Deep Cleaning Hardwood Floors

How to Mop Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring in the home provides a natural, earthy interior and creates its own welcoming atmosphere. Hardwood floors are also an investment in the value of your home, so it pays to know how to mop hardwood floors.

Best of all, looking after your floors is quite a simple process. Get to know more about how to mop hardwood floors with some of these basic cleaning tips.

Supplies for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Before we get into the steps of how to properly mop hardwood floors, we are going to talk about the supplies that are needed. Supplies you will need includes the following:

  • Soft bristle broom or microfiber broom (dust mop)
  • Lightweight vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment
  • Special hardwood floor wet mop
  • Liquid cleaner (you can use vinegar and warm water too)
  • Liquid soap with vegetable oil base
  • Three teabags for extra shine
  • Specific shop-bought products for hardwood floor care (optional)

Step 1: Vacuum

Start with the basics. Before diving into caring for your hardwood floors, you need to remove any built-up layers of dust, pet hair and other dirt that covers the surface. Use a vacuum cleaner with a non-abrasive, soft brush attachment. Don’t use any tools that will scratch the surface of your hardwood floors, as this will require repair work. So, a quick vacuum with a soft brush attachment is your first step in sucking up the dirt from the floor surface.

Whether you use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or a manual broom, the typical back and forward movements will be appropriate to collect and remove dirt. Be sure that your vacuum cleaner is lightweight though, so that it does not scratch your hardwood floors. The wheels on your vacuum cleaner will also need to be non-abrasive, while the suction needs to be sufficiently strong to collect unwanted dirt.

Speak to your vacuum cleaner expert at your local store for advice on the best models available, as your vacuum attachment also needs to be non-abrasive when caring for this expensive flooring. Always remove the beater bar from your vacuum cleaner before cleaning hardwood flooring, as this is another scratch risk.

Another idea is to use a broom with soft bristles to manually sweep up the debris that has collected on the floor. A microfiber broom or dust mop is a tool that attracts dirt and lint, making it easier to clean smaller areas where it is difficult to get to with a vacuum cleaner.

Step 2: Mop

Fill a bucket with warm water. Add some white vinegar to your mix. Use a household mop specifically designed to clean hardwood floors. Dip this into your warm water mixture, wring out the excess water and make broad sweeping motions across your hardwood floor for a deep clean. You can clean your floors efficiently once a week by using this method. Make sure to squeeze out the excess water. Too much water may lead to mold growing on or below your wooden flooring, creating a significant health hazard. It is best to follow this mopping process on warm days so that your hardwood floors dry quickly to avoid this type of side-effect.

Ultimately, you want to see the line of water evaporating with each sweep of your mop across the floor. If this happens, you know that you have squeezed out all unnecessary moisture before mopping.

Step 3: Use Additional Cleaning Products

There are cleaning products you can buy that are specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors. They are available in most retail outlets. You can purchase any of these to keep your hardwood floors in tip-top condition.

If you fancy more homemade options for preserving your hardwood floors, then add three teabags to your warm water mix when cleaning once a week. The tannin from the teabags helps to remove dirt and grime buildup, while also leaving your floors with a rich after shine.

Other Methods to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean

Some additional thoughts in looking after your floors include furniture protectors to avoid abrasive rubbing on wooden surfaces. If the bottoms of chairs are pulled across hardwood floors, they can leave scratches. Runner carpets in high traffic areas also offer protection for your floors, as does the use of doormats to encourage cleaning of shoes before entering the home. These can be especially handy in the winter as they keep salt stains from settling on the wood.

These are just a few of the basic methods that can be applied to keep your beautiful floor looking great for many years to come. Because hardwood floor is such an investment and improvement to your home, every effort should be made to nurture this wood and keep its ambiance in top condition.
For the most part, a little water, a mop and some effort will accomplish just that.

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