Maintaining and preserving the beauty of your hardwood floors can be easy to do with the proper cleaning techniques. Unfortunately some of the old wive's tales and cleaning myths like using vinegar to clean your hardwood floors has been advice that has ruined many a wood floor. Vinegar is an acid on the pH scale and can damage the manufacturer’s floor shine. Yes, I know many experts, home and garden magazines, and building contractors continue to tell people vinegar is safe for hardwood and no wax floors. The hardwood floor associations have even stopped recommending vinegar as a safe cleaner for hardwood. Prolonged use of vinegar at high concentrates with hot water can deteriorate the polyurethene finish and even continue wearing down the stain on your wood floor. There are many tell tale signs of a damaged wood floor. You can tell if your wood floor has been damaged by vinegar, ammonia or other harsh cleaners when it looks dull in spots, has areas that are chalky white, or when it has worn out traffic patterns. So how can you protect the beauty and preserve the finish on and still clean your wood floor safely? Use a neutral floor cleaner (this is non-acid and non-alkaline on the pH scale) on all your hardwood. Keep in mind water and wood do not get along. So less liquid is always best on your hardwood floors. You cannot let water sit on wood floors; it can damage them. What about repairing the damage that has been done to your hardwood floors? Start with 2-3 washings of your hardwood with a nuetral floor cleaner, It will restore your floor’s pH level and remove the residue left from other cleaners.
Hardwood floor care tips
What do you use to clean your hardwood floors?
Tried and True Make your own neutral floor cleaner. Use a mild liquid dish detergent like Ivory, just a few drops in a gallon of barely warm water. (Hot water can break down finishes after time) Stop using those wood floor oil soaps, most people use too much product and hot water.
Stress buster Shortcut Buy a gallon of nuetral floor cleaner you can get it on line from a janitorial supplier or purchase a gallon from sam's warehouse in the janitorial aisle.
What can you do for dull hardwood floors?
Tried and True Boil 5-6 tea bags on the stove with 5 cups water--cool-- pour in bucket and then apply to floor by mopping in even strokes (note: does not yeild long lasting results)
Stress buster Shortcut Buy Hollway House "Quick Shine" it is a polymer shine that gives you a new floor in a bottle. It is not a wax, it never needs to be stripped, it dissipates with normal foot traffic. I love it on my hardwood floor. You can go up to 6 coats, and it takes 15 minutes to dry between coats. The results are phenomenal. It gives your floor a shiny face lift.
What about floors that have scratches?
Tried and True Run a mild steel wool 0000# grade, the finest available. This will not work on deep scratchs only light surface scratches. Use steel wool gently and go over scratch a few times. Damp wipe with slightly damp cloth then dry. Apply Reckitt Benckiser Inc. Old English Scratch Cover with a soft cloth. The results are only temporary.
Stress buster Shortcut--Buy a minwax pen that matches your floor stain. Follow above procedure
What about dull floors with no shine?
Tried and True Clean floor and Paint on clear polyurethene from your hardware store. Follow label directions.
Stress buster Shortcut--Buy Holloway House Quick Shine advanced polymer shine. Clean floor according to label directions, apply with mop. Dries in 15 minutes and looks like a fresh coat of polyurethene. It truly is like a new floor in a bottle. You can also use Quick Shine on no wax, vinyl, laminate, and even tile floors.