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Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

Featured image for "Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors" blog post. Smooth hardwood floor.

Among the many cleaners that are on the market, the best way to clean hardwood floors depends on what is most effective. You may need only one to get the job done or two that create a reliable combination.

Whatever you choose should be capable of meeting your expectations. If you want high-quality results, it’s sensible to target cleaners and tools that can achieve those results. Not only does a clean hardwood floor contribute to the appearance of your home, but you can enjoy the fact that you successfully revitalized it.

Why Hardwood Floors Should Be Cleaned

Dirt, debris, and dust are three culprits that attack hardwood floors. Sand is another. If you don’t act quickly, they will be difficult to clean and will settle as time goes on. Knowing what to use and how to use it is what you should consider. You can do more harm than good if you use one that is harsh and can cause irreversible damage to the surface of your floor.

Like any other floor surface that has to be cleaned after a period, a wood surface is also vulnerable to elements that can defeat its protective coat and grain. However, it requires a different method of cleaning compared to linoleum and tile.

Cat on hardwood floor.
Cats love clean hardwood floors!

What is the Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors?

Most likely, you’ve seen the commercials that heavily promote store-bought cleaners as safe. But they’re loaded with toxic chemicals that don’t perform as they’re guaranteed to do so. Although it’s up to you to choose one from the list, you need to remember the response of your hardwood floor is according to what type of cleaner you intend to use.

Regarding cleaning tools, not only are certain materials not recommended but they’re synthetic rather than authentic. The last thing you’d want to do is cause scratches because the result will be a deeper issue that will require professional repair or an entire maintenance process. Although polyurethane is typically used to seal hardwood flooring and is durable, you need to handle it with care.

There are three factors that you should look for when in search of the best way to clean hardwood floors:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Biodegradable
  • Natural

Eco-Friendly

The environment matters when it comes to household cleaning. Its health can be affected by chemicals that contribute to pollution and can be risky due to exposure. This also applies to hardwood floors because harsh chemicals can gradually break the surfaces down. Many popular cleaners are dangerous yet continue to be promoted because they’re in demand.

Unlike the best way to clean hardwood floors which is ultimately eco-friendly, false advertising exists regarding some “eco-friendly” cleaning solutions. Although marketing strategies can be convincing, research makes sense for the sake of the environment.

Biodegradable

Not all cleaners that claim to be biodegradable on a label truly live up to such. For example, if one fails to completely remove fluids that are prone to soiling such as urine, blood and, feces, or even beverage spills, then all it does is spread them around. Also, it spreads germs and bacteria in general.

Not only can a real biodegradable product clean thoroughly but it can also banish deep stains and intense odors. The best way to clean hardwood floors should consist of this factor because it plays a major role in the strength of a cleaner and a cleaning tool.

Natural

For a ‘green’ approach, natural cleaners are a reasonable choice. Although not promoted to the same extent as the common brands, they’re non-toxic and safer. Also, they don’t contain overpowering fragrances that affect people who are sensitive to the fumes, especially family and pets who live under the same roof and have to endure it. Cleaners that are strong enough to work effectively, and have a faint yet pleasant scent, are perfect for people who are into an organic lifestyle.

What to Know About Common Cleaning Tools

Before you start your cleaning job, there are some essential tips that you should know to perform successfully. Although there are various ways to do this, finding the best way to clean hardwood floors could become a staple for you to use consistently. Of course, you don’t have to be an expert, but having some knowledge can help. Considering home improvement does include maintaining floor surfaces, cleaning can work wonders to recapture the beauty of your hardwood floor.

Rug in a room.
Rugs not only protect your hardwood flooring but are also an excellent aesthetic compliment.

Brooms, Mops, and Vacuums

A broom, mop, and vacuum are typical to use during a cleaning job. But when dealing with a wood surface, you should be perceptive. Not all of them are reliable and can leave dirt, dust, and residue which the human eyes can’t see. The effectiveness is practically non-existent.

