January 07, 2022
A Guide to Cleaning Hardwood Floors
What Products Can You Use on Hardwood Flooring?
- Vinegar: Although some debate whether vinegar is a suitable cleaning solution for wood floors, many have found success with this method. Never use balsamic, red wine, or other flavored vinegar — instead, choose white vinegar. Some home improvement stores may also carry vinegar explicitly for cleaning purposes. Be mindful of using vinegar if your wooden doors have any sealant or coating, like polyurethane, as vinegar could dull the natural sheen.
- Castille soap: Castille soap is a multipurpose oil-based soap that homeowners can use for everything from floor cleaning and dishwashing to shampooing and pet care. Liquid Castille soap and water may be just what you need to deep clean your flooring, especially if you want to repurpose your cleaner around other areas of the home.
- Tea and water: Some wooden floors respond well to a tea-infused natural cleaning solution because of the natural, gentle acids in the tea leaves. Boil a pot of tea and steep some tea bags, then add that to your bucket of clean mop water.
- Wood cleaner: Standard wood floor cleaners available in most supermarkets or home stores are formulated to safely and effectively clean flooring without damage — just be sure the solution you choose is safe for your specific flooring type, including wood materials and sealed or unsealed surfaces.
What Products Should Not Be Used on Hardwood?
- Commercial floor cleaner: Most commercial floor cleaners are intended for tile or vinyl floors and are strong enough to cut through grime. However, unless the cleaner is specifically meant for your type of wooden floor, avoid using these harsh agents in your home.
- Furniture spray: Furniture sprays can be a great way to quickly refresh or shine an end table or entertainment center, but never use them on your floors. It could result in sticky residue, dulled sheen, or other damages.
- Abrasive tools: Never clean your floors with abrasive tools like sharp-edged mops, vacuums with beater bars, pressure washers, or hard-bristle brooms, as these could scratch and discolor the floor permanently.
- Steam cleaners: Save steam cleaning for nonwood floors, like the basement or kitchen, as steam contains too much concentrated moisture to clean wood without causing rot or weakening the floorboard’s core.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Know Your Wood
Sealed vs. Unsealed Wood
Maintaining Wood Floors
- Sweep your floors often with a gentle microfiber dust mop or soft broom to avoid dust or debris buildup.
- Clean all spills, including liquid, sticky substances, and food, as soon as they happen to avoid staining or moisture seeping into the wood.
- If your wood floor has any minor surface scratches, you can purchase a scratch filling kit from a home improvement store or use a DIY method, like filling the scratch in with a similarly colored crayon and buffing it out until smooth.
- Consider having a professional sand and refinish your wood flooring every 10 years or as needed to keep them looking good and structurally sound.
- The best way to clean hardwood floors is by minimizing dirt and damage. Protect your wooden flooring with rugs and furniture risers and limit excessive wear and tear from shoes or pet paws.
How to Clean Hardwood the Right Way
- Prepare the cleaning solution: If you’re using a floor cleaner made specifically for wooden floors, follow the instructions on the bottle for dilution. If you’re using vinegar, combine one part vinegar with 10 parts warm or hot water and mix thoroughly before mopping. For minor mopping jobs, try using just water and save the cleaning agents for spills or as part of your monthly maintenance routine.
- Mop the floor: Use a soft mop or rag to mop hardwood floors, mopping in an “S” motion. Do not oversaturate the floor and wring the cloth or mop thoroughly before placing it on the floor. Use a towel to gently dry any excess moisture when finished.
- Apply finishes: If you’re adding finishes or polish, apply it in the direction of the wood grain and only use materials approved for your type of wooden flooring.
Trust Your Hardwood Floors to Maid Bright
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January 04, 2022
How to Remove Stains From Upholstery
Whether you accidentally dumped a glass of wine on your couch or your child wiped their hands on your loveseat, stains happen. Seeing your beautiful furniture looking messy can feel frustrating. The good news is, you can get stains out of upholstered furniture. Use Maid Bright’s upholstery stain removal tricks to work magic.