Hardwood flooring manufacturers recommend using the least intrusive cleaning techniques possible for your wood floors. Should you sweep and vacuum frequently, you should not have to do anything else, but when a cleaner is needed, it should be a pH-neutral one. Acidic or caustic cleaners can etch the finish and make it seem hazy, abrasive cleansers can scrape, and petroleum soaps can leave residues that make the floor look worse than it did before brushing.
You are Cleaning the Complete, Not the Wood
Most contemporary hardwood floors have a coating of polyurethane liners, and when you clean the floor, you’re really washing the finish. Although it’s durable, polyurethane scrapes, and specific chemicals react with it to make it look muddy. Ammonia has a high pH and can essentially corrode polyurethane, and full-strength vinegar contains a very low pH that can etch it. Many specialists recommend cleaning hardwood floors with a solution of vinegar and water, but you shouldn’t ever use vinegar in full strength. Abrasive cleansers, such as scouring powder, dull the finish in another manner; they depart microscopic scratches. Steel wool and abrasive brushes can have the exact same impact.
Prevent Oily Cleaning Products
Many consumers have complained about particular wood cleaning products on the marketplace. These goods do a great job on your wood furniture but are not great for your floors, because they contain vegetable oils or waxes that remain on the surface after the cleaning solvent has evaporated. This deposits dulls the finish, attracts dirt and causes visible streaking. It builds up as you continue using the product for cleaning and must ultimately be removed to create your floors look clean. Some flooring specialists warn that glue wax creates precisely the exact same dulling and streaking issues and recommend avoiding it.
Removing Oil Soap Residue
Even though you should generally avoid ammonia when cleaning hardwood floors, removal of this deposits from oil soap is a special case. Mix a cleaning solution consisting of 1/2 cup of chlorine per gallon of water, or mix concentrated window cleaner with water in a 1-to-3 ratio. Water is at least as dangerous for timber floors as ammonia, so you must use this solution with care. Receive a sponge or microfiber mop wet; spread a thin film and let it stand for five minutes. Wipe up the solution with a clean, dry cloth; then use another clean cloth to go over the floor to ensure it is dry.
Is the Floor Waxed?
Old wax can cause hazing issues, and if the floor is in an historic house, it is possible that wax is the only finish the floor has. You can test for wax by lightly sanding a spot to find out if the finish balls upward or dampening a rag with mineral spirits, wiping a spot and looking for yellow/brownish discoloration on the rag. If the test is positive, then you could be able to earn the floor shiny by buffing the wax with a floor buffer, but occasionally, complete removal of the wax along with re-waxing will be the best option. Wax removal requires plenty of rags, mineral spirits and a good set of knee pads.