Brooms are made to sweep dust, but they don’t prevent dust from spreading in the air only to land on other areas. Mops can be difficult to work with depending on the material and many on the market are known for developing mold and collecting residue. You probably have a yarn mop or a broom that contains straw or synthetic bristles in your home because they’re common. But they also can be pointless and aren’t a good example of the best way to clean hardwood floors.

As quickly as a vacuum can consume dust, it can blow that dust out due to poor airflow or weak suction. Dust particles contain bacteria and are a health hazard if accidentally inhaled. If you’re prone to allergies or asthmatic, this tool is especially risky and could make you sick.

Depending on how small or major your cleaning job is, there is a quick way to handle it or another way that is intended to work intensely. Your hardwood floor may simply need a dust mop to grab each dust particle or a natural cleaner that can easily penetrate the surface to remove oil or grime.

Although it’s possible to use water, it wouldn’t be wise for you to fill a bucket and then douse your hardwood floor. Planks tend to buckle and weaken when in contact with excess water. This is only one way to impose damage and could require you to refinish or even replace the affected planks.

Yellow Mop Mopping Re-Imagined banner ad.

How to Protect Your Hardwood Floor From Damage

Accidents can happen based on poor choices that are damaging to the surface such as doing activities that can wear it down or dragging furniture. If you aren’t gentle or use the wrong product, you can wreak havoc. This also pertains to cleaning which is why the best way to clean hardwood floors is partly intended to avoid damage even while mopping or dusting.

You should be perceptive and also think ahead regarding how one wrong move can cost you time and money. Also, consider the beautiful appearance of the finish of your floor will be concealed and noticeably dirty if not properly cleaned.

Doormat in front of a door.
Doormats are a must when trying to keep your hardwood floors as clean as possible.

Avoid Hardwood Floor Scratches

Dragging furniture is instinctive. It’s easier rather than lifting because it requires less energy and stress. But doing this can cause deep scratches and also gouges. Pushing isn’t recommended either despite the idea that it’s less risky than dragging.

Furniture legs that have plastic or wooden feet should be covered with felt pads. The pads are soft and are a form of protectors that provide cushioning for the feet. They’re more effective than rubber, plastic, slip-on, and self-adhesive pads.

Little puppy.
Make sure to keep your dog’s nails short to prevent them from scratching your hardwood flooring.

The Truth About Brooms

Brooms are commonly relied upon for sweeping everything from dust to litter such as paper balls and food crumbs. But the straw or plastic bristles can scratch hardwood flooring and can break, bend, or even fall out after multiple uses. Hair strands can wrap tightly around the bristles and have to be pulled or cut. Or dust can accumulate with every sweep.

Many brooms on the market aren’t made to last nor endure a heavy-duty wash due to the material. One drop of water can ruin the bristles and, as a result, the broom is practically unusable and should be tossed into the trash. Regarding the best way to clean hardwood floors, this type of broom shouldn’t be an option. However, brooms with soft, high-quality bristles do exist and can be bought by companies that produce and promote natural cleaning tools.

Rugged living room.
Rotating furniture and rugs around the room is a good way to evenly distribute sunlight exposure on your hardwood flooring.

Shade is Mandatory

While letting sunlight into a room is common, it can cause the color of hardwood flooring to fade or darken. UV rays are damaging and the flooring reacts negatively to the heat. The flooring can also have a bleached appearance where its original color fades to an unnatural lighter color.

Slightly closed blinds are fine and perhaps sheer curtains are even better because they limit the amount of sunlight. Not only are both items designed to add a small contribution of style to the entire décor of the home, but also are a form of protection from the harmful chemicals of UV rays. Whether there is hardwood flooring in only one windowed room or multiple windowed rooms, there should be shade.

Curtain and plant on a shelf.
Curtains are great for preventing your hardwood floors from getting too much sunlight exposure.

