How to Clean Hardwood Floors by Hand

Cleaning Hardwood by HandHardwood floors are a major investment, but as hard as we frequently use them, we all expect them to glow like when we first purchased them. Yeah. Right. We all walk on them.

We track dirt on them. And we won’t even mention what pets do to them.

Regardless of what happens to yours, this is a short guide will help you get started in the right direction. Follow these pointers and you can expect your hardwood floors to glow.

1. Clear Your Floors

Clear as much of the furniture as you can move away from the area where you want to clean.

If you have larger furniture that you want to clean under, invest in furniture pads that you can place underneath your furniture and slide it where you want. This prevents further scuffing.

2. Dry-Mop or Vacuum Your Floor

Using a dry-mop or a vacuum cleaner, you should be able to get a lot of the major dry and dust off.

3. Determine Your Surface

Determining the type of wood floor you have is a hugely important thing to do before you get started. Most modern floors are coated with some kind of sealer, which makes them much easier to clean than uncoated wood.

If your wooden floor is older, chances are good that the wood is uncoated and will be more difficult to clean since you can’t use water or a lot of other cleaners on them.

4. Mop Your Floor, Going With the Grain.

Now you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty where you are working with the floor. You don’t want to damage the finish or scratch the wood (read repairing hardwood scratches), so if your floor is polyurethaned, use a damp mop, clean the floor according to the grain of the wood.

There are several excellent soap products on the market for this use, or you can add a few drops–and no more–of dishwashing liquid to help you get debris off the floor.

On the other hand, if your floors are lacquered or shellacked, do not use water, which can stain and cause the wood to warp and buckle.

5. Buff Your Floor

By now, everything should be pretty clean. What you want to do now is to remove any dampness and polish it to a shine. This is accomplished by using a dry rag in a circular motion over the surface of the floor.

Make you are being gentle when you do this to prevent scratching, and while you’re at it, use a diaper to prevent problems. Diapers and soft and very absorbent, so they can solve a lot of problems when it comes to polishing anything, including your floors.

As you probably surmised by reading these steps, cleaning your hardwood by hand can be very labor intensive. If you don’t have shiny floors by following these steps, check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend.

Otherwise, you could call a local hardwood floor dealer for advice or look for a special product at the grocery store.

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