There is a lot of debate on the best way to care for hardwood floors. Follow our quick and easy steps below to transform your floors from dull and grimy to gleaming and clean.
DETERMINE THE FINISH OF YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS
Before you grab a bucket of water and a mop, it’s best to find out how your hardwood floor is sealed. Below is a list of different types of sealed hardwood floors.
Surface-sealed floors: Most new wood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or poly-acrylic. Surface-sealed floors are stain- and water-damage resistant and easiest to clean: just sweep, mop, and you’re done!
Penetrating seal-treated and oil-treated floors: A penetrating seal or oil finish will soak into the wood grain and harden. This type of floor must be pampered and protected with liquid or paste wax.
Lacquered, varnished, shellacked, or untreated floors: Although technically surface finishes, lacquers, varnishes and shellacs are not as resistant to moisture, spills, and wear as the other sealants mentioned. Treat floors with these finishes (or floors with no finish) with liquid or paste wax.
Not sure what kind of finish you have? Just rub your finger across the floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish, or lacquer. Not sure if your floor is sealed? Add a drop of water to the floor. If it sits on the surface, it is a sealed floor. If it soaks right in, you will want to seal your floors to avoid damage.
DO’S AND DON’TS When Cleaning Hardwood
Don’t use oils, waxes, or furniture sprays. Oil leaves a residue, furniture spray creates a slippery surface and wax takes time to apply and makes re-coating difficult.
Don’t use straight ammonia, alkaline, acidic products, or abrasive cleaners. They’ll dull or scratch the finish.
Do use a floor-cleaning product recommended by the floor finisher. We recommend our Quick Shine® Hardwood Floor Cleaner as it is pH neutral and will not leave behind a sticky residue like many other cleaners which contain a lot of soap surfactant.
In high-traffic areas, like the dining room and kitchen, you should sweep daily if possible and mop your floors once or twice a week.
HOW TO MOP HARDWOOD FLOORS
Never flood-coat wood floors! Use a damp mop rather than a soaking wet one. With our Quick Shine® Hardwood Floor Cleaner, simply squirt the cleaner on the floor and spread it with a damp microfiber or sponge mop. You can also use our cleaner in spray mops too. We recommend our Quick Shine® Multi-Surface Spray Mop. It is important to rinse the mop pad frequently to release the dirt and soil you are picking up so you are always using a clean pad. This prevents streaking by eliminating the possibility of pushing dust and dirt around. Our cleaner is ready-to-use which means you do not have to finish with a clean water rinse. Now that is easy! But, don’t be afraid to get on your hands and knees if necessary. When a floor needs serious attention, clean it with a cloth. (It’s better than a sponge because you can “feel” the dirt as you wipe!) For downright dirty floors, try our Quick Shine® Deep Cleaner to cut through the toughest grime.
If your floors are to the point of needing to be refinished, our Quick Shine® High Traffic Hardwood Floor Luster will bring back the color and beauty to your floor. Simply squirt and spread with a damp microfiber mop for a shine that lasts. It’s like a new floor in a bottle!