Avoid Low-Quality Wet Mops

Using a low-quality wet mop on a hardwood floor should be forbidden. Considering many surfaces are usually finished with polyurethane, which is also used to protect wood surfaces and is also versatile in terms of protecting other finish types, water can do major damage if used improperly.

Cedar flooring is an example of a wood species that can handle more moisture than most hardwood. Although it’s considered to be a softwood, it’s naturally resistant and doesn’t decay easily. However, if drenched with water, it could lose its golden-brown color. As water-resistant as it’s touted to be, too much water can damage it.

The typical yarn mop never dries completely because it retains moisture which breeds mildew and mold. It also doesn’t wring out thoroughly. If used in such a poor condition, it will only contaminate a wood surface. This also pertains to laminate and vinyl. Many store-bought yarn mops aren’t good examples of the best way to clean hardwood floors.

Yarn mops are cheaply made and cost more than what they’re truly worth.

Sponge mops tend to break apart after multiple uses and also develop bacteria. Removing dirt is difficult because sponge mops simply continue spreading the dirt. So flooring remains dirty and might as well not have been mopped in the first place.

A better choice is a versatile mop like the Champion Super Yellow Mop that is absorbent, can deep clean, and also can be machine-washed to sterilize it and prepare it for another cleaning job. While easy to wring out and gentle, the material can twist or lay flat in terms of flexibility.

Living room with furniture.
Installing felt pads on the bottom of your furniture’s legs can prevent unsightly scratches and gouges in your hardwood flooring.

Recommended Natural Cleaning Products

Suppose you want nothing less than natural cleaners and tools on your shopping list, but you have no clue where to find them. You should keep the best way to clean hardwood floors in mind because not all cleaners that are promoted as natural live up to the claim. They’re toxic hazards in disguise. Fortunately, there are a few that are suitable to use around your house that are free of low-quality materials and harmful chemicals.

Perhaps these recommendations will help you choose the best way to clean hardwood floors.

Champion Super Yellow Mop

The Champion Super Yellow Mop naturally cleans hardwood flooring and doesn’t require harsh chemicals to absorb spills and wipe away scuff marks. Its high-quality design is trendy and the material is made to handle multiple uses without wearing down or tearing.

This mop is also perfect for bathroom tile floors to clean and make them shine.

The Amazing Mop!

Purchase this product here.

Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop

The Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop is essential for the removal of dust from various floor surface types. Whether small dust particles or an accumulation of dust, this mop is more than ready to handle the job.

Dust Mop Banner Ad 2.

Purchase this product here.

Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser

The Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser is phosphate-free and packed with natural ingredients that kill the toughest stains on kitchen surfaces. Unlike an oil-based degreaser that is toxic and flammable, a combination of water is all that is needed.

This degreaser can remove the contamination of bacteria yet works gently rather than eat away at surfaces. It also can remove food, oil, and grease stains from laundry before washing as well as carpet and hardwood floor stains.

The Ultimate Grease Slayer.

Purchase this product here.

What Are Some Recommended Hardwood Floor Cleaning Tips?

Every detail matters when you want to perform a successful cleaning job. But not everyone knows how to do so and may feel lost. As easy as it appears, there are wrong ways to clean and, in some cases, are unsanitary and careless yet some people don’t realize it. However, the best way to clean hardwood floors is safe, less time-consuming, and can be a staple for everyday living.

Dust should always be removed before the mopping process. If you don’t, the dust will stick to the floor due to the moisture of a damp or wet mop. You’ll extend your job by having to take the time to remove the dust manually with a cloth or sponge.

Some cleaning may have to be done after decorating your home because some methods can get messy, especially if you’re handy or you’re skilled in creating homemade décor items. Remodeling is another home improvement activity that most likely requires a cleaning job after it’s completed. Also, you will have to clean again after you decorate. Perhaps perform a good polishing with wax to complete the job.

