Many homeowners opt to install engineered hardwood floors due to their durability, easy maintenance, and timeless class. Those with children or large families can rest easy knowing that they don’t have to worry about the floors looking dirty. However, while they may be easier to maintain than carpet and other options, you still have to take good care of them. This means cleaning often and using the right products that won’t damage your investment. The great thing about them is that unless you prefer it, they don’t require professional cleaning. You can do it yourself once you have an idea of the essential things to note.
What is the best thing to use to clean engineered hardwood floors?
When cleaning engineered hardwood floors, less is more. They don’t require many products or specialized equipment so you shouldn’t worry too much about it. However, if you have to use a cleaner, the best option is to consult the manufacturer of your floors. Many companies usually have their line of products that work best with their surfaces or direct you to different ones that are effective. If this is not a viable option for you, there are various options available online.
One of the most respected brands for hardwood floors is Bona. They provide both cleaning products as well as equipment. One product that you should try out is the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray is one of the best value products you could use for the following reasons:
- It works for all engineered hardwood floors.
- Excellent for spot cleaning.
- Removes stubborn stains quickly.
- It is water-based, so it dries fast.
- Refills available.
- It is safe for both safe for pets and children.
How to clean your engineered hardwood floors
How you clean your hardwood floors depends on how dirty they are. If you don’t have a lot of traffic in your home, some light cleaning could do the trick. However, you may need to do deep tidying once in a while to ensure that nothing sticks on the surface. The following are some methods that you should consider.
You should wipe any spills immediately since they may damage it if they get absorbed into the floor. Use a gentle hardwood cleaner for spot cleaning whenever necessary, and remember not to use too much product.
Sweeping or vacuum cleaning
Dust is the most commonly seen type of dirt on hardwood floors, especially if they are dark. Therefore, you may need to sweep often, or if you prefer it, vacuum-cleaning also works. Ensure that you use a broom with soft bristles that won’t scratch the surface of the wood. The vacuum cleaner should also be gentle and even if it has a spray option, avoid it unless it can also dry instantly. You can sweep or vacuum before doing any deep cleaning to make your job easier.
While you can use as much water as you need when cleaning tiled floors, hardwood flooring is different. Water is a big problem for wood since it can cause immense damage in a short period. For this reason, you must be very careful how you mop your floors by ensuring that your mop is not wet. At the very best, it should be a little damp such that it dries immediately.
In case you use excess water when cleaning, take a dry cloth and dry it up immediately. You can also use your vacuum cleaner to suck up any moisture if it has that option. Because of the risk of water damage, you should mop only when necessary.
How to shine engineered hardwood floors
It is normal for your floors to look a bit dull after a while. Some people like the worn-out look, but many prefer maintaining that factory shine, and there are various ways to do this. one thing to note here is that you should avoid waxing your floors. Waxing may seem to work, but it will only destroy the wood long term. It makes floors slippery and makes it difficult to recoat your floors later, and, in some cases, you may have to redo them.
One of the most effective ways to return the shine to your floors is by using a spray buff. It is good enough to fill up minor scratches and make the wood look good as new. The buff is not permanent, so it is easy to clean off when you need to. However, it would be best if you only used a good quality buff. You can also ask the manufacturers of your floors, but there are many options with excellent reviews online.
After a few years, you opt for refinishing. It entails sanding and trying to restore the wood to its initial state. Due to the sanding procedures, you cannot use this option often, so this should be a last resort for restoring the shine.
How to protect engineered hardwood floors
This is not difficult at all since it mainly entails keeping your floors dry and without significant scratches. The following are some ways to protect engineered hardwood floors.
Maintain suitable temperature
Wood is sensitive to temperature changes, especially humidity. The air in your home should not be too warm or dry since this will dry out the wood leading to cracking. If the humidity is high, then the floors could start absorbing the moisture leading to rotting. The recommended temperature is around 65 and not more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be higher than 35% but not more than 55%.
Use mats and rugs
People tracking in mud could quickly dull your floors due to scratching and the need for constant mopping. This is why you should have a doormat, and you should consider a rug for high traffic areas. This ensures that the wood is protected from the movements, and you won’t have to do deep cleaning as often. Check that the carpets that you use don’t have a rubber backing that could trap moisture.
Clean spills and stains immediately
Just like you would clean a spill on your carpet before it sets, the same applies to hardwood floors. Keep your cleaning spray and a dry cloth handy so that you can take care of it in case of anything. Ensure that other people in your home understand this so in case you don’t see a spill, someone can take care of it.
Install furniture pads
These are very important to prevent scratching when the furniture is moved around. Think of it as a coaster but for your stuff. Remember that even if the items are not moved around, they may still damage the surface of the floors.
It may not be ideal, but how committed are you to protecting your floors? Having a no-shoe policy in your home protects them from all the rough soles and heels that will leave marks all over the wood.
How to remove haze from engineered hardwood floors
That hazy look you may notice could be due to product buildup or general aging. Regardless of the cause, it is not a pretty sight, especially since it worsens with time. There are unique cleaning products that can remove that dull, hazy look, but you should be careful about what you use. For starters, you should avoid the following:
- Vinegar- it can erode the surface, destroying it, so you may need to refinish.
- Ammonia- ammonia or products with ammonia react with wood eroding the surface.
- Steam- anything that involves pushing water into your floors is a bad idea.
One of the most effective yet unusual products for removing that haze is glass cleaner. Ensure that it doesn’t have any ammonia since it is a common ingredient used here. You can spray it on the area then wipe it with a dry cloth. You may have to repeat it a few times in some areas, but it will remove it eventually. You could also republish your floors if the damage is extensive.
Check this too: Bisell Carpet Cleaner Troubleshooting
It is essential to pay attention to what you use to clean your engineered hardwood floors since using the wrong products could damage them. Prevention is better, so use the above tips to protect the wood, and you won’t have to consider expensive options to improve them.