Hardwood floors are beautiful and easy to clean; however, they can be damaged during the cleaning process. Typically, this damage occurs from using too much water. Therefore, if you follow a few simple steps, you should be able to keep your floor clean and in good condition.
1 – Sweep or Vacuum
The first step in the process to clean your floor is to sweep or vacuum the floor. You’ll want to clear away as much loose dust and dirt as you can. If you decide to vacuum, you need to make sure that your vacuum has a setting for bare floors. Typically, this will be a low setting in which the bristles can actually touch the floor. Clean up everything that you can reach with the vacuum or with the broom. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for step two.
2 – Mop Your Floor
For this step, you need to use a hardwood floor cleaner. These are specially formulated to clean dirt, grease, and oil without doing damage to your floor’s finish. Many people will recommend a mixture of vinegar and water to clean the floor. While this does work, it doesn’t work as well as a true cleaner. That’s because vinegar as acidic, and dirt is often acidic. They will not react in a way to get them clean.
Mix the cleaning solution with warm water according to the directions on the cleaner. Wet the mop and then ring it out until it’s only damp. Mop the floor in a systematic approach to ensure that you get all of it. However, make sure that you never get the floor overly wet.
As you mop, make sure that you clean the mop as it gets dirty. Even small amounts of dirt can scratch the floor as you mop around. Finally, if your floor is very dirty, you might need to change the mop water before the process is complete.
3 – Rinse the Floor
After you’ve mopped the entire area, you want to make sure you use clear warm water to go over the floor one last time. As with the previous mopping, make sure to ring out the mop so it’s only damp.
4 – Dry the Floor
After all of this, you need to dry the hardwood floor in some manner. If you made sure to only use a damp mop, you can likely just allow it to air dry. You can speed up the drying by drying it with a towel or by turning on fans.