Written by Tenley Haraldson.
Hardwood floors create an air of character, warmth, and style to your home, but they aren’t always the easiest material to clean. Tons of cleaning products promise to clean floors effortlessly, but ammonia, chlorine, phosphates, and other alkaline products can actually wear away the finish with repeated use.
Many people prefer to use natural cleaning products in their homes – and Puracy products offer an “eco-conscious clean” with minimal effort.
How to Clean Different Types of Floor Finishes
Before you start cleaning, consider your hardwood finish. Different types require different cleaning methods, but we love using this microfiber mop on all types of hardwood flooring. Not only is microfiber incredibly absorbent, but these tools are also super gentle on all surfaces and cut down on unnecessary waste (that disposable pads create).
How to Clean Surface-Sealed Floors
Surface-sealed floors are sealed with polyurethane, polyacrylic, or urethane. Most new floors are surface-sealed, meaning that they're water- and stain-resistant.
First, sweep or vacuum to pick up any loose hair or dust. Next, fill up a bucket with warm water and squeeze in about 1 TBSP of Natural Dish Soap.
Pro Tip: You don’t want a mop to be soaking wet, so be sure to wring the mop out so it’s only mildly damp.
How to Clean Varnished, Lacquered, & Shellacked Floors
Varnished, lacquered, or shellacked floors are semi-resistant to water, wear, and stains.
After sweeping or vacuuming, spray the entire floor with Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner, then use your microfiber mop to work your way outward from one corner of the room.
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How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors
Laminate wood floors are made of manufactured wood, so they're unbelievably durable. You can use either a natural multi-surface cleaner or mop with a bucket full of dish soap-infused water.
Cleaning Oil-Treated & Seal-Treated Floors
Oil-treated and penetrating seal-treated floors are treated in such a way that the sealant seeps into the wood grain and sets.
Water-based cleaners can cause irreparable damage, we recommend cleaning these types of finished hardwood with a premium liquid or paste wax (unfinished floors can use this same method).
Can I Clean Hardwood Floors with Soap and Water?
The traditional method of mopping with hot water and soap isn't always the best practice for hardwood floors. In fact, if water stands on hardwood floors for too long, it can get into the cracks and lead to warping and bending of the floors.
While you do technically have to get the floors wet to clean them, you want to choose a method that allows for them to dry quickly and lower the chance of damage.
Can I Use Vinegar to Clean Floors?
Some people swear by diluted vinegar or lemon. While this is definitely a natural approach, using soapy water is more effective at fighting dirt buildup. Some cleaning professionals also maintain that the acidic properties of lemon and vinegar can damage the seal of hardwood flooring.
Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Floors
Between cleaning, use these simple tips to protect flooring and keep them looking their best.
1. Wipe up Spills
If you spill anything on your hardwood floors, wipe it up immediately with a dry towel. This is especially true for liquids caused by beverages, pet messes, and wet shoes.
2. Add Rugs to Your Rooms
Place runners and rugs in high-traffic areas of your home (like hallways, entryways, and next to sinks) to protect floors from excessive wear.
3. Use Furniture Pads
Under chair legs, bed frames, and more, felt furniture pads can help protect your floors from scratching.
4. Pet Pedicures
We obviously love our pets, but regularly trimming their nails can help avoid serious damage.
5. Take Your Shoes Off
In addition to tracking dirt, germs, and bacteria through your home, wearing shoes inside can also cause damage to hardwood flooring (especially high heels!). Take shoes off in your entryway and replace them with comfy slippers.
6. Close Your Curtains
Hardwood flooring will naturally change in color when exposed to regular use and the sun. You can, however, reduce drastic discoloration by closing the blinds or using sheer, UV-blocking curtains while you're out of the house.
7. Redecorate from Time to Time
When you rearranging your furniture once a year – even slightly – you’ll help to minimize uneven aging. Plus, who doesn’t like a change of scene?
8. Sweep up
In places where there's a lot of foot traffic, you should try to sweep once a day and mop your hardwood floors at least once a week. For lower traffic areas, mopping once a month or once a season is sufficient. As always, please make sure to follow the guidelines we noted earlier based on the type of hardwood flooring you have in your home.
Cleaner Floors, Fuller Wallet
When you purchase our 64-ounce eco-friendy refill packs, you’ll be saving more than 20% per ounce on all of your favorite Puracy products. Even more incredible? Our Concentrated Multi-Surface Cleaner saves you a whopping 62% per ounce. That means more product to get all of your home surfaces shining and sparkling.