Keeping wooden floors in good condition is a rather meticulous process. You may clean the floor with proper dusting agents to ensure that you remove dust, dirt or pet hair which are responsible for scratching the floor surface. Vacuuming the floor with a floor brush attached to the vacuum cleaner is a good example if you wish to clean the floors weekly or biweekly. It is not advisable for you to clean the floor with a beater bar attachment which may scratch the wooden flooring. Disposable cloths available at discount stores or any grocery shop may be useful if you want a quick cleaning. You must make sure and use both sides of the cloth.
Hardwood Floors; Deeper Cleaning:-
Substances which are difficult to clean may not be completely washed off by a mere dust cleaning process. Things like dirt, oil or grime must be cleaned with wood cleaning chemicals which are diluted according to the label instructions. You may use a sponge or a mop to clean the floor but make sure you wring the mop properly before applying on the wooden flooring so that the effect is that of a slightly clean mop. Damp clean the floor after which you need to clean it with fresh clean water. Generally springtime or winter holidays are the best time for such processes. You should always ensure that there is no water while you are cleaning the floor since it is one of the main reasons why wooden floors get damaged. In case of wet floor, you should switch on the fan or air conditioner to speed up the drying process; the nature of the wood needs to be taken into account before cleaning the floor. If you see a scratch on the floor then it is surely assured that the floor has a hard finish such as urethane. If the scratch has penetrated into the wood then the flooring is probably akin to the older homes which had soft oiled finish which were not refinished and released. Wiping stains from hard wood surfaces should always be done with a soft cloth. One should never use harsh materials like sand paper, steel wool or other such harsh chemicals since they may damage the finishing of the floors forever.
The following are certain remedies for cleaning a hard wood floor with soft oiled finish. If need be, then you may follow each one with staining the wood followed by waxing and buffing the particular spot to match the rest of the floor.
Heel marks: Fine steel wool should be used to rub the floor wax.
Oil based Stains: You need to wipe the spot with a soft cloth and a dishwashing detergent material to decompose the grease. It should be followed by cleaning the area with clean water. You may repeat the process more than once. Children and pets should be kept away till the spot dries. Once it is dry, you may use sand paper to remove the grain.
Hairspray and furniture polish are not the best cleaning agents which you may want to use for cleaning the wooden flooring. They essentially cloud up the floor finish. Instead of these agents, you may want to go for non-ammonia window cleaner or a spray for a thorough cleanup.
Prevent water: It is essential to keep a wooden floor dried up. Hence if you detect any sign of water laying still then you should immediately wipe it off. Potted plants should be placed on trays and windows, doors or any outlet should be closed in case of imminent rains.
Knowing the use of waxes and restorers: Never use wax on surface finish like shellac, polyurethane or varnish since it makes the floor slippery and interferes with subsequent finishes.