You want your home to be as fresh as the outdoors. It is time for a good cleaning. What about your wood floors? Are they looking dingy and dull? Here are a couple of dos and don’ts when it comes to cleaning your wood floors.

Know what type of wood floor you have. If your floor is prefinished, look at the manufacturer’s care guidelines for your particular floor. Most manufacturers have their care guidelines on their website. It is important to follow manufacturer’s care instructions so as not to void the warranty.

What type of finish is on your floor? If your floor has either an oil polyurethane or water-based finish, there are many wood floor spray cleaners available. Vacuum your floor with a soft brush attachment, lightly spray the cleaner on the floor and wipe up with a soft cloth. Many cleaners, such as Bona-Kemi, come in a kit complete with cleaner, mop and reusable mop heads. Follow the directions on the cleaning kit, making sure to see if the cleaner is a concentrate or ready to use. Do not use this method on hardened oil or wax finished floors.

  • Avoid: Products that leave a residue on your floor. One easy test is to spray the cleaner on a mirror and wipe it off. If it leaves your mirror cloudy, do not use it on your floor. Also avoid ammonia and bleach products.
  • Avoid: Steam cleaning. Although steam cleaning sounds like a great way to really get the grime off your floor, it can cause damage to your wood floors. Engineered wood floors can separate and delaminate. Solid wood floors may experience cupping.
  • Re-coat or Re-sand: Many finishes can be restored simple with a buff and re-coat. If you have used proper cleaning products, you may get by with a fresh application of finish. If there are dents and deep scratches in your wood floors, sanding and refinishing may be the option for you.
  • Replace chair protectors: Felt pads should be on the bottoms of all furniture. Now is the time to replace them with new felt pads, especially on kitchen chairs and bar stools that get continuous use.