Hardwood floors are a big investment today and using the right hardwood floor cleaners can help protect your floors. Following the manufacturer's recommended floor care procedures can help your hardwood floor look like new for many years. Although hardwood floor finishes have improved dramatically over the years, these floors still require regular care and maintenance. Using the correct hardwood floor cleaners seems simple but is often ignored by homeowners.
The best advice for keeping your wood floors looking like new is prevention. Don't use soaps, ammonia, wet mops, vinegar, furniture polishes, wax-based products, detergents, bleach and other types of cleaners on your wood floors. If something is spilled on the floor be sure to wipe it up immediately. For stubborn spills use the proper cleaning solution recommended by manufacturer along with a soft, clean dampened cloth.
Flooring stores and many home centers offer specially designed hardwood floor cleaning kits that will help you with your day to day care of your hardwood flooring. These hardwood floor cleaning products are much better than what you will probably find in a grocery store.
Sweep, vacuum, or dust mop the wood floors regularly to remove grit, sand and other fine debris that can scratch your wood floors. Using walk off mats at all doorway entrances can also help prevent scratches by trapping the dirt and grit before it gets tracked onto the floor. Sharp pointed spiked or stiletto high heels have been known to ruin many hardwood floors and should not be allowed in the room. Lastly, place protector pads underneath all furniture legs to help protect your wood floor. If you have large dogs in the house be sure to trim their nails regularly to avoid scratching the wood floor finish.
Acrylic-Impregnated Finish - these floors are impregnated with acrylic that penetrates deep into the pores of the wood planks. Be sure to use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning procedures and floor care products. This might include using a low speed buffer to restore the floor's shine.
Urethane Finishes - which includes floors finished on the surface with water-based urethanes, moisture-cured urethanes, and oil-modified polyurethane urethanes. Again, use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products and cleaning procedures. Bonakemi makes some excellent floor cleaning products for these types of floors as well as the manufacturer's floor cleaners. never use a wax type polish on a urethane finished wood floor.
Wax Finish - these floors will generally need to be re-waxed and buffed occasionally. Spills need to be wiped up immediately with a clean, soft cloth. Water marks that cause white marks can be rubbed out with fine steel wool with some mineral spirits and then re-waxed and buffed. Re-staining may also be required. Never apply a urethane floor care product to a waxed surface.
NOTE: Hardwood Floor Cleaners are different products than the products used to re-coat a wood floor. Wood floors that have lost their luster will probably need a light screen and re-coat to restore the appearance of the floor.
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