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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

People nowadays are investing on hardwood floors. The downside is that they are most probably trying to figure out how to keep them clean.

Owners also try to find ways on how to properly care for hardwood floors to retain their organic beauty.

So, how do you determine if a certain method is the best way to clean your hardwood floor? What are some of the things that need to be considered when trying to establish the best way to care for your floor? Continue reading to find it out.

prepare to clean hardwood floor

Different Types of Hardwood Floor Finishing and How to Clean it

How hardwoods are supposed to be cleaned is determined not by the kind of wood the floor is made. It doesn’t matter if the floor was made from maple or bamboo as cleaning hardwood is established by knowing its surface finish.

Whether they were treated using urethanes or polyurethanes, this is an important process.  Surface finishes are usually applied to your hardwood floors immediately after they are installed.

This serves as protection and as agents to make your floors last long as well as to make them water resistant. The types of hardwood floor surface finishes as determined by the American Hardwood Information Center (AHIC) are the following:

  • Moisture cured
  • Water based
  • Acid cured
  • Oil based

Aside from the abovementioned finishes, there are likewise hardwood floors that were treated using varnish, shellac or wax. These types of surface finishes have their distinct method of cleaning. Find out the difference between the mentioned finishing and polyurethane.

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Know the Finish of Your Floor

To determine the best way to clean your hardwood floor, you have to know the types of finishing first. You can do this by following these steps as provided by the AHIC:

1. Start by gently rubbing the floor with your hand. If you feel like there are grains on its surface, it means that the floor had a “penetrating” finish.

It also tells you that it is coated with wax using a concoction of different natural oils. You can use oils like linseed and some other additives that aid to drying.

2. Find an obscured spot on the floor and apply a tiny amount of paint remover. If you find that there are some bubbles forming, it means that the floor has a surface finish such as polyurethane.

3. Also in an inconspicuous area on the floor, you may put a little amount water. If you notice that the water did not penetrate the floor, it just means that you have a perfect finish.

4. To determine if your floor was treated using wax, you just simply apply some amount of water. Make sure that white spots should appear underneath the water droplets after 10 to 15 minutes.

To eliminate these white spots, just simply coat a fine steel wool with wax and gently run it on the floor.

5. Lastly, if you think that your hardwood floor was finished using varnish or shellac, you can simply use a coin to scratch it. You will be able to see that surface will either flake or peel off if it was indeed treated using the earlier types. 

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clean hardwood floor

Guide in Cleaning Hardwood With Surface Finish

Hardwoods that were treated using urethanes or polyurethanes are the easiest to clean and maintain. The set of lists below are some of the essential guides that need to be considered when doing so:

  • To start cleaning your hardwood floors not considering their type of finish, you first need to sweep with a broom or a vacuum cleaner. As an alternative, you can use a cloth to clean. This will most likely collect dirt. After that, you can proceed to the next guide;
  • Using chemicals or agents like ammonia, products that have alkaline as its main ingredient or abrasive cleaners will most likely damage its finish; and
  • Your floor finisher usually recommends cleaning products that they think are best for your floor. It is best that you follow their instructions, though.

For levels that are treated using varnish, shellac or wax, the following is a useful guide for your hardwood floor cleaning routine:

  • When trying to eliminate excessive wax build up on your floor, you may use a stripper to remove them
  • Follow your floor manufacturer’s instruction or recommendation when selecting products from your hardware
  • Use the appropriate wax for hardwood floors
  • Using liquid wax is rather easy. However, you need to remember that it does not guarantee a hundred percent protection as it only leaves a thin coating on your floor.
  • You must remember NOT to use waxes that are made with acrylic as well as water-based waxes as these will make your floors turn white. 

Refer to this for an instructional video on how to clean hardwood floors.

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A Simple Guide for You

dog lying on hardwood floor

I hope the preceding guide helps you in determining the kind of finish ideal for your hardwood floor. We also provided you with simple tips that you can use when cleaning them.

This article will help you minimize the task of maintaining and keeping your floor spotless.

If you find that these recommendations are helpful, you can always share it with your friends. Also feel free to leave any comments and feedbacks if you think that this article was of any help to you.

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