You popped down to your hardwood flooring supplier, bought gorgeous wide oak flooring for your home, it looked fabulous, but now you need to clean it. What's the best way to clean your floor without damaging it?
Actually, cleaning oak flooring is easy and the good news is that it won't need much maintenance over the years. The ease of maintenance is actually a good reason for having a wooden floor. It will however need to be cared for or you may do irrreparable damage.
You can get away with quick, ongoing cleaning and regular bigger cleaning once a month.
Ideally you should dust the floors once a week. This can be done with a duster, vacuum cleaner, soft broom or mop. Don't use anything that can cause scratches or you will damage your floor, and this includes the beater bars of your vacuum cleaner. The soft brush attachment should be OK and will allow you to get into the less easy to reach places.
When doing the dusting, make sure you get out all the dust, sand and grit from uderneath rugs because it can collect there.
For a more in depth clean of the floor, once you have dusted (which removes abrasive grit), use a damp cloth (i.e. slightly damp) to wipe over the floor twice. Do not use a fully wet cloth because the water will damage the wood, especially if the wood is unprotected.
You don't need to use any special products as hot water with a dash of vinegar will do well. Cleaners can be bought but they must be suitable for wood and must be p-H neutral. (harsh detergents can dry and damage the wood). Once the floor has been wiped, you can bring up a shine by buffing it with a soft, dry cloth.
Whether you floor is due a clean or not, any spills of liquids on the floor will need to be wiped up immediately. For this you will need a soft, dry cloth and you will need to absorb as much liquid as possible as soon as you can. Any heavy dirt should also be treated immediately to keep you floor looking fantastic.
Sometimes, there are things on the floor that cleaning will not sort out. If the wood has been damaged by stilettos or abrasive cleaners, it will never be the same again.
You can help protect your hardwood flooring from getting scratches in the first place by putting felt protectors underneath your furniture and by avoiding wearing high heels on it.
Additionally, if the humidity of your home is outside of 30-50%, you will probably do well to purchase a humidifier or de-humidifier to stop the wood getting too dry or moist.