There are a million different tips on the internet about deep cleaning hardwood floors: use ammonia and water, don’t clean with ammonia cleaner, combine vinegar and water, only use water. Really, the basic steps of deep cleaning hardwood floors is pretty uniform:
- Sweep and vacuum wood floor.
- Mop wood floors (don’t leave excess water on the floor).
- Rinse floor if recommended on cleaning product.
- Make sure wood floor dries.
The basics steps for deep cleaning your wood floors sounds simple, but as you can tell from those websites, advice is all over the board (and not always for the best). That’s why it’s best to ask the experts (us, not the internet chat rooms) for tips that’ll get your wood floors clean and keep them looking as good as the day they were installed.
Sweep and vacuum thoroughly
The first step in cleaning your wood floors is a thorough sweep to get rid of all the dirt and grime. Back up your sweep with a vacuum (or a vacuum cleaner attachment) to pick up any small stones, gravel, or debris so your floor is completely clear for your deep cleaning.
Only use hardwood cleaners
As tempting as it may be to buy a simple household cleaning product like ammonia or vinegar at the grocery store and dilute it in water, think twice. Vinegar can damage the finish on your floors, leaving your floor looking dull. Instead, ask the experts (who actually install and deal with wood floors regularly) for recommendations for hardwood cleaners that get your floor clean and won’t void the floor warranty. Once you have your cleaner, follow the directions and start to mop your floors.
Thoroughly wring out the mop
This is very IMPORTANT: don’t leave puddles as you mop. Wring as much water out of the mop as possible, and apply it to your floor. If your floor is incredibly dirty, such as a floor that hasn’t been cleaned in awhile or in a home that was previously vacant, you may need to get on your hands and knees with a soft cloth (or hire someone who can deep clean your floor).
Make sure your floor dry.
If the weather is very humid (like during one of our hot summer days), use fans to dry your floors out. Water is a wood floor’s worst enemy, and can cause warping, buckling, and staining that can permanently damage your floor.
Ask for help when removing marks on the floor
Before you tackle those scuff marks and stains, ask your local flooring experts for tips on removing marks and stains so you can avoid scratching or damaging your wood floor. A little bit of research now can benefit you in the long run, especially when you’re enjoying your beautiful wood floor.