Hardwood floors are beautiful. They make a statement and are particularly easy to clean and maintain, compared to other floor types. Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors regularly can ensure they last longer. Here are the steps for how to do just that:
Cleaning Hardwood Floors
- Give your floor a thorough sweep with a soft broom with fine bristles to get the small detritus and dust out of the way. You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
- Use a very dry damp mop when cleaning your hardwood floors. You can use a mixture of half a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. If you’re worried about leaving a smell, don’t worry: vinegar will not leave any odor after it has dried. You can also use lemon oil for stains and more shine.
- Use only a minimal amount of water, and make sure to dry the floor up quickly, especially with the older type of hardwood floors. The older type of hardwood floors don’t have the polyurethane seal that keeps out wood-damaging water.
- Use a floor polisher for that extra shine. You should also wax regularly to make sure that the hardwood floors are always sealed. Mop up spills immediately to prevent stains or damage to the hardwood floors.
Removing Stains and Spills
There are different methods for you to remove different kinds of stains. Since you are dealing with hardwood, it’s best that you use cleaning agents that will not cause too much damage with the hardwood material.
- For blood, you can simply use cold water, and for tougher-to-remove blood stains, you can use a bit of ammonia in the water.
- Lipstick stains can be removed with a mixture of detergent and warm water, using light pressure with a scouring pad.
- Liquor or alcohol stains can be treated with a cloth dampened with cold water with detergent. You can also alternate the water with another cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.
- To remove grease, you must first cause it to congeal by using a disposable cold press or a bag of frozen vegetables, like peas. Scrape it off with a dull knife or a bread knife. If there is any residue left, put a rag on top of the grease stain and iron it carefully for the cloth to absorb the grease fully.
- For ink, warm water and detergent will usually do the trick. If not, commercial ink removers are available in most home supplies shops.
- Dye can be removed with a solution of 1:3 bleach and water. Do not soak the area.
- Crayon marks can be removed using mineral spirits. If this does not work, try using toothpaste and rubbing against the marks using a dry rag.
- Remove fruit stains with a mixture of warm water and detergent. You can also use a solution of water and oxalic acid to rub against the stain.
- Scuff marks can be removed by a pencil eraser. For stubborn scuff stains, use a fine steel wool with floor liquid wax. Rub gently until the stains are removed.
- To treat oil spills on your floor, immediately try to soak up the spill using newspapers or paper towels. You should then cover the spill area with a cloth saturated with a dry cleaning fluid for around five minutes. Wipe dry and clean the rest up with detergent.
- Shoe polish spills can be removed by rubbing a fine steel wool gently against the spill until it is completely removed.
- If a tar spill is your problem, you should first apply a disposable cold compress or a bag of frozen vegetables to the spill, to make it solid and brittle. Gently scrape it off with a plastic spatula. For the remaining stain, use a detergent.
- To remove pet urine, soak up the spill using newspapers and towels. Immediately rub the area with a hot damp cloth and scouring powder. Use a 10:1 solution of bleach and water for stubborn stains, and since you are using bleach, make sure that you rinse well with clean water, as bleach can discolor your wood, especially if it seeps through the hardwood’s finish. You can also use vinegar if you do not wish to use bleach.
For any kind of spill and stain, you must make sure that you thoroughly rinse and dry the area. Make sure the area is completely dried and not left to air-dry. If the process of cleaning has stripped off the hardwood’s finish, recoat with the finish or wax.