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Best Products for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

May 7, 2013 by | Jennifer | There have been 0 comments

If you’ve got hardwood floors, you know how beautiful they look when they’re clean and shiny--and how disappointing it is when they get dull and dirty. Here are a few tips that AltruFir has picked up on how to keep wood floors looking fantastic day and in day out.

Find your finish

Here’s something to keep in mind: unless you’re living in a log cabin, you’re not actually cleaning the surface of the wood flooring itself. You’re cleaning the surface of whatever coating or finish was applied on top of the floor. The product you pick to clean your hardwood floors depends on what kind of finish you have. Hardwood Floors Magazine says the best way to clean your hardwood floors is to ask a professional: talk to the people who installed or refinished your floor what they recommend, and then stick to their recommendation.

Say you inherited your floors. Not sure what’s underfoot? Most modern floors have a polyurethane finish, so read your product labels and find a cleaner that’s meant for poly finishes. Some older floors have a wax finish. Read labels to find cleaners meant for these types as well.

Not sure how to tell the difference? Try a spot test in a hidden area, like the inside of a closet. Drip a droplet of water onto the floor and let it sit for a few minutes. If it beads up, then it’s probably polyurethane. If the finish turns white and then gradually fades, then it’s a wax finish.

Tested and approved

Once you know which type of finish your hardwood floors have, you could test product after product, carefully noting how each performs. Or, you could turn to sources that do that kind of testing so you don’t have to.

The Good Housekeeping Institute, which has been testing home care products since 1900, recommends Bona brand products, such the Bona Ultimate Hardwood Floor Care System. Consumer Reports also recommends Bona for how to clean your wood floors.

Some folks swear by the old-fashioned method of a vinegar-and-water mixture. While this method is cheap and chemical-free, experts such as the writers from the National Wood Flooring Association’s Hardwood Floors Magazine warn that vinegar is an acid, and if you use too much, you can damage the finish.

Another product to avoid: steam mops. These mops that spray steam into your flooring can actually damage your floors. Water is the enemy of wood flooring, so you want to avoid anything that sprays excessive water onto the floor and avoid mopping with so much liquid that you leave puddles behind.

Still in doubt? Clean your floors with a damp mop, and talk to a wood flooring professional for professional advice.


This post was posted in Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas-fir, Douglas fir flooring, douglas fir floors, flooring stains, stains, maintaining wood floors, maintaining fir floors, pet stains, removing pet stains, hardwood pet stains, wood flooring, hardwood flooring, hardwood floors, wood floors

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