattern
As you move through each section of your floor, use your microfiber cloth to wipe down each area after you've cleaned it with your mop, to make sure no water is left behind
In addition to your regular weekly or bi-weekly mopping routine, there are a few more steps you can take to make sure your floors stay in excellent condition.
Here are a few tips from the pros to help you achieve the best results:
Sweep and vacuum twice a week
Take care of any spills as soon as they occur, so they can't damage your finish and your floors
If you're not sure what type of floors you're working with, as well as the proper cleaning solution that will work best for them, the best way to test out a cleaning solution is to try it on an inconspicuous area first
Always check your manufacturer's specifications to see what their cleaning recommendations are. Some recommend using a mop dampened with water only, so if you want to keep your warranty intact, it's always best to follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines
In high-traffic areas, try to sweep or vacuum daily and mop once a week to keep your floors in great condition
Do not let any water sit while you're mopping your floors. Do one section at a time and use a microfiber cloth to go over each section after it's been mopped
If you want to use a store-bought cleaning product instead of making it yourself, follow the manufacture's guidelines on which products are safe for your type of floor
Don't use products that have ammonia or abrasive compounds in their composition as these may ruin your floor's finish
Don't use furniture sprays as they create a very slippery surface
Use vinegar and lemon-based solutions only in small quantities, so you don't damage your floor's seal