How to Clean Hardwood Floors to a Scratch-Free Polish

Cleaning and maintaining hardwood and laminate floors is easy, but there are things to avoid when it comes to caring for them. To help break down how to care for hardwood, engineered hardwood, and laminate floors, we spoke to the experts about the tools and cleaning solutions to use.

How to clean wooden floors

Caring for wood floors requires a combination of dry and wet cleaning. Follow these instructions for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning and maintenance of wood floors.

Liebmann Extra Large External Angle Vacuum Cleaner For Indoor & Outdoor Use

$13.97 at Home Depot

vacuum regularly with a broom with soft bristles; The corner broom will go into the corners and along the baseboards. Berry recommends vacuuming or dry wiping daily; Bradley also recommends this type of regular maintenance, “Most wood floors should be vacuumed or dusted a few times a week to avoid fine scratches from dirt or debris.”

O-Cedar Microfiber Mop

$13.97 at Home Depot

“A microfiber dust mop pre-treated with a dusting agent will pick up dust and dirt and prevent scratches,” Berry says.

Eureka PowerSpeed ​​Multi-Surface Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

$69.98 at Home Depot

Clean the wood floor using the vacuum’s hardwood floor setting, which raises the vacuum cleaner and disables the brush roller to prevent scratching and other damage. Berry recommends cleaning hardwood floors once a week.

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop System

$29.97 at Home Depot

When mopping hard floors, be sure to wring out most of the water from the mop so it’s damp, not wet. Rinse the mop as necessary. Clean congested areas with a damp mop twice a month.

Bona hardwood floor cleaner

$8.97 at Home Depot

“Stamped hardwood can easily be damaged by some cleaning solutions, such as vinegar and water, and should always be cleaned with a solution formulated specifically for this surface,” Bradley says. Berry recommends wiping with a hardwood floor cleaner once a month.

How to clean hardwood and laminate floors

Laminate floors and engineered wood look the same, but there are differences between them – both are easy to clean, and can be cleaned in the same ways, but engineered wood floors have holes and grit that collect dirt, unlike laminate, which are soft and therefore wipes clean more easily.

Bona hard surface cleaner

$8.97 at Home Depot

“In the case of both hardwood and laminate, we recommend first cleaning the floor, then using a microfiber mop with a cleaning solution formulated for that surface,” Bradley says.

HDX Microfiber Wet-Dry Flip Mop

$11.97 at Home Depot

Berry suggests simplifying wet and dry mops with a microfiber mop. “The fluffy gray and steel side is ideal for cleaning light dirt, dust, pet hair, and debris on hardwood, tile, laminate, and other hard floors,” she says. “Simply flip to the striped side of the wet wipe.”

Bona Premium Hard Surface Spray Mop

$40.68 at Home Depot

Another tool that can help simplify wood floor care is a spray mop. Spray mops have a chamber for keeping the cleaning solution and are equipped with a mechanism to dispense the right amount on the floor.

How often should you clean hardwood and laminate floors

When it comes to cleaning hardwood and laminate floors, Bradley recommends cleaning high-traffic areas weekly, moderately trafficked areas every two weeks, and least-used areas monthly. “Most hardwood floors should be vacuumed or mopped several times a week to avoid micro scratches from dirt or debris,” she says.

Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro All-in-One Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop

$269.59 at Amazon

If the idea of ​​using both dry and wet scrubbers sounds tiring, a hybrid mop can help do a quick job of cleaning hardwood and laminate floors. The disadvantage of these machines is that they are larger, more complex, and more expensive than brooms, mops, and most regular brooms.

Hizero UltimateClean Bionic Hard Floor Cleaner

$749 at Amazon

Yang Yi, Hizero’s product manager, says one of the benefits that Hizero’s floor cleaning tools provide is that they mop, wash and dry the floor in one go. “Laminate floors can easily be damaged by scratching or exposure to excessive water. While laminate floors are more resistant to scratches and water than hardwoods, it is important to use a tool that is gentle on the floor, and does not leave excess water behind.”

What to avoid

When it comes to hardwood, engineered wood floors and laminate, using the wrong cleaning products and tools, or using those products and tools incorrectly, can cause irreparable damage.

“Always avoid over-saturating when cleaning laminate and especially hardwoods,” Bradley says. “Also, avoid DIY cleaning solutions like vinegar and water, which are a highly acidic solution that will damage the surface of the floors.” Perry and Bradley made this list of other “forbidden things” to keep hardwood floors and engineered hardwoods looking their best.

  • Avoid leaving any standing water on the floor, which could damage the wood; This is especially true for finished hardwood floors.
  • Steam cleaning is not recommended as steam can dull the exterior and damage the wood.
  • Choose a microfiber mop over a sponge or string mop and bucket, which leaves a lot of liquid on the floor, damaging the floor over time.
  • Do not use abrasive or acidic cleaners that can strip the protective layer of the floor.
  • Do not use loofah or polishing powder, as they can leave scratches on the floor.
  • Avoid oil-based cleaners and products designed to clean wood floors, cabinets, and furniture, as they can leave streaks on laminate that cannot be removed.
  • Do not use products designed for vinyl floors or tile on hardwood floors.
  • Don’t over-wax wood floors; If it’s boring, try polishing instead.
  • Never polish or wax wood floors.
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