Wood Floor Maintenance Tips From A Pro

This is a fantastic concentrate cleaner that I always recommend for hardwood floor cleaning.  It can be purchased on Amazon and it makes 5 gallons when properly diluted.
This is a fantastic concentrate cleaner that I always recommend for hardwood floor cleaning. It can be purchased on Amazon and it makes 5 gallons when properly diluted.

3 Simple Steps to Maintaining Wood Floors

This guide is brought to you courtesy of HSW Floors, hardwood flooring contractor in Dallas, TX.

ONE: Sweep up the grit. But whatever you do, don't use your carpet vacuum cleaner. The hard wheels will scuff and possibly leave scratches in the finish of your floor. Simply use a flat wood floor mop to sweep up dirt. If you have a large amount of wood floors and tile in your home or place of business, consider investing in a commercial backpack vacuum such as the "SuperCoach" with the proper accessories. It will make the job easier.

TWO: Mop the floors. However, you must use the right cleaning solution or you could leave a residue on the floors. Site-finished polyurethane wood floors and factory finished wood floors don't need oil soap or vinegar or pine cleaner. If you're looking for something in the local hardware store, be sure to look closely at the label. If it says "restores shine", leave it on the shelf. The cleaner should be an alcohol and water solution which will leave the floor residue free. Use a spray bottle to apply the cleaner and a flat mop for the cleanup. Don't pour the solution onto the floor. You just want to dampen the floor with the cleaner.

THREE: Protect the floor from furniture. Use felt pads to keep chairs from scratching the floor where the chair leg meets the floor. Same for any other furniture that occasionally gets moved around.

Specific products that I'd avoid:

Murphy's Oil Soap, PineSol or other Pine Products, Vinegar, Furniture Polish, OrangeGlo Polish and Cleaner, Bona Kemi Floor Refresher, Pledge Wood Floor Cleaner, Swiffer Wet Jet products, Bissell or other hardwood floor cleaning machines, Steam Mop

Intensive Floor Treatment, to safely remove stubborn built-up grime on wood floors.
Intensive Floor Treatment, to safely remove stubborn built-up grime on wood floors.
If you're socks or your feet are picking up grime from the floors, that's a good sign that you're overdue for a "deep cleaning."
If you're socks or your feet are picking up grime from the floors, that's a good sign that you're overdue for a "deep cleaning."

Long-Term Maintenance

Think carpet shampoo for wood floors...  Just like carpeting requires an occasional shampoo or dry cleaning to remove soil and grime that vacuuming doesn't take care of, wood floors have a few long-term maintenance items that will keep them looking great and help avoid the guy with the sander.

Let me first say this.  If all you do is clean your floors, you're not cleaning up everything.  That mild cleaner doesn't have the muscle to cut through stubborn grime and build-up soil. 

If you're wood floors have lost their luster, a deep cleaning may be in order.  We use Basic Coatings Commercial Floor Maintenance system.  Starting with IFT (Intensive Floor Treatment) and followed by a rinse with Squeaky, this system is safe for use on most urethane finished and prefinished wood floor products.  They are both available on Amazon.com (see below), however you MUST follow the instructions carefully.  If you don't want to take this on yourself, Basic Coatings can find a local distributor in your area and should be able to refer you to a professional who is experienced with this system.

Comments 8 comments

Andrew 6 years ago

Great article. Thanks for the good info - I've been looking around for help on how to clean my floors and the best stuff to use and this is a huge help!


Alicia 6 years ago

Can I pick up the cleaner anywhere in Dallas, TX or do I have to order it from Amazon?


HSW Floors profile image

HSW Floors 6 years ago Author

@Alicia - The cleaner I recommend by Basic Coatings is not available at Home Depot or Lowes. You can search on Basic's website using the distributor locator http://www.basiccoatings.com/Distributor%20Locator...


Jack 6 years ago

Thanks for the info. Good Article


Graciela A 6 years ago

Your article was most informative. I have been cleaning with pine cleaner and my husband wanted us to rewax the floors. I showed him this article and have already ordered the squeaky from Amazon. Thank you.


Brandy 6 years ago

I wish I had used those felt pads for the wood in my kitchen. Now my kids and I have really scratched them up. Can I recoat these myself? Where can I get the stuff?


HSW Floors profile image

HSW Floors 6 years ago Author

Brandy-

Look for a home depot or Lowes with a tool rental department. They will have a vibrating sander that you can use to screen your floors and they should also sell the floor finish. You can do this yourself if you follow the directions, however it may not be expensive to hire a pro for the job.


Hardwoodfloors Marysville 5 years ago

It is such a good idea to maintain your beautiful hardwood floors with the proper cleaning supplies. It helps that newly-installed luxurious shine to last a long time.

Good tips about the backpack vacuum as well. Too many homeowners with hardwood floors don't know this and still drag their vacuum wheels across the floor (ouch!)

Thanks for sharing.

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