Wood Care & Maintenance
The following information is provided to answer frequently asked questions about wood floor installations and maintenance. Please read this information carefully. If you have any additional questions, please call or e-mail us.
- Never use abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, or steel wool. Please refer to Regular Maintenance on how to clean a wood floor.
- Place a floor mat or throw rug at outside doorways.
- Place a mat in front of the kitchen sink.
- Never wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood, and leave a discoloring residue.
- Wipe up food and liquid spills immediately preferably with a dry towel or you may use a slightly dampened towel.
- Always make sure furniture legs have large surface, non-staining floor protectors. When moving heavy furniture, completely pick up and carry the furniture to its new location.
- Cleats, sport shoes, or high heels can dent the floor’s surface.
- Regular dust mopping or vacuuming is an essential part of wood floor care. A good quality dust mop or vacuum head is the most effective tool for cleaning dust and dirt off the floor. Dust or vacuum as necessary to keep grit off the floor.
- Cleaning with vinegar is possibly one of the best kept secrets of the cleaning world. While everybody knows the culinary uses, but many don’t realize it can be used as a cost effective way to keep your house sparkling clean. For now, we will focus solely on the benefits of cleaning wood floors. It is important that vinegar is ALWAYS diluted with water before it is applied in order to protect the wood and its finish from any damage.
Read more about Refinishing wood floors in our Services section.
Cleaning with Vinegar
There are many benefits of using it as a cleaning solution in practically every room of the house:
- It is inexpensive, so there is more money to spend on the more important things in life.
- It is non-toxic, meaning parents and pet owners can feel comfortable in the knowledge there are no nasty chemicals being used on their floor.
- It is an organic substance, it is created from the fermentation of ethanol, not by mixing heavy or dangerous chemicals. So by using vinegar you are doing something good for the environment.
- While it is a natural substance, it is also acidic which means it is a powerful cleaner. It can dissolve mineral deposits from smooth surfaces, this is why it needs to be diluted with water to ensure no damage occurs to your floors.
- It has anti-bacterial properties. For generations it has been used to combat mold and bacteria.
Which vinegar should I use?
I strongly recommend you only ever use basic white vinegar for cleaning purposes. White vinegar has no particular color, so will not stain hardwood. Some of the other types, such as apple cider vinegar, as delicious as it is, will have a brownish tint which could potentially damage floors. White vinegar is also the most inexpensive option.
How do I clean my wood floors with vinegar?
Cleaning your floors with vinegar is a very easy process, which is no more time consuming than a store bought, chemical laden cleaning solution. Below I have listed the simple steps that should be taken:
- Thoroughly sweep or vacuum your floor. It is extremely important there is no dust or dirt on the floor as this can lead to scratches.
- Using a ratio of one gallon of warm water to a half cup of white vinegar fill up a clean bucket.
- Plunge a clean mop into the water/vinegar mixture and ensure it is thoroughly wrung out before mopping.
- Mop away! I do recommend mopping in the same direction of the floor boards, if as the water dries it leaves a streak, it will be less visible. Also change the liquid if it starts to look dirty.
The floors will be fine to let air dry, however if the floor looks a bit too wet after mopping feel free to remove some excess moisture with a dry, clean towel or cloth. I also recommend keeping pets and children off the floor until it has dried completely, this will ensure a beautiful, shiny and smudge free floor.
Once you try this out for yourself and are amazed at the results, be sure to share your new cleaning secret with your family and friends so they can be amazed at their floors as well.