Working moms tend to find themselves with less and less time due to various responsibilities that they have to take upon them. Amidst taking care of the family, house, and other extracurricular activities, life is definitely not easy for them.
Recently, there has been a trend of having wood flooring in your house. A working mom or any homemaker, who has wood flooring knows that it’s a mixture of pride and regret to get this. On the one hand, your home has a warm, inviting character to it and on the other, it is very high maintenance. Moisture can cause the wood planks to warp, rot and weaken and they may start experiencing mold growth. Similarly, dirt and debris can also collect in the flooring. Knowing how to properly look after and clean your timber flooring is a necessity.
Improper cleaning can mean that you have residual chemicals, water, and other solutions, which can also contribute to the deterioration of the planks. Keeping them spotless, healthy and in good condition is crucial, especially if you want the flooring to last for decades.
The following is a brief guide for working moms on how you can look after your hardwood or recycled timber flooring:
1. Use a Mop or a Vacuum Cleaner
Wood flooring is available in different colors and ranges from light tan to a deep mahogany tone. This also means that based on the color, dirt and debris might be too visible. To clean up the flooring, you need to make use of a dry dust mop or a vacuum cleaner.
In many cases, having a vacuum is the best option as improper cleaning with a dust mop can sometimes push in dirt, dust, and debris into the surface of the wood planks. With a vacuum cleaner, you are able to clean wood flooring properly. Additionally, make sure to only use the floor brush vacuum setting as the beater bar one will likely cause damage to the flooring or the finish.
It should be noted that this cleaning method only applies to clean on a daily basis. Wood flooring also needs to be deep cleaned from time to time as the wood can accumulate a lot of dust and grime. For deep cleaning, you will have to apply a different cleaning method. For that, you need to follow the steps outlined below.
2. Clear Out the Room
First things first, you want to clear out all the furniture from the room. This is necessary, particularly in areas where you have a lot of knick-knacks and decorative pieces. It also ensures that there are no areas in your flooring left uncleaned. Whether it’s the hallway, the living room or the bedroom, make sure to clear the room completely or as much as possible before you start cleaning the floor.
When you’re moving the furniture, always make sure to lift and move them. Dragging can leave scratches on the floor. You can also make sure to have furniture pads. These make it easier to move your furniture over the floors. With no scuffing or scratch marks to worry about, you can empty out the room with ease.
3. Clean the Floor
Before you start to deep clean your wood flooring, you need to ensure that there is no unnecessary debris, dirt or dust on the surface. This means that you should vacuum it just like you normally would. Take your time to really clean each and every corner of the room. It’s not an easy task to empty out a whole room, so you should make the most of it.
However, remember that dust mopping is not the only way that you can clean up all the dirt and debris that has been brought into the house. Make sure to dispose of the dust, dirt, and debris you collect from the surface in a proper manner. You don’t want to make a mess and have to clean it up again.
4. Go with the Grain
Once you’re done dusting the floor, you will have to start deep cleaning it. This can be done with the help of a different wet mop and a floor cleaning solution. Usually, you can buy commercial, store-bought cleaners for recycled timber flooring, but if you don’t want to get it, you can also use a vinegar solution. All you need to do then is mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water.
Now, dip the mop cloth in the solution and wring it thoroughly. The mop should be damp, not soaked in the water solution. Start to wipe down the floorboards, making sure to follow the grain of the floorboards and using smooth strokes. You’ll have to go back and forth to get stubborn grime and dirt out, but don’t use a soaked mop on the boards.
5. Be Mindful of the Finish
Not all wood flooring has the same kind of finishing, and this will play a role in how you clean them. You want to pay attention to this factor before you start to clean the floorboards. Based on the kind of finish your flooring has, you may have to modify your floor cleaning methods. The wet mop cleaning method is only suited for use on polyurethane flooring.
If your flooring has a shellacked or lacquered finish, mopping them with water or using a water-based cleaner can damage the boards. In some cases, it even causes staining, warping, and buckling of the floorboards. Additionally, you might have to use a different cleaner for reclaimed timber flooring as it can be a bit more high maintenance.
6. Buff the Floors
After you are done mopping up the solution or water cleaner from the floors, you should always take the time to buff the floorboards. Buffing adds a beautiful shine to the floorboards and you can also ensure that all moisture has been wiped away.
To buff, all you need to do is use a soft, microfiber cloth, like a baby’s cloth diaper, and rub the floor, following a circular direction. Buffing can also help you cover up scratches in the floorboards. For scratches, all you need to do is use a crayon of the same color as the floorboard. Rub the crayon on the scratch and then use a hair dryer and buff the area with it. If you follow these methods, you can easily keep any wooden flooring beautiful and new.
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