How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Simple Regular Cleaning

A common misconception regarding the cleaning of hardwood floors is that is difficult and complicated. Actually this myth is nothing further than truth. As long as simple precautions are taken and the utilization of the proper products and tools; the cleaning process is simple, easy and quick. We covered the do’s and don’ts in a prior article cleaning hardwood floors. So we will not go into all of them in this article but for a refresher please refer back to the article titled Cleaning Hardwood Floors Do’s and Don’ts. We will discuss several of the most critical ones. The following article will cover the best practices for both Commercial and Residential of how to clean hardwood floors.

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Commercial Step by Step Procedures

 

DAILY Note: Whenever cleaning any hardwood floor, Do Not over wet the hardwood floor

  • Dust mop floor with untreated dust mop to remove most of the surface dust. However, microfiber dust mops are available and is the recommend tool for this procedure. Remove gum and other debris adhered to the floor with a Blunt Plastic Scraper. Do Not over scrape or apply to much pressure. Doing so may damage the finish coating of the floor.
     
  • Clean individual spots and stains by spot damp mopping with a microfiber flat mop. Allow to dry thoroughly. Use professional grade Hardwood Floor Cleaner Used according to label directions. Remove black marks with light duty white pad or tennis ball.
     
  • Using a dry vacuum, vacuum entrance matting. A vacuum with a beater brush is the preferred equipment.

 

WEEKLYNote: This procedure may be used Daily if high foot traffic patterns cause high soil levels

  • Dust mop floor with untreated dust mop to remove most of the surface dust. However, microfiber dust mops are available and is the recommend tool for this procedure. Remove gum and other debris adhered to the floor with a Blunt Plastic Scraper. Do Not over scrape or apply to much pressure. Doing so may damage the finish coating of the floor. Remove black marks with light duty white pad or tennis ball.
     
  • Damp mop entire floor using a quality microfiber flat mop system. A quality microfiber system is the key to delivering high performance results with this cleaning procedure. Further on in this article we will discuss this aspect of using quality products and supplies. Use professional grade Hardwood Floor Cleaner Used according to label directions.
     
  • If entrance matting is removable, unload soil from entrance matting. If not, utilize the dry vacuum procedure above.

 

SPECIAL Note: This step is occasional and should only be used on Hardwood floors when needed

  • Scrub floor with automatic scrubber, white pad and Professional Grade Hardwood Floor Cleaner to remove heavy ground in soil or any residue buildup left behind from daily and weekly cleaning. However, it is not recommended to sue an automatic scrubber a on a regular basis. Doing so could cause damage to not only the gloss of the floor seal because of soil build up on the pads but even at the lowest solution setting of the automatic scrubber, it will lay down too much solution (Water and Cleaner) on the floor. I know some will argue that the automatic scrubber will pick up the solution within a second or two but in real life situations, there will always be squeegees and vacuum ms that are not working perfectly and this can cause standing water on the wood floor. So, to extend the life of the hardwood floor use an automatic scrubber sparingly.
     

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE:  Always post Wet Floor signs whenever using liquids on floors including plain water.  Also, always wear appropriate personal protective gear (goggles, gloves, proper protective footwear and aprons) when dealing with cleaning chemicals.

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Residential Step by Step Procedures

Basically the same procedures are sued as in the Commercial above section but without the Special Periodic cleaning with power equipment.

 

DAILYNote: Whenever cleaning any hardwood floor, Do Not over wet the hardwood floor

  • Dust mop floor with untreated dust mop to remove most of the surface dust. However, microfiber dust mops are available and is the recommend tool for this procedure. Remove gum and other debris adhered to the floor with a Blunt Plastic Scraper. Do Not over scrape or apply to much pressure. Doing so may damage the finish coating of the floor.
     
  • Clean individual spots and stains by spot damp mopping with a microfiber flat mop. Allow to dry thoroughly. Use professional grade Hardwood Floor Cleaner Used according to label directions. Remove black marks and scuffs with light duty white pad or tennis ball.
     
