Cleaning Wood Floors

Wood floors are beautiful, durable, and for the most part they’re easier to clean than carpeted floors. Wood floors don’t harbor dust, dirt, or allergens like carpeted floors. Although wood floors are easy to maintain, they do require special care and cleaning to look their best.

The following cleaning methods can help keep wood floors looking their very best. With regular care and proper cleaning, they’ll last for many years. Follow these easy care and cleaning tips, and your wood floors will look better than you ever thought they could.

Regular Cleaning

Wood floors are easy to clean and maintain, but they can’t be ignored. Wood floors don’t require vacuuming of course, but they do require occasional dusting to keep dust bunnies at bay. Go over wood floors with a dry dust mop once or twice a week.

For a more thorough cleaning, wood floors can be damp mopped with products formulated especially for wood. Vegetable oil soap has a fresh scent, and it’s very effective at cleaning and protecting.

Follow product label instructions for best results, and mop small sections of floor at a time. Immediately dry floors with a soft absorbent cloth. They will look brilliant once they’re cleaned and polished to a bright beautiful shine.

Mold and Mildew Removal and Prevention

Nontoxic dry-cleaning fluid effectively removes surface mold and dirt from wood floors, but if mold is deeply engrained in the wood, bleaching, sanding, and refinishing may be necessary. Provide plenty of fresh air and ventilation when using dry-cleaning fluid or bleach.

To clean mold-stained wood floors, mix about five tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (TSP) with one gallon of water. Scrub mold and mildewed wood floors with this solution, and rinse and dry them thoroughly. If this method of cleaning completely removes mold and mildew stains, sand the floors, and refinish them with mold-resistant varnish.

If stains from mold or mildew remain after cleaning with trisodium phosphate, try bleach to remove stubborn spots. Several applications may be necessary, so don’t give up if the first attempt is unsuccessful. Rinse the floors, and allow them to dry completely before sanding and refinishing.

Take precautions to prevent further problems with mold and mildew by repairing household leaks and other sources of excess moisture. If necessary, run a dehumidifier to keep wood floors from absorbing too much moisture from the air.

Alcohol Stains

If an alcoholic beverage stained your wood floor, don’t despair. You can remove alcohol stains by rubbing them with a little silver polish. Follow up by waxing the freshly cleaned area, and you’ll never know the stain was there.

Urine Stains

If you have pets and find mysterious black marks on your wood floor, chances are they’re urine stains. Even old urine stains can be removed by cleaning them with hydrogen peroxide.

Apply peroxide, and let it set on the stains for a couple of minutes. Next, scrape away the old varnish. Reapply the peroxide, and allow it to remain on the stains for a couple of hours. Sand and reapply peroxide as often as necessary until the stains are gone. When the spots are dry, refinish the repaired area.

Food Stains

Food stains can be scraped off with the edge of a razor blade. Simply scrape away stains by following the direction of the wood grain, and be careful not to scratch the surface. Follow up by cleaning and waxing the previously stained area.

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