Exterior hardwood flooring should also be cleaned and you can find this type of flooring on patios, decks, and porches. They’re exposed to elements such as snow, rain, and wind which can blow dust, sand, gravel, and soil onto the surface. Also, they attract high traffic because they’re constantly used as much as indoor hardwood flooring. The cleaning routine that you apply in your home is the same routine you should apply outdoors.

Cat on maple hardwood floor.
Utilizing the best way to clean hardwood floors will result in your floors looking their finest and a happy family overall!

Step By Step Cleaning Instructions

Utilize this brief ‘how-to’ which is easy to follow and can give you gorgeous results and can make the finish and design of your hardwood floor stand out. Perhaps it could be the inspiration you need to improvise as best as you can while utilizing the original suggestions.

Quick Cleaning

Not every cleaning job requires an entire routine that consists of more than one tool or cleaner. There may be one area that simply has to be dusted or a small spill that has to be dabbed and treated with a cleaner. But the best way to clean hardwood floors still applies despite the quick duration of the cleaning job.

Dust Mop

A dust mop is dry and doesn’t need any water nor liquid cleaners to maintain floor surfaces. However, one that consists of electrostatic material is best to grab every particle of dust without leaving a trace behind. When shaken, it simply releases the particles and is ready to resume its job. Whether on a wall or a wooden door, a dust mop is a good choice, particularly one like the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop!

Step 1

Start by using the mop in areas that have excess dust. Pay attention to the corners.

Step 2

Hang the mop over a trash can then shake. Repeat the process as needed until all areas are free of dust.

Step 3

Store the mop in a spacious area or a closet along with other cleaning tools.

Staircase and hardwood floor.
It’s important to limit moisture as much as you can in your home if you have hardwood floors.

Deep-Cleaning

When far more than dusting needs to be done, you need a cleaning tool that will maintain its durable condition despite a tedious cleaning job. It should also be one that can clean dull high-traffic areas of a hardwood floor without leaving traces of dirt. The best way to clean hardwood floors involves using cleaning tools that penetrate surfaces to really get all of the deep dirt and grime that builds up over time.

Yellow Mop

A yellow mop consists of delicate material that is made to absorb the largest spills. The material is soft, flexible, and durable enough to handle multiple uses. Unlike a yarn mop, it can reach corners and doesn’t retain moisture, which is the main culprit in terms of the development of bacteria, when air-dried.

The best mop for the job is the Champion Super Yellow Mop, which works on ceramic, tile, linoleum, and hardwood floors.  It doesn’t scratch surfaces. It also handles scuff marks and is gentle on floor finishes.

Step 1

Wet the mop with warm water and use it with a natural cleaner on the focused area of the floor.

Step 2

Move the mop side to side while distributing the cleaner evenly.

Step 3

Exchange the dirty bucket water with clean bucket water and then mop again to ensure the floor is clean.

Yellow Mop Ultra Light Ultra Absorbent banner ad.

Degreaser

A degreaser is a powerful product that cuts through stains left by greasy food particles, cooking oils, and grimy residue. It’s commonly used for kitchen surfaces as well as ovens and surrounding affected areas. Not much effort is needed when using a degreaser like this because it begins working quickly after it’s applied.

If you’re looking for a heavy duty multi purpose degreaser/cleaner, you need the Champion Ultra Concentrated Degreaser! When using a concentrated degreaser, it should be diluted with water to work. Not only does it clean, but it also sanitizes by killing germs and bacteria. One 32 oz. bottle makes 256 gallons of cleaner when mixed with water!

Step 1

Spray on the chosen surface and wipe.

Step 2

Use the cleaner to wash the surface.

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Final Thought

Remember that organization is the key. Your cleaning tools and cleaners should be easy to reach whenever you need to use them. If you throw them anywhere, you could forget where at least one is and then purchase another unnecessarily. Overall, the best way to clean hardwood floors that we’ve described is guaranteed to give you the flawless result that you desire.

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