Tips and Products for Cleaning Hardwood Floors
First, do remember that if you've been cleaning your wood floors with vinegar and water, oil soap, furniture polish or window cleaner, you may be ruining your costly investment. While these cleaners may work well on some surfaces, hardwood floors are not one of them.
Excessive wet mopping with water and vinegar can cause wood to expand, possibly permanently damaging the floor in addition to dulling the finish. Other cleaners that have silicone, wax or oil soaps can leave a residue on the finish that will adversely affect the adhesion of a new coat of finish, requiring a complete sanding and finishing of your floors to remove it.
Cleaners that do not leave any residue allow you to periodically "pad and recoat" your floors, which involves having your hardwood floor-finishing professional deep clean and abrade your floor, then add a new coat of finish, which dramatically conserves time and money and keeps your floors looking like new.
One residue-free, proven hardwood floor cleaner formulated specifically for polyurethane-finished hardwood floors is BonaKemi's Swedish Formula® Hardwood Floor Cleaner. This environmentally friendly, non-toxic, pH-neutral cleaner effectively cleans dirt, grease and sticky spills without leaving any dulling residue.
Preventative care of your floors is also extremely important for keeping hardwood floors looking like new. Simple activities such as vacuuming or sweeping floors regularly, promptly removing spills, placing mats at exterior doors in order to trap sand and grit, and using protective pads or caps on "feet" of furniture can all help in keeping your hardwood floors fresh. Also, avoid walking on your floors with high-heeled shoes and keep the nails of pets trimmed.
Yet, maintenance is just one piece of the puzzle in caring for your hardwood floors. When your floors are worn or damaged beyond what periodic recoating can restore, you will need a professional to refinish your floors.
Hardwood floor refinishing has traditionally been a dusty and inconvenient process. However, newer products and services, such as BonaKemi's Environmental Choice System™, include sanding systems that eliminate dust, and Swedish waterborne finishes without the toxic fumes. The BonaKemi system is certified by the GreenGuard Environmental Institute for indoor air quality. To learn more about caring for your floor, visit www.bonakemi.com.