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Cleaning tips for timber floors

>> Feb 22, 2018

Keeping your hardwood floors in tip-top condition will make them look better for longer.

You can cut your over-all floor cleaning time by starting with some preventative maintenance. If you place mats both inside and outside exterior doors, it will help lessen the amount of tracked in dirt. Prevent marks to your floor from furniture by using floor protectors under legs – especially chairs, and use a rug for children to play on so toys don’t scratch the floor.

Speed up the whole cleaning process by dusting over your floor first with a static mop, or one that has been treated to pick up dirt and dust and pet hairs that may scratch the surface of the floor. For weekly cleaning use a vacuum with a floor-brush attachment, don’t use a vacuum with a carpet brush attachment as it can scratch the surface of your hardwood floor. For a quick dusting use a disposable electrostatic cloth and be sure to use both sides.

Unfortunately, over time dirt, grime and oil will build up on the floor which isn’t removed weekly when you dust mop the floor. For an occasional *deep clean* use a wood cleaning product that has been diluted, using a sponge mop that is rung well, so it just feels slightly damp to the touch and then damp-mop the floor, be careful NOT to stand the bucket of water on your floor, rinse over with a clean damp mop, but only if the cleaning product requires it. If you find any excess liquid on the floor wipe it up straight away. Standing water can damage wood surfaces. If it’s humid use a ceiling fan, air conditioner or open your windows to help speed up the drying.

When it comes to removing a mark, first look at the finish on your floor. If the stain is sitting on the surface your floor probably has a *hard* finish. If the stain has penetrated the wood, the floor probably has a soft oiled finish. This is common in older homes where the wood hasn’t been finished and resealed. Wipe any surface stains from a hard finish with a soft, clean cloth. Never use steel wool or any harsh chemicals on such a surface as they can permanently damage the finish.

Timber floors are stunning to look at, and, for those suffering from allergies timber is an increasingly popular flooring choice. Unfortunately, timber does come with its own set of cleaning *quirks* and it will require some special care, to keep your floors looking better for longer.

Remember hot water is a no-no! Too much can ruin your floors. Excessive wet patches can not only stain timber flooring, it can also result in warped or expanded boards! The correct mop and mopping techniques will go a long way in protecting and preserving your flooring investment.



The mop will need to be as dry as it can possibly be, so make sure you keep wringing out as much of the moisture as you can, use only a slightly damp mop. Using a mop and bucket combination that has been designed to help with wringing/drying the mop will make this a lot easier for you. Your floors will also dry a lot faster!

Follow the grain

Mopping in the same direction as the wood grain, makes mopping easier, more effective and ensures imbedded dirt is easily picked up.

Use a good *solution*

Find the right cleaning product for your floor. A lot of people use a water/vinegar mix, if you care about your floors, never add harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. Instead using a little soap, or a proper wood floor solution will ensure dirt is being lifted from the floor and that beautiful timber shine comes through.

Use the right mop

There are a lot of mops out there and choosing the right one for you can be difficult. The good news is, there are a range of mops on sale, that have been designed especially for cleaning timber floors with all the right features to ensure your floorboards are being looked after. Just look for a mop that has been designed for timber floors, you can always try a few different mops and cleaning combinations until you find the one that’s perfect for your floor.

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