In the years that we’ve been providing wood floor cleaning services in the Asheville, NC area, we’ve encountered a lot of persistent bad information about cleaning wood floors. So we decided to write a blog post to address all of the most common myths.
- Shine=Clean. Not necessarily. Although it’s true that a clean floor should shine, the fact is that the shine of your floor has as much or more to do with its surface smoothness as with cleanliness. Dull floors can result from tiny scratches and scuffs on the surface of the wood. To restore shine to a floor like that, refinishing is usually required.
- Wood floors need to be treated with oil. It used to be true that wood floors benefitted from application of oil soap. But that was back when hardwoods were sealed with wax, which dehydrated the wood, creating a need to replenish the wood’s natural moisture with oil. Now, most wood floors are sealed with polyurethane, not wax. Polyurethane sealer does not allow moisture to escape the wood, so no oil is needed. And besides, modern sealers create a barrier which will not allow the oil to soak into the wood itself, so if you apply oil to a modern wood floor it will just make the floor slick.
- Mix vinegar in with your wood floor cleaner. This is another piece of advice that used to be sensible in the old days, but isn’t true any longer. In bygone eras, the all-purpose, lye based soaps were much harsher than our modern wood floor specific soaps. People used to add some vinegar to the mop bucket to lessen the harshness of the soap. (What they probably didn’t know was that the vinegar lowered the PH of the cleaning solution, making it less harmful to the wood floors.) Modern wood floor cleaners are formulated to have suitable PH levels, so adding vinegar is no longer necessary.
- Just clean your wood floors with water. It depends on how heavy of a clean you’re doing. You can damp mop most wood floors with just plain water, but you must use a very small amount of water—just enough to pick up dust and no more. For actual deep cleaning, use a liquid floor cleaner formulated for wood floors (we recommend Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner), and make sure to follow the directions on the bottle to the letter!
Hopefully this post helps to clear up some of the most common misunderstandings about caring for hardwood floors. Need more help? We’re here for you! If you live in the Asheville, NC area and are looking for high quality professional wood floor cleaning, give Five Step a call at 828.237.3237 or get in touch via our contact form today!