If you are like most homeowners, to take great pride in the appearance of your home. In order to keep your home looking its best, you need to care for it and clean it often. Wood floors are a major investment. Not only will they last a long time, they also long beautiful and can increase the value of your home.
If you have hardwood floors, you likely expect a lot from them. You walk on them every day, track dirt on them, the kids spill on them, and your pets run around on them, and you still expect them to look shiny and beautiful.
If you want to get your hardwood floors looking beautiful, it is important to know how to mop them properly.
Move the Furniture
Before you begin mopping, you should move all of the furniture that you can from the floor. It will make mopping easier.
If you have heavy furniture, you don’t need to move it each time, however, twice a year you should consider moving all of the furniture from the room. Even though people aren’t walking around where the couch is, dust can collect underneath, dulling the wood finish.
If you put furniture pads under the legs of your heavy furniture, it will make moving it much easier, and there is lest risk of you scratching the floors.
Remove the Debris from the Floor
If you are planning to use a vacuum cleaner, you should make sure that it is one that is designed for hardwood floors.
If you use a typical carpet vacuum cleaner, it will not provide enough suction against the floor, and the dirt and debris will just be blown around the room.
There are several excellent hardwood floor vacuums on the market. You can also find a vacuum that has two different settings, one for hard floors, and one for carpeting. Whether you use a vacuum, broom, or a dry mop, it is important to get all of the debris off the floor before you begin washing it.
Choosing a Floor Cleaner
It is important to choose the right floor cleaner when washing your hardwood floors. If you have polyurethane on your floors, you can use a few drops of dish washing liquid. If you have lacquer or shellac on your floors, you don’t want to use any products that require you to use water. The water can stain the wood and make it buckle.
There are several products on the market that are made specifically for washing hardwood floors. You can find different brands at your local supermarket, department store, and hardware store.
Washing the Floors
When washing your hardwood floors, you want to make sure that you wash with the grain. It is important to ring out the mop well before you wash. You don’t want to have puddles on the floor. When going back and forth with the grain, you want to use smooth strokes.
Buffing the Floor
After you have finished washing your hardwood floor, you want to buff it. This will lift the soapy residue off the floor, giving it a nice shine. To buff the floors, you should do so on your hands and knees with a cloth.
Regular cloths work fine, however, cloth diapers work even better. When buffing, you should rub the floors in a slow, circular motion. This can be very time consuming, however, it will be worth it in the end.
Waxing the Floor
In order to seal and protect your wood floors, you should apply a coat of wax. It is important that you know how to apply the wax so that you don’t use too much. Too much wax can make the floors dangerously slippery. When it comes to the wax that you use on your hardwood floors, you have a few options.
- Solid paste wax: This is an excellent wax for wood floors that have not been varnished. You cannot use paste wax on a floor that that has a urethane finish. To apply this type of wax, you would simply apply it to a cloth, and rub it on the floors. Be sure not to use too much, as it will soak into the floor.
- Liquid wax or oil: This is much easier to apply than solid paste wax, however, it does not last as long. To apply this type of wax, you should apply it to a mop or the pad of an electric floor washer. You don’t want to leave the mop or the washer on the floor for too long, because too much wax can soak in. As the wax dries, the solvent will evaporate, leaving behind a beautiful shine.
- Water based silicone polishes: This type of polish can be used on wood floors as long as they have been sealed. It is the best product to use on floors that have been treated with polyurethane. It also lasts quite a while. To apply this type of polish, you want to wet a clean mop just a bit. Next, pour some of the polish onto the mop, and a little onto the floor. Spread the polish around evenly. This will prevent bubbles from forming in the liquid. It is best to do several thin coats, rather than one thick one. This is especially necessary on high traffic areas. After the polish has dried, buff it using a clean towel or a terry cloth covered mop.
Keeping your hardwood floors may seem like a lot of work, however, in the end it is worth it. Also, when you take care of your hardwood floors, they will look beautiful for years.