When it comes to flooring, it's timber or nothing for a lot of people. And why not? Timber floors are elegant, durable, they add value to your property and they are oh so lovely! You can literally spend an entire day just staring at your shiny wooden floors. This scares some folks into thinking that the shiny timber they paid for will fade and become dull and lifeless over the years. Don't let that sway you from choosing wood for your floors. Timber is a great choice. And with proper maintenance, you can enjoy beautiful, shiny wooden floors for a very long time. Here are 7 great tips to keep timber floors sparkling like diamonds.
1. Don't Mop A Dirty Floor
Many people make the mistake of cutting corners by mopping straight away without cleaning timber floors first. To put it into perspective, moisture plus dirt equals mud. So the whole time you're mopping a dirty floor, you're actually just spreading muddy water. Solid debris on the floor can also get stuck on the mop and scratch the wood finish. Instead, sweep or vacuum first to get rid of loose dirt.
2. Keep Floors Clean
An easy way to make sure you’re not mopping a dirty floor is by keeping the floors clean in the first place. Use mats at doors to reduce the amount of dirt that comes in, and consider a rug in high traffic areas such as hallways to protect the floor. Or, you can have a policy of leaving your shoes at the door!
Dirt, soil, gravel and debris can scratch the floor when they are stepped on. Notice that crunchy sound you hear everytime you walk on your floor? That is the awful sound of debris crushing underneath your shoes and damaging the floor. Use a dry mop or soft broom to remove dirt and debris every so often, and vacuum at least once a week. Be careful to avoid using a vacuum with a beater bar to avoid scratching the wood floor.
3. Cleaning Products: Read The Label
Cleaning products are a great way to keep timber floors shiny, but with so many products to choose from, it’s easy to grab the wrong products by mistake. Before heading out to the supermarket, do your research to find out the best and safest cleaning products to use. A good way to start is by checking out what your wood floor manufacturer recommends. Avoid acidic cleaners at all cost, as the acid can ruin hardwood floors over time. That's why you should never use vinegar to clean wood floors.
Another common mistake is that people tend to use too much of a product. Using more cleaner than you need doesn’t equate to a better clean. In fact, it makes the process harder, as you need to rinse more to make sure that no detergent residue is left behind. Read the label and follow the recommended usage of the product.
4. Buff Your Floors Dry
Wood floors are not clothes. There is no benefit to air drying timber floors. Water is a common enemy of wood, and too much water can cause wood to swell, shrink, crack or rot. Buffing wood floors dry with a clean, soft cloth will make your timber floors shine. So avoid over-wetting hardwood floors and make sure to completely dry the floor right after cleaning.
5. Say No Direct Sunlight
Apart from moisture, the other sworn enemy of hardwood floors is direct sunlight. UV rays from sunlight can cause fading and discolouration. You love watching how sunlight reflects off of your hardwood floors. We get it. But keep it up and your floors will lose their lustre sooner rather than later. So make sure to close your blinds or drapes during the day time.
Pro tip: Rotate your furniture! This will not prevent your floors from sun damage but it will even out the amount of time different areas are exposed to sunlight and prolong the life of your floors by avoiding sharp lines where the furniture hides the floor.
6. Remove Wax Build Up
Perhaps the biggest culprit that makes timber floors dull and cloudy is too much wax build up on the wood surface. Wax residue comes from the previous cleaning products you’ve used. Choose cleaning products that don’t have wax and be wary of cleaners that promises sparkling floors. More often than not, they have wax in the solution. Instead, look for a product that can safely remove the wax build up on your floor. You can read more about this topic in our article Why Some Cleaning Products Make Your Wood Floors Look Dull and Dirty.
Pro Tip: Bona is a top floor cleaner that manufacturers recommend. It is a neutral cleaning product that doesn’t contain wax.
7. Call The Professionals
Professional cleaning is essential to keep timber floors shining, shimmering, splendid! Seriously though, professional cleaners use top of the line equipment and solutions to safely and efficiently clean your hardwood floors, removing built-up dirt, grime and wax to restore your timber floor’s original sheen. They will also be able to help you determine if your floor needs to be refinished if there are worn out and scratched portions on the floor. Electrodry’s Timber Restore system is the best way to clean and refinish wood floors without the hassle and high cost of sanding. Electrodry will leave you with gorgeous floors in just one day.
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