How to keep your hardwood floors clean
23 Jan 2023
Here are some tips and tricks on how to maintain your floors, and keep them in tip-top shape.
How often should I clean my floors?
Your floors should be cleaned as often as needed. However, to preserve the longevity of your flooring, we recommend sweeping, vacuuming, or dry mopping the floor at least once a week at a minimum, or whenever feels necessary.
Wet cleaning should be limited to once a day at most in commercial spaces, and once a week in residential spaces.
- Don’t use excessive water – Water and wood don’t generally mix (this goes for all wood floors! Not just Havwoods.) Naturally, wood expands when it’s wet, and due to its porous nature, moisture can be easily absorbed into the material. Remember, hardwood flooring is a natural resource and although our flooring may resist water, it does not mean that it is waterproof.
- Don’t avoid the label – Anything with bleach in the ingredients should be avoided. Soap-free is always best, too. Never use anything with caustic properties, like cleaning soda. Be wary of products on the homeware shelf that look like they may be suitable but aren’t, and always check the fine print for phrases like ‘not suitable for waxed floors.’
- Don’t use the wrong cleaning products – It's important to choose the correct cleaning product for the appropriate finish of the floor. Using the wrong one could result in a damaged or slippery floor (for example, accidentally using an oiled-based product on a lacquered finish).
- Use water-based products as necessary – Use the recommended amount of clean water when the cleaning solution is used.
- Use an approved and tested maintenance product – We prefer Marldon products, but there are many other products on the market. Feel free to let us know what you intend to use, and we can advise you if we endorse it, too!
- Follow instructions – It's crucial that accurate dilutions of cleaning solution are used. Temptations to add a splash more for ‘good luck’ could end up causing a thick film on the floor, which can be counterproductive, attracting more dirt or debris.
- Limit the use of footwear indoors – A simple way of keeping extra dirt from coming indoors is keeping shoes or a mat at the front and back door. This protects your home and family from any dirt and debris you may bring in from outside. Walking around in socks (or barefoot) is great for maintaining your hardwood floors.
Should the product I choose depend on the finish of my floor?
Absolutely! If your floor is lacquered or oiled, an appropriate cleaner should be selected when cleaning your floor. A lacquered floor will need a multi-surface cleaner, and a UV-oiled floor should have a hard wax oil substance incorporated into the cleaning product.
Whilst multi-cleaners are fine for UV-oiled floors, we recommend one with an oil content to ensure floors are being micro-replenished often. This helps to greatly extend the lifespan of your floor.
How do I get rid of stubborn stains?
Some care companies use specific spot removers. Woca does a good line of localized stain and spot removers. Some natural products like vinegar or denatured alcohol can be useful for spot repairs, and no specific harm will be done to the floors if you choose to use this kind of spot treatment.
Lather, rinse and repeat
This may sound obvious, but always using clean water is essential. If you only use one bucket, the dirty water from your floor goes back into the bucket from the first pass. For the rest of the clean, you’re effectively using dirty water, probably leaving more dirt behind as you pass over a second time.
We prefer to adopt what is known as the ‘two bucket method’. This is where you have (1) a bucket of floor cleaning solution and (2) an empty bucket to begin with.
The mop goes into the solution, is well wrung out to minimize the amount of liquid on the floor, and a small area is cleaned; lifting dirt and providing a micro layer of extra protection in the process. The dirt that is now on the mop must be wrung out into the empty/dirty water bucket, and then you can start with the next dip. Wring it out, pass the mop across the floor, and repeat. This way you ensure a clean mop, and the clean solution is applied to the floor.
Always allow the floor to dry before replacing any rugs to ensure moisture isn’t allowed to remain on the floor for longer than normal.
Selecting a Havwoods-approved floor cleaner
At Havwoods, we recommend Marldon cleaning products, as they contain natural ingredients that are environmentally friendly. You can have peace of mind that no harm is being caused to your floor by using them.
Your floor will greatly benefit from a purpose-made cleaning solution thanks to the many ingredients designed to safely clean, and also protect, your floors.
Marldon products were developed by flooring experts specifically for the purpose of cleaning wood floors, and specifically Havwoods floors, in accordance with the finishes that have been used during manufacture.
There are some cleaning products on the market that state they are fine for use on ‘all hardwood floors’ or ‘all hard surfaces’. While these generally should be fine, they most likely haven’t been tested on specific floor finishes, so a cautious approach should be taken if you choose to use another cleaning product.