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Know your floors: How to clean real wood floors
Real wood flooring has timeless appeal and enduring popularity and it’s not hard to understand why.
Sealed wood floors are easy to clean; a simple brush or light vacuum keeps your wooden floors looking in tip top condition. What’s more, if pets or kids have dragged mud through the house, a damp mop removes the dirt in moments- not so easy if you’ve laid carpets instead.
Before you start cleaning, ensure you know your wood floors
Before you grab a bucket of water and a mop, stop and consider what the finish is on your floor as this is how you determine how you clean and care for your floor.
Most new wood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane or polyacrylic and these are stain and water-damage resistant, making them easy to care for and clean.
If your floor has been treated with oil, lacquer, varnish, shellac, or left untreated, they are not going to be as resistant to moisture, spills and wear and will need looking after more carefully.
If you’ve moved into a house where the floors were already down and you aren’t sure what finish it’s got, just rub your finger across the floor. If no smudge appears, the floor has been sealed. If you do create a smudge, you’re going to have to be that extra bit more careful looking after them.
How to clean wood flooring
As with laminate flooring, using too much water on any solid wood floor will, over time, warp the wood.
If you’ve been using a traditional string mop on your wood floors, you need to think again as the likelihood is that it will be leaving too much water behind, slowly damaging your floors!
A flat mop is the ideal solution for cleaning your wood floors; as well as having extra wide heads so you can cover more floor area in less time, our flat mops are specifically designed for wood and laminate as they give you complete control of the amount of water that goes onto your floors, protecting against water damage.
Here’s our guide for getting the best results out of your clean
For deep cleans:
- Before beginning, give floors a good sweep, ensuring dirt and dust is swept away – otherwise you’ll just be spreading dirt around when you come to mopping
- Vacuum it – do not use a vacuum with a beater bar (or bristle brush). These are designed to get deep in to carpet pile and if used on a hard wood floor, over time it will damage the surface. A lot of vacuums come with a hard floor mode – make sure you use it! For a handy helping who will do the vacuuming for you while you are out and about, checking out our Cleaning Robot
- Use a PH neutral wood-cleaning product diluted according to the label instructions
- Soak the flat mop head in the solution, then wring it almost dry so it feels only slightly damp to the touch and mop the floor
- If cleaning agent requires washing off (check back of pack), rinse your mop thoroughly in clean water and wring it out until it is almost dry and feels only slightly damp to the touch, then re-mop the floor to remove the cleaning agent
- Ensure any excess liquid is wiped up as standing water can damage wood surfaces
For regular ‘in between’ cleans:
- Sweep it – handy for ‘between cleans’, keep a brush, such as our DuActiva Anti-Dust Broom which ensures no dust or dirt escapes
- Mop it – run a flat mop over the floor to make sure you’ve picked up any dust, dirt and pet hair which may have been left behind. Do this by running a slightly damp microfibre flat mop over the floor, which should ensure all dirt particles are picked up effectively and easily. Our 1 2 Spray Mop is ideal for use of wood floors