Tips for cleaning hardwood floors
But before you pick up the Domestos, be warned: not all cleaning methods are made equal. For instance, did you know that some vacuums are only suitable for carpeted surfaces? Or that ammonia-based products damage the finish of hardwood?
If you answered 'no' to either of these questions, don't fret – we've got you covered. To learn how to clean hardwood floors like a pro, read on.
1. Focus on the finish
Even before you consider buying fancy cleaning products or breaking out the vacuum, you need to understand the finish on your flooring.
While we appreciate this might not sound like the most interesting of topics, it is key to understanding which products are safe to use during cleaning. For instance, if your floor has a modern seal, such as polyurethane, then all you need is a bucket of soapy water and you're good to go.
An easy way to determine whether your floor has an old or modern seal is to place a few droplets of water onto the wood. Modern seals will sit on top of the wood, whereas the droplets will soak through old seals.
Just keep in mind that large quantities of water will damage your wood, so make sure not to soak the floor. Similarly, make sure to clean small areas at a time, as this will prevent residual water from sitting for too long and absorbing into the wood.
If, however, your hardwood flooring has been wax-treated, you will need to avoid making contact with water completely, as it will damage the finish. Instead, take a moist cloth with a pH neutral cleaning solution to gently polish the wood. For more information about types of wood flooring, take a look at the Which? website
TOP TIP: Not sure which flooring surface is yours? It's easy to test. Just take a piece of extra-fine steel wool and dash with a touch of water. Then, rub the wool on an inconspicuous spot (perhaps one covered by furniture) – if a light grey smudge appears on the wool, you have a wax finish.
2. Source specialist vacuums
A hardwood floor's greatest enemy? Dust. While it might seem minor, dust has a nasty habit of building up and wearing through the finish of flooring. This can result in a dull and rough finish.
To keep your hardwood floor in mint condition, you need a top-quality vacuum to pick up dust particles. You should do this once a week, or at the very least before a wet-clean, as any dust that gets trapped under a mop could scratch the surface as you clean.
For efficiency and ease of use, we recommend our very own AirRam MK2 for the job. Equipped with AirLOC technology, this cordless vacuum effortlessly glides across hardwood floors, picking up large and fine debris. What's more, it's ideal for moving into hard-to-reach places where dirt builds up, such as under sofas and in tight corners.
3. Everyday maintenance tips
We know what you're thinking: “How can I avoid dust build-up; it's inevitable?” But there are ways you can keep it at bay.
One of the simplest ways is to take off your shoes in the house. No, really, it sounds obvious, but it makes a huge difference. Even when they look clean, shoes track through all manner of dust, dirt and grime into your home. In fact, a study by the University of Arizona revealed that the average shoe is covered with more than 400,000 bacterial colonies. Most concerning of all is that 90 per cent of those germs transfer directly onto clean floors on first contact. Socks it is, then!
Additionally, you can protect high traffic areas with a carefully-placed rug - just remember to vacuum underneath it to remove any trapped dust.
TOP TIP: When choosing a rug for your hardwood floor, try to avoid those with vinyl or rubber backing as they can trap humidity and damage flooring.
To get started with cleaning hardwood floors, you need the most efficient cleaning products on the market. For some of the best cordless vacuums, browse our range today.