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Best Way To Clean Old Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors can last for years if you take care of them properly. Fortunately, it’s relatively simple. You can keep your beautiful wood floor looking great with very little effort.
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Vacuum: The fastest way to get dust bunnies into a nice pile and off the floor is to use a vacuum. We recommend the O-Cedar Dual Action Flip Mop.
Broom and dustpan or vacuum cleaner: Use one of them to sweep the dust from the floor into the dustbin. A fine broom with angled bristles can get into corners and under heavy furniture better than a mop. Alternatively, a good vacuum installed on a bare floor can do a similar job.
Mop and bucket: When caring for hardwood floors, it’s important not to leave water on for too long. It can leak onto sub-floor materials or even throw off the wood. Using a microfiber mop and a bucket with a squeeze mechanism, you can spread the cleaning solution evenly on the floor without creating excess moisture.
Cleaning solutions: Special cleaners such as method or oath work here, as well as a simple solution of liquid soap and water. Avoid cleaners with caustic ingredients like bleach or vinegar, and definitely avoid abrasive cleaners like baking soda. Also, avoid using products that give the floor a sheen or shine. If you plan to refinish your hardwood in the future, they can make it difficult to refinish your hardwood floor, said Brett Miller of the National Hardwood Flooring Association.
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Spray Bottle: Using a spray bottle to spread the cleaning solution evenly across the floor is easier than using a mop. This method also helps to prevent excess moisture. Anything from a small trigger bottle to a very large ZEP Pro Sprayer will do.
The author’s living room. Usually, all furniture except the sofa is moved for cleaning. Photo: James Austin
The time depends on how big your floor space is and how much furniture and carpeting needs to be removed. It took about 30 minutes to clean 132 square feet of hardwood floors in my living room. I stick vacuum for about 10 minutes every few days to control the dust, but do a vigorous mopping once a month.
First, clear the floor of any easily moved furniture or rugs and sweep up all dust and debris. Use a dust mop and broom or a vacuum cleaner for this step. But make sure the vacuum is set to the bare floor setting so the brush doesn’t spin around and add little scratches to the floor.
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Then spray the cleaning solution on the floor, covering the area you want to clean. Dip your mop in a bucket of water and wring it out well. You use the mop not to get more water out of the bucket, but to spread the solution you just sprayed onto the floor.
Using a dampened mop, spread the cleaning solution over the floor in broad, light strokes, occasionally wringing out excess water as you go. The goal is to spread the cleaner over the entire floor in a thin layer that dries quickly and easily.
It’s best to start at one end of the room and work backwards, working in patches on a large floor so you don’t walk over the freshly mopped area.
Warning: Never use steam cleaners on wooden floors, as this can trap moisture between the cracks of the floor and warp the board.
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After covering the entire floor, remove the mop, empty the bucket and let the floor dry for about 15-20 minutes. Once the floor is dry, move all floor coverings and furniture back into place. To avoid scratching your floors, do not drag the legs of the table or chair on the surface of the water.
James Austin is currently a contributing writer covering games and hobbies, but he also works on all Wirecutter covers—from board games to umbrellas—and after a few years here, he’s learned a lot. In her free time, she enjoys photography, D&D, and volunteering at youth robotics competitions. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home improvement, home improvement and DIY. Real, trusted advice from home use
Solved! Here’s the best way to clean hardwood floors. Get the most out of hardwood with this safe solution for dusting, deep cleaning and stain removal.
Q: I’ve never thought about cleaning my cherry wood floors, but I’m starting to notice how bad they are. What is the best way to clean hardwood floors? I would love suggestions on hardwood floor cleaning techniques and good hardwood floor cleaners.
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A: That’s right, hardwood floors require regular cleaning to maintain them. Because different floor finishes have unique maintenance requirements, the best way to clean hardwood floors depends on the type of finish, not the type of wood (such as cherry, maple, or oak). If you use the wrong method or filter, you can damage the tree.
Read on to learn how to determine your floor finish and select accessories for dusting, deep cleaning and spot removal. Using these recommended methods for the best way to clean hardwood floors will keep them looking their best for years to come.
The easiest way to check for surface finish is to take a sharp knife blade to a small, hidden area of the floor and scrape off a small amount of finish. If the scraped material is clear, your floor may have a surface finish. Scraping the floor will stain it, but if the clear material doesn’t come off, the finish can penetrate the floor.
Weekly dry mopping, sweeping and/or vacuuming is the best way to remove dust, dirt and pet hair. This procedure can be used on textured or transparent floors.
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The best mop for wood floors is usually a large, flat head with a microfiber cloth pad, such as a Swiffer Sweeper. These mops have pads with tiny synthetic fibers that reach into the crevices of hardwood floors to trap dust without scratching the wood.
Choose pads that can be removed, machine washed and reused to cut costs and reduce your environmental impact. Fits a variety of brands of hardwood floor mops, reusable mats like Old House Kitchen Mop Pads cost less than $15.
If you prefer to sweep rather than mop, choose a broom with a synthetic fiber tip to prevent dust from collecting on the broom head and landing on the floor.
If vacuuming is your preferred method of vacuuming, use a floor brush attachment and avoid the beater bar—the rotating brush can scratch hardwood floors. Move the cleaning equipment from one side of the floor to the other, paying special attention to the area where adjacent floorboards meet. These holes are places where dust hides.
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Carefully insert the tip of a plastic knife under the bottom edge of the duster to remove the cooked food, then slide the knife up. Wipe the scratched area with a clean cloth slightly moistened with a few drops of water, then go over it a second time with a dry cloth to wipe off the water.
If this method penetrates the floor and a small amount of the wax layer is removed with a knife, reapply a small amount of hardwood floor wax with a soft cloth and buff it to a shiny and glossy finish. no stain.
Oil and grease stains on textured or clear floors are easily broken down by trisodium phosphate (TSP). Do not wear protective gloves or goggles and dilute 2 teaspoons to 1 gallon of warm water in a large bucket. Dip the tip of a clean cloth into the solution, then use a gentle circular motion to work it into the stain. After the TSP dissolves, apply a cloth soaked in water to the area to absorb the TSP, then quickly dry the area with a clean cloth.
Dry wax, pencil marks and gum on smooth or transparent floors can be easily removed with ice. Fill a Ziploc freezer bag with a few ice cubes, place the chilled bag on top until it’s brittle, then scrape it with the end of a plastic spatula.
How To Clean Old Hardwood Floors
If the spatula is a protective wax from the floor
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