Hardwood Floor Cleaning

This is a subject that many people feel very strongly about and have many differing opinions.  Fair enough.  So let’s start with the things that most people agree upon.

First off, before you even attempt to wash or damp mop your hardwood, it’s important to get the loose dirt off of them.  You can do this by either sweeping them (a soft bristled broom with “exploded” tips is preferred over a traditional corn one) and then vacuuming.  Do not use your vacs beater bar, which can scuff the surface.  Both of these steps will remove loose dirt, particularly from the cracks between the boards.

One other note is to ALWAYS sweep or mop in the direction of the wood grain.  Why?  Because if you were to scratch the wood (even just a tiny scratch) you will not notice it as much.  If you clean across the grain, any scratch will be much more evident.

Another thing that most people agree upon is to use as little water as possible when mopping.  Wring out any mop so that it is barely wet.  Even though poly-coated hardwood floors seem as if they are impervious to water, there will always be a few cracks in the surface, and around the edges of board and you don’t want water getting into the wood.

OK, that’s the easy stuff.  Where this gets more confusing is what products to use to clean with.

Vinegar has long been considered a low-cost, environmentally green way to clean hardwood — and it is.  However, because vinegar is acidic, you want to mix is with a lot of water.  If you use too much, it can begin to subtlety etch the surface of the poly and eventually dull the finish.  Clear, white vinegar in a gallon jug can last you a long time.  One downside is the smell, which can linger for a while — and which some people simply don’t like.

A very mild product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap has long been a favorite of many people, but professional flooring experts often vote against it, due to the film and residue it can leave behind.  It is plant-based, but it does have its downsides.

To our way of thinking, Bona Wood Floor Cleaner or Polycare are the best way to go.  They are green products and biodegradable.  They clean very well and leave your floors shiny with no film left behind.  If there is a downside, it’s the cost — but using a more costly product that will clean and protect your precious hardwood is a no brainer to us!  Whatever the cost, it’s still cheaper than having your floors buffed out and refinished!

Final note.  There are many forms of laminate and manufactured flooring available today.  Before you use ANY cleaning product, make sure you check with the manufacturer or flooring installer first!

The Clean Hudson Team