Bad Hardwood Cleaning Tips Corrected

Now that more and more homes have hardwood floors, there are more and more questions about how to care for them. With the rise in questions comes a rise in articles written about how to clean your hardwood floors.  

Bad Hardwood Cleaning Tips Corrected

There are thousands of different articles that pop up in the search engine feed about how to care for your hardwood floors and many of them say different things, but as you read a few you may come across the same advice in several articles causing you to believe that the information must be true if you have read it several times from several different sources. Though this sometimes can be the case, there are some widely shared hardwood floor care tips that just aren’t helpful.  

More: Are Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors a Good Idea?

We have compiled a few widely shared bad tips so you can take better care of your hardwood floors.  

  • Shiny Floors = Clean Floors. We all love the look of a nice shiny hardwood, and many an article out there states that if a floor is dull it means it is dirty. While this can be true sometimes, this is not true all of the time. A floor is only going to shine after a proper cleaning if the surface is smooth. Dull floors can be the result of tiny scratches and scuffs in the hardwood itself.  You may need to refinish a floor in order to see it shine again.  
  • All Wood Floors Should be Treated with Oil.-  In years past, hardwood floors used to be sealed  with wax and the wax dehydrated the wood, making it necessary to  oil the floors to replenish some of the natural moisture. Today almost every hardwood comes finished with a polyurethane sealer that traps the moisture into the wood eliminating the need to oil the floor. The polyurethane sealer does not allow the oil to soak into the wood making it slick and a safety hazard if you do oil the floor. So, if you have newer pre-finished hardwood floors, don’t oil them.  
  • Get a Better Clean by Adding Vinegar to Your Wood Floor Cleaner.- Another cleaning tip that was once true with older floors, but is no longer needed. Floor cleaner used to be lye-based and a bit harsh on the hardwood all by itself, so people would soften it a bit with vinegar to get a better clean. The reason adding vinegar helped was it lowered the pH balance of the chemical solution, making it much less harsh on the floor. Today hardwood floor cleaners are formulated with the correct pH to be safe and easy to use all on their own. The vinegar is no longer necessary, and if you leave vinegar on hardwood for too long it can ruin the finish.  
  • Only Use Water to Clean the Floor. If you need a significant cleaning, using water is not going to get the job done. For actual cleanings it is best to use a cleaner made for hardwoods. This should be done at least once a month. For quick light cleans you can do a quick water only dust mopping, but you should be very careful with the amount of water you use, as large amounts of water is enemy number one to hardwoods.  

Of course, the best thing you can do to care for your hardwood floors is to have them professionally cleaned at least once a year, and ask your professional how to best care for your floors between cleanings.  

For professional hardwood cleaning in Bothell make an appointment online or over the phone with All Kleen