Facility Managers

Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Rejuvenate Hardwood Floors

by Jason Brubaker

Over the cold winter months, your hardwood floors probably took a beating. Wet feet track in mud, salt and debris. Dust and dirt collect in dark corners. So with the coming of spring, take some time to deep clean and rejuvenate your hardwood floors.

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Fortunately, hardwood floors are extremely easy to care for. Newer hardwood floors don't require much maintenance, especially if you care for them appropriately on a daily basis. Read on to learn how you can keep your hardwood floors looking great all year long.

Step-by-Step Deep Cleaning

First, remove dust, dirt or pet hair that could scratch your floors. Use a vacuum, microfiber cloth or dust mop. If you use a vacuum, don't use the brush attachment. Use only the bare floor setting to avoid scratching the floors.

Next, use a wood-cleaning product to remove dirt and oil buildup. Follow the instructions on the bottle to avoid damaging the surface. Most products of this nature needtobe diluted with water. Use a sponge, cloth or soft mop to apply the product, but make certain to squeeze out any extra liquid as water can damage the floor. Depending on the product you use, you may need to damp mop the floor after applying the cleaner.

Last, blot up any extra water on the floor. Moisture can damage the wood if left standing for a long period of time. If it's humid, turn on a fan to help the floor dry a bit quicker.

Wet Wood Flooring How To Fix

Tips for mopping hardwood floors:

  • Always mop in the direction of the wood grain. Otherwise, you could snap the mop on a rough spot and damage the floor.
  • Put your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and mist it on the floor. Mop with a dry mop or a microfiber cloth. This will avoid getting the floors too wet.
  • Dump your water and replace with clean water as necessary.
  • After mopping with a cleaning solution, go over the whole floor again with a damp mop to avoid product buildup.

Spot Cleaning Hacks for Problem Areas

Chances are good you'll notice some imperfections in your freshly cleaned floors. Don't panic. Here are some tips to help you spot clean.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum stuck to the floor? Fill a plastic bag with ice and place it on the gum. Eventually, the sticky stuff will turn dry and brittle, allowing you to peel it right off. You may need to damp mop the area after removing the gum.

Scuff marks

Find some scuff marks on your light wood floors? Sprinkle a little baking soda on the area and rub gently with a damp sponge. The marks will disappear like magic.

Water spots

Notice water spots on your waxed hardwood floor? Pour some mineral spirits on a very fine steel wool pad and very carefully rub and spot. You'll probably need to put down a thin layer of liquid or paste wax to protect the surface.

Food stains

Drop a plate of spaghetti on your floor? Wipe up the sauce as quickly as possible using a damp sponge or a commercial hardwood floor cleaner. Dry the area thoroughly and apply your favorite wax.

More Ways to Rejuvenate Hardwood Floors

Every few years,your hardwood floors will need a bit more than a deep clean to stay shiny. You'll need to reapply the sealant topcoat to the floor to not only make it gleam, but to protect the wood underneath. If the floors are in really bad condition,you may need to rent a belt sander and remove the top layer of wood. You'll need to restain the floor and reapply the varnish.

Some people choose to do these job themselves but many hire a professional to take on the job. It's a lot of work, especially if the floors need to be completely refinished, and you won't be able to walk on the floors for several days to allow the topcoat to set.

Preventative Tips

To keep hardwood floors looking great, keep these tips in mind.

  • Keep oils and plastics away from hardwood floors. Plastic can stick to the finish, and in some cases,the color of the plastic can seep into the floor. Oils can dull the wood so don't let perfume, liquor and cooking oil touch the floor.
  • Don't use rugs with rubber backing as they can scratch the floor.
  • Direct sunlight can damage wood floors over the years. Use curtains to keep the light at bay.
  • Never use a product designed for use on vinyl or tile floors on hardwood.
  • Put felt protectors on chair legs to avoid scratches.Change them often as debris can become embedded in the pad and scratch the floor.
  • Place an area rug near kitchen sinks to avoid water on the floor.
  • Rugs near doorways will trap pebbles, dirt, debris and other things that can scratch hardwoods.

Hardwood floors add style and versatility to homes and businesses. They can look great for years to come using these tips for deep cleaning and everyday maintenance.