Wood Floor Polishing & Cleaning
If you are a lucky owner of a hardwood floor, you already know that one of the most beneficial features is how easy to clean and maintain they are. Unlike other flooring options, especially carpets, real wood floors won’t make you invest too much elbow grease, money, time, and energy to keep them clean and well-maintained, as they are naturally hygienic. Furthermore, when maintained regularly and properly, real wood floors will last you up to a whole century, which makes them a very smart investment!
Wood Floor Cleaning
Clean and shiny wood floors make your entire home feel and look more spacious, cosier, more elegant and beautiful. No matter what wood species your solid wood, parquet, or engineered wood floor is made out of, when it comes to wood, cleaning methods and maintenance treatments are relatively the same. However, keep in mind that some types of finishes may require some extra care and a bit more different maintenance routine, especially when removing stains.
One of the most common ways for regular and thorough wood floor cleaning that is popular due to its efficiency and simplicity is using a damp mop. However, before you start mopping the floor (make sure that the mop is not soaking wet, it needs to be just slightly damp) you want to remove all the dust and larger dirt particles by sweeping the surface or vacuuming it with the right attachment for hard floors. Dust and dirt particles can work as an abrasive and leave fine scratches and marks on the floor’s finish. When choosing your cleaning equipment, make sure to choose a broom with softer bristles or a lightweight and mobile vacuum cleaner.
Next, mop the floor and repeat if needed, until you end up with a sparkling clean surface. Normally, just using slightly warm water is enough. However, if you are dealing with stubborn dirt, make sure to add a few drops of a cleaning product to the water. Just make sure the product you are using is specially designed for cleaning wood floors and has a neutral pH, otherwise you risk damaging the finish. Make sure you are moping only a surface with a non-damaged finish. If the finish is worn out or completely gone, the water and cleaning product mixture will penetrate through the wood’s structure and cause warping. Emphasize removing all the dirt and dust thoroughly to minimize the risk of possible scratches, dents, or permanent stains.
One of the most popular types of finishes available for hardwood floors nowadays is polyurethane-based. They make the surface extra shiny and glossy and ensure a hard-wearing and lasting protection. The other main category of finishing products is the group of penetrating sealants such as wax- and oil-based finishes. As the name suggests, this type of finish is not only protective of the surface of the floor but also penetrates the wood’s structure and ensures extra protection and strength from within. However, keep in mind that the second category of finishes may require some extra care and maintenance.
There is no such thing as a permanent stain when it comes to real wood floors. Yes, they can be very stubborn, but you can always find a way to remove them. The more stubborn ones can be stripped off with the help of a few drops of rubbing alcohol directly on the stain and some rubbing. Then continue with polishing and buffing the spot treated for a uniform look of the surface. If the stain is extremely stubborn, usually sanding the entire floor and refinishing it is the only solution.
There is not a right formula that dictates the regularity of your wood floor cleaning routine. Depending on the traffic and a bunch of other factors, you may need to clean your floor daily or rarely. The rule of thumb, however, is to clean the floor at least once a week by vacuuming it and cleaning it with the mop. Consider introducing a “no-shoes-at-home” policy that should be applied not just to the family members but guests too. It may be hard to adjust at first, but you will quickly get used to wearing house sleepers. The benefits are that you will have to deal with significantly less dirt and dust brought from outside and entering the house. Heel marks will be decreased too, which means no scratches and dents to worry about!
Wood Floor Polishing
Many people are not sure about is there a difference between wood floor polishing and refinishing. These two treatments are different and mean something different to your floor. However, there is no place to worry that you are not that familiar with the industry lingo, we are here to explain everything to you!
Refinishing the floor pretty much stands for stripping off the top layer of the old finish of the floor with the help of a sanding machine (and different grits of sanding paper attached to it) and then applying a fresh new coat of the finishing product. The process includes sanding and sealing the floor, normally it will involve buffing too. What polishing stands for is applying a fresh new coat of finish over the already existing finish of the floor without removing it. By this, the top finish layer of the floor becomes stronger and less prone to wear and tear, the bare wood is protected, and the appearance is fresher.
How to Polish Hardwood Floors?
As it is with every other wood floor treatment, the first thing is clearing up space by removing furniture pieces and other objects. Next, the floor should be thoroughly clean, no corner should be missed! Use a broom or a vacuum to remove the dust and dirt and then continue with a couple of rounds with the mop until sparkling clean.
If you miss some dirt and dust, these will remain trapped in the new coat of finish forever. Once the floor is completely dry, you proceed with the application of the finish. Use an application pad for easier coating and uniform application. Follow the grain of the wood for a smooth application and always keep the pad wet enough.
If the floor is damp enough, the product will spread evenly and fill in all existing scratches and fine dents. Next, you should wait for the polish to dry. Ensure at least a couple of hours before you use it again. However, professionals recommend you to allow it to dry overnight and then use the room.