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The Part of Forest is in Your House. Hardwood Floors and their Cleaning

Photo: © apops - Fotolia.com

Photo: © apops - Fotolia.com

Contents:

  1. General Tips
  2. How to Clean Hardwood Floors
  3. The Means to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood is an awesome material that gives your interior natural and attractive look. However, if you choose a beautiful hardwood floor for your home then be ready to care for it properly. If you ignore service and cleaning rules then it will soon lose its attractiveness, get dried, cracked, and scratched.

If you need to clean laminate floors, follow tips from our laminate cleaning guide.

General Tips

In order to care for your floors right, study the general rules of care you.

  1. You should protect the floor from scratches. If there is a dog in the house, then after each walking out, you should wash its feet. Moreover, do not forget to cut the claws to avoid damage to the hardwood surface.
  2. Use felt caps for furniture legs, especially those that you often move around the room.
  3. Furniture on casters adversely affects hardwood floors, as well as any other. Use plastic mats. They save the floor from scratches and do not spoil the view because they are transparent.
  4. Use different means of care: polishes, varnishes, anti-slip agents. With their help, the floor will be clean, shiny, and get a protective film, which serves as a barrier against scratches and other defects.
  5. As for shoes, you should try to wear soft slippers. It is strictly forbidden to wear street shoes, especially high heels. As a result, chips, dents, and cracks can appear on your hardwood floor.
  6. Do not wash hardwood without lacquered coating more than twice a year.
  7. The temperature indoors should not be more 25 degrees above Celsius. In addition, keep a certain level of humidity to the floors do not get swollen and dried.
  8. If there are scratches, use a recovery paste for wood materials.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

  1. If you apply the lacquer, then the first wet cleaning can be carried out not earlier than two weeks after the varnish is strong enough and tightens all cracks between the blocks.
  2. Never use hot water and caustic cleaning agents!
  3. The cloth should be made of soft fabric, felt or microfiber.
  4. Thoroughly squeeze the cloth as the humidity has a detrimental effect on the materials from natural wood. After wiping the floor, let it dry for a couple of minutes. If there is too much water, immediately wipe the floor dry.
  5. Try not to use usual washing vacuum cleaner for hardwood, it is suitable only for dry cleaning. Recently, the manufacturers have started producing special washing vacuum cleaners for wood flooring. They are much better.
  6. The mop should be water-absorbing to the excess amount of water does not get on the blocks. There are mops with felt base and edges that are trimmed with several layers of absorbent material. The mops for hardwood floors usually have an additional feature of mechanical pressing.
  7. Don't forget to clean your carpets :) 
Before you start cleaning, it is desirable to inspect the flooring for cracks or deep scratches. If they are, you should eliminate the defects because the process of decay begins, i.e., the floor will be worn out.

The slots should be cleaned with thin wire, and then repaired with putty of wood glue, birch or oak sawdust. Scratches are the most common injuries that need a proper care.

  1. Choose a special wax-based pencil, suitable in color to your hardwood. Melt it and apply the softened wax to the scratches. The next step is leveling the surface and removing all wax excess with a rubber spatula. Then the surface is polished with a soft cloth.
  2. Another way is to use a young walnut (suitable only for shallow scratches). Take the core and rub the scratch. The wood will darken, and the scratch will become less noticeable.

The above methods are suitable for removing shallow scratches. What to do with the other? You can use varnish. First, you should thoroughly clean the surface, and then apply the varnish (according to the manufacturer's instructions). In addition, deep scratches can be repaired with special fillings that match the color of the floor. Apply it with a rubber spatula, and then remove the excess. After drying, polish the surface with sandpaper, remove dust, and apply a coat of varnish or wax.

The Means to Clean Hardwood Floors

Gentle cleansers in the form of concentrates or aerosols are best suited for cleaning hardwood. They do not contain alkali, they are neutral to varnish, do not leave stains after cleaning.

Frequent washing is highly undesirable. If possible, confine to a vacuum cleaner. If you still want to wipe the floor with no stubborn dirt, then just use a mop and a well-wrung cotton cloth.

Hardwood floors do not like water at all. Lots of water is the death of the hardwood! However, there is a way to protect your floors – use special water-resistant polishes.

However, this does not mean that after its application, you can pour any water onto the floor. In fact, the polish forms a thin protective film, saving wood from a little amount of water. Polish is also useful when there are poorly sealed joints between the blocks. For instance, if a child accidentally spilled some juice, there is no reason to worry as the juice stays on the surface – the polish will not let it go further.

It is better to use a cloth moistened with cold water and a little glycerol in the following proportions: a tablespoon of glycerol per 200 ml of water. As for the hot water, experts do not recommend using it.

How to get rid of spots

If there are still some stains on the floor that you cannot wash off with a damp cloth, then you should apply special means for cleaning hardwood floors. However, you can remove the stains with homemade detergents. You just need to know which means you should use for every kind of dirt.

Homemade cleaners for hardwood floors

Stains How to remove
Shoe stains Use nylon fabric. You just need to rub the floor with it.
Color pencil For cleaning these stains use white spirit. Moisten a soft cloth and wipe the traces left by a pencil.
Paint or chewing gum To get rid of this kind of stains use only special means, which are sold in any store for household chemicals. Use them strictly following the instructions. Otherwise, you can damage the floor.
Blood To remove fresh blood stains, simply blot it with a cloth soaked in cold water. If it has dried, then add a little ammonia and moisten the cloth with the solution. You should rub very gently, without effort.
Wax First you need to freeze the wax stain using ice. Then take a plastic putty knife and gently clean the stain off. Put a piece of soft cloth on the remaining particles and iron.
Nail polish Regardless of the freshness of the stains, you will need acetone. However, it should not be used in its pure form, it is better to make a solution with water.

After cleaning the floor with any of these detergents, wipe the floor with a damp cloth.

Protect your floors: do not walk wearing street shoes on (especially high heels), avoid contact with dirt and sand, and follow the basic rules of care. Then your floors will please you for a long time.

Author: Anna Wallace