Easy Hardwood Floor Cleaning Tips

Easy Hardwood Floor Cleaning Tips

Maintaining a hardwood floor in prime condition doesn't take much skill or effort, but it requires consistency and good care on a daily basis. Especially for rooms that experience heavy traffic or are exposed to additional "treatment" from kids and pets, it's essential that you keep an eye for suspicious stains, marks and spilled or sticky substances.

Since floor are generally separated into wax finished and surface finished, the exact hardwood floor cleaning tips often differ depending on what finish you're dealing with. Apart from the regular dust-mopping, sweeping and vacuuming with an appropriate extension, you need to know how to take care of "accidents" and minor damage that the floor would inevitably experience sooner or later.

Starting with the regular cleaning routine itself, never use water to clean the surface. Unless the floor manufacturer (if you have a prefinished floor) or the floor finish manufacturer (for floors finished on site) allows the use of damp mops, you're only going to cause a lot of grief to the protective coating and in no time, to the wood underneath it. Once done, the floor would experience many negative side effects such as buckling and crowning, as well as the surface losing its color and shine. On a side note, don't use domestic dust and surface cleaners, but rather what is recommended by the manufacturer of your floor. If the latter is unknown, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner that's designed for the type of floor finish you have.

When it comes to dealing with stains, like from a pet or ink, the sooner you react the better. You would almost always have to use a very fine or fine steel wool to take off the finish away (wax or polyurethane) before you can reach the contamination. Use a recommended wood floor cleaner and a bit of mineral spirits to remove the stain, wait until the area dries up, then rewax and buff, or refinish. Remember to never use wax on a surface finish. Sometimes if you spot the problem too late and it goes too deep, replacing the boards might be your best option.

To deal with minor scratches, just rewax if it's a wax finish floor and buff. For surface finishes, use a touch-up kit made for surface finished floors. You can find the latter in most specialized shops. Food stains and chunks need to be blotted lightly with a damp but well wrung out cloth, then scrapped off carefully without damaging the surface. Plastic tools do a better job in this case.

Certain oils and grease can be very dangerous to a floor, so make sure you take care of them immediately. For wax finished floors, soak up the substance thoroughly, then blot the spot with a clean cloth and follow up with a dry cloth to remove the residue. Repeat one or more times if necessary. Use mineral spirits and trisodium phosphate (if you have) on a soft cloth to rub the area gently until the problem disappears.

Lastly, mildew and mold are constant enemy of houses with higher humidity levels or leakages. To take care of these on a hardwood floor with both wax and surface finishes just use an approved wood floor cleaner. Additionally for wax finishes, you may have to rub the spot with a finer steel wool, then rewax and rebuff. Burns and marks are the least you'd want to see on your floor, so if that happens consider replacing the strips or planks if it goes too deep. Otherwise you can try to resand and refinish.

 

If you would like to learn more about floors in general, flooring types, floor installation and floor maintenance tips, visit http://AllAboutFloors.co.cc where you can read about flooring comparison, dealing with hardwood floor contractors, installing hardwood floor over vinyl, cheap bamboo flooring, resanding and refinishing hardwood floors, engineered bamboo flooring characteristics, and more.

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How to Remove Stains From Your Hardwood Floor

How to Remove Stains From Your Hardwood Floor

The most common and, perhaps, annoying damage to your precious hardwood floor are stains. Be they ink stains, water stains, or whatever, the fact that that particular stain was caused by someone's negligence and not because of normal, time-driven wear makes us feel a little cross. This is because stains are very evident and, for serious cases, may force us to replace the entire wood board altogether.

But when you see a stain on your hardwood flooring, you shouldn't panic just yet. It could be a damage that can be addressed by minor repair methods and without having to call in and pay for professional help. There are certain hardwood floor stains that you can repair yourself.

For instance, if there is a huge water mark on your floor, you might be tempted to replace the entire plank to get rid of it. This is not always the remedy. You should first try if it's a problem that can be remedied by sanding and refinishing the affected spot.

Taking care of a small spot yourself will not be a nuisance, compared to changing the entire surface. However, if the stain is really not manageable, you may still attempt at doing the replacement job yourself.

The first thing you should do to get rid of stain is to come up with an oxalic acid crystal solution, which will be dabbed onto the stained area. Oxalic acid acts as a bleaching agent and can get rid of minor stains. If the stain is not bleached out the first time, you can repeat the procedure for several times more until the stain is gone. Make sure you wear protective gloves, though, as the oxalic acid might be too harsh for your skin.

After you apply oxalic acid, you should return your floor to its usual acidity rinsing it with vinegar. The one you find in your kitchen will do. Of course, you will need to wipe the area dry of excess moisture and allow it completely dry first before you leave it alone. The result should be bleached but stain-less finish.

Finally, choose an oil-based stain you can apply to the bleached surface to get the original look of your hardwood floor. You may do a number of applications before you get your desired shade. However, before you decide on which stain shade to buy, make sure first that it is compatible with the rest of the floor's color and the kind of wood your floor is made of.

 

Visit the House Cleaning Tips website to learn about cleaning brass and cleaning aluminum.

 

This video is of an installation and job site sand, stain and finish of a 5/8" unfinished engineered hardwood floor. This floor is a select Red Oak with Merlot stain. The floor was installed in an old car port that has been remodeled into a family room. We are using a buffer to apply the stain in this case. Find More Hardwood Floor Stain Articles

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