Hi there. My hubby and I spent our weekend sanding and staining our hardwood
floors and are in between our 1st and 2nd coats of varnish (doing 3
altogether). When we're done with this we need to come up with a new way
to clean it since we just pulled the carpet up a couple weeks ago and have
never had hardwood floors before this. I'm pretty cerain that water is bad
for them so what do we use when we have a mess on the floor that must be
cleaned with liquid (otherwise we'll just vacuum every week or so to keep
the dirt from scratching the floors)?
I just wanted to hear what others had for ideas.
I don't know much about them, either, but I know that there are
a lot of products on the market to clean wood floors. I believe
that the Murphy's Oil products are supposed to be good. Just
follow the directions!
For all my clients with hardwood floors, I first vacuum or sweep the floor
(if it's super-dusty), and then mop with a solution of 50/50 vinegar and
water. I don't let the mop get super-wet, just damp. The floors always
look great when I'm done.
If you don't like the smell try adding a few drops of an essential oil (like
orange or lemon for example) to the mixture. Will help cut down on the
vinegar smell (though the vinegar odor dissipates pretty quickly).
It is true that putting large volumes of water on a wood floor is a bad
idea. However, you can use a damp mop, just don't slosh water on the floor
and mop it up. I would also think that unless you live in a very clean
environment without any kids or pets that you will have to clean the floor
more than once a week.
I have laminate floors that require about the same care as wood floors. I
use a broom and/or a Swiffer dry mop on them daily. It only takes a minute
and if you get the Swiffer Max mop, it cuts the time down considerably. Of
course you could vacuum, but the Swiffer is faster. Every day or two after
sweeping the floors, I either damp mop them or use my steam cleaner. The
steamer is great because it cleans well, uses no chemicals, and leaves the
floors nearly dry. For damp mopping, I just put an old piece of bath towel
on the Swiffer mop head and use the home made cleaner that was suggested
here: 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup alcohol, 1 1/2 cups water.
I put this in an old dish detergent bottle and sprits it on the floor,
immediately following with the mop. You could also use a commercial cleaner
like Lysol One Step, or you could use one of the newer damp mops like
Swiffer Wet Jet.
I keep the windows closed most of the year and have an electronic air
cleaner on the furnace that runs 24/7. I still get an amazing amount of
dust. If I only swept the floor once a week I would have dust bunnies!
You have a fire all year round?
In winter I get a lot of dust from my warm air central heating but the
rest of the year there's very little. Windows and doors wide open it
comes in one and blows out the other!
When the windows are closed, I set the fan to the "on" position. I got a
new furnace/AC unit last year with a high efficiency, variable speed DC
motor that supposedly costs about the same to run as a 75 watt bulb. This
keeps the air flowing through the system and therefore through the
electronic air cleaner. I am amazed at the amount of dust and debris. Even
in areas like my walk-in closet, there is a lot of dust. I vacuum the area
rugs every day, so I can't see that it is coming from them. Who knows! I
have comptemplated having the stuff analyzed to see what it is.
I vacuum a couple of times a week with the big floor attachment and
wash about once a fortnight with a rag swilled in a warm dilute liquid
floor soap for wood and squeezed out so it's not dripping wet.
Thank you for all the suggestions. We have no kids and just one small
dachshund who sheds very little but I think we have decided on a dry swiffer
to use a couple of times a week to keep the dust rhinocerouses (yeah,
bunnies aren't a good description of what we found when we moved the
furniture to refinish these floors) away and we will also make sure the dog
gets his nails trimmed once a week to avoid scratches from that.
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