  • Using a dry vacuum, vacuum entrance matting or carpeting. A vacuum with a beater brush is the preferred equipment.

 

WEEKLYNote: This procedure may be used Daily if high foot traffic patterns cause high soil levels

  • Dust mop floor with untreated dust mop to remove most of the surface dust. However, microfiber dust mops are available and is the recommend tool for this procedure. Remove gum and other debris adhered to the floor with a Blunt Plastic Scraper. Do Not over scrape or apply to much pressure. Doing so may damage the finish coating of the floor. Remove black marks with light duty white pad or tennis ball.
     
  • Damp mop entire floor using a quality microfiber flat mop system. A quality microfiber system is the key to delivering high performance results with this cleaning procedure. Further on in this article we will discuss this aspect of using quality products and supplies. Use professional grade Hardwood Floor Cleaner Used according to label directions.
     
  • If entrance matting is removable, unload soil from entrance matting. If not, utilize the dry vacuum procedure above.

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Reference Websites

 

The Maple Floor Manufacturer’s Association

FilMop – Microfiber Mop Systems

 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors – Proper Quality Cleaner, Equipment and Tools

Proper selection of quality hardwood floor cleaner, equipment and tools will improve your overall results and will also minimize the time it takes to clean. The following are recommended Best Practice Supplies to complete the cleaning task.

 

Commercial Buildings and Residential Homes

It is recommended that commercial buildings use commercial grade cleaners, tools and equipment. Best practices include the following.

  • Dust Mopping  – Microfiber System – Disposables and Reusable Pads are available
  • Flat Mop Damp Mop – Microfiber System – Handle and Bucket with Wringer
  • Professional Grade Hardwood Floor Cleaning Chemical
  • Safety Equipment: Wet Floor Signs, Gloves, Goggles, boots, etc.

 

Commercial strength cleaners can normally be purchased from…

  • Local Janitorial Supply distributors
  • National distributors like WW Grainger
  • Wholesale Club like Sam’s or Costco
  • DYI and Local Hardware Stores like Lowes and Home Depot
  • Websites such as Amazon

 

Microfiber Cleaning

  • Why they Work: The splitting of extremely small fibers is what creates a microfiber. The mops and cloths used work well because the tiny holes from the split fibers create wicking action with a dramatic increase in absorption of soil and water. Additionally the small microfibers cover a greater area of the surface being cleaned. The combination of all this provides for overall better performance with less labor to complete the cleaning task.
     
  • Convenience or Cost Effectiveness: They are now widely available on the market and come in both disposable and reusable mops and cloths. For those interested in speed and less clean up, the disposable is a great option. For those interested in savings, the reusable mops are a great choice. Most of the quality microfiber reusable mops can be laundered up to 500 times.
     
  • Less Water and Cleaner is “Green”: Due to the microfiber itself, less water and cleaning agent is required to accomplish the job. This is not only a cost savings but also reduces the chance of moisture damage to the hardwood flooring. Wood hates water! An additional benefit and one that is equally as important today…Microfiber is “GREEN”. In fact, when you select a high quality microfiber system (there are poor quality microfiber systems out there), this will assist in obtaining indoor environment quality credit toward your U.S. Building Council’s LEED-EB Green Building Rating System.
     
  • Versatility: They can be used for both wet, damp or dry cleaning
     
  • Detergent Myth: That you do not need a cleaner or detergent when using microfiber systems. This is a common misconception and has been advertised. Microfibers clean well with water but a detergent will produce far better and faster results. So always use a quality cleaner with your microfiber system. This has been proven by many manufacturers. If you are still driven to use only water, ask yourself if you would ever wash dishes, a car or clothes without detergent?
     
  • Quality Professional Grade Microfiber System: There are many quality microfiber systems on the market and normally do not recommend specific products in articles. However, you may want to get additional information on microfiber products at the following website.  FilMop is considered a leader in this area of the cleaning industry.  

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