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How to Care for Bamboo Floors

Updated on January 2, 2014
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Weekly Cleaning

When these floors are clean and shiny they are georgeous. But keeping them clean longer than 3 days with a household of 4 seems to be a challenge! After trying every cleaning product made for these floors, it has boiled down to one favorite: Murphy's Oil Soap. It now comes in a premixed squirt bottle you can squirt on the floors as you mop doing a small section at a time. If you can't find the premix you can add the regular Murphy's Oil Soap to your mop bucket.

To apply the Murphy's Oil Soap, I have found my favorite mop: the Spin Mop. Yes, the one you have seen advertised on the infomercials! It works well because the spinning of the mop head makes a dryer mop than squeezing the water out. Hardwood floors do not like much water. The mop needs to be just a little damp.

The combination of the Murphy's Oil Soap and the Spin Mop is what I use to mop the floor every 2 weeks. Before I discovered this method I was mopping the floors every week and disappointed in the sheen by the 3rd day. Now, I have even went as long as 19 days without mopping the floors! The Murphy's Oil Soap does not leave any sticky residue, no streaks, and actually seems to repel the dirt from daily shoe traffic.

Between mopping, I dust mop occasionally with a Shark Pro Steamer on the low setting for hardwood floors. This takes off any marks and shines the floors up a bit between the regular mopping. I have been known to skip a week here and there and just use the vacuum because dust is all that is on the floors now that I use the Murphy's Oil.

Before I tried the Murphy's Oil Soap, the Shark Steamer was the best option I had found. It cleaned the floors without leaving a residue. Sometimes it streaked. But mostly, it cleaned fine but the floors did not stay clean for very long. They seemed to attract dirt faster as time passed. (Until I wanted to mop them every other day because they looked so dull.)


Repairing Surface Scratches

If your floor gets scratched but is in the coating, not through to the wood, it is an easy fix. Just rub in some vegetable oil with a rag or paper towel. It does not matter what brand or kind of oil; vegetable, canola, or olive oils work the same. Apply generously directly to the floor and rub into the scratch and the area around the scratch. Let dry 24 - 48 hours then mop like normal.

Your scratch may still appear slightly in reflected light. You can re-apply oil if desired but the scratch should have blended back to the original color of the flooring. If the scratches are multiple and fairly deep, for example caused by a chair over time, you may want to repeat 2 or 3 times for the best results.

Repairing Deep Scratches

To repair deep scratches that are through the baked on topcoat of your flooring, you may need to use a wood fill pencil such as a Minwax Blend-Fil Pencil. If you had the floors installed yourself, your installers should have left you the pencils they used during installation. When the floors are installed they require nails on two border edges near the wall. Your installers would have covered the nail holes with these fill pencils.

If you did not have the floors installed or your installer did not leave pencils for you, match the color of your floors as best you can at your local hardware or building supply store. Minwax offers a large assortment of fill colors. For the tigerwood floors I have 3 different Minwax Blend-Fil Pencils to match the varied colors in the floor.

If you use a steam mop, try to avoid areas with the wood fill or go over them lightly. The steam can take out the wood fill a little at a time and will need to be refilled eventually.


General Maintenance

Supplies
Purpose
When to Use
Spin Mop and Murphy's Oil Soap
Wet mop floors to clean and shine
Weekly or Bi-Weekly
Shark Pro Navigator Vacuum
Remove dust and dirt. Replaces broom and dust mop.
Weekly
Shark Pro Steamer
Quick mop in between regular mopping/Spot mop spills or marks/Dust mop
As Needed
Vegetable Oil
Repair light scratches
As Needed
Minwax Blend-Fil Pencils
Repair deep scratches
As Needed

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