Hardwood floors are beautiful and relatively easy to maintain. They give a warm elegant feeling to a home that tile and carpet just can’t provide.

It is important to develop a routine cleaning regime to keep up their charm. If they are not dusted regularly or you use the wrong cleaner, they can be damaged. This can cause them to appear dull and scratched.

I had clients who would struggle with getting their wood floors streak free and non sticky clean. When your wood floors feel like your feet stick to them with each step you take they feel…Yuck!

Follow along with this guide to ensure your hardwood floors always look their best.

1. Prep

Vacuum up all debris and gritty dirt. Sand and dirt can scratch your floors, so it is important to keep up on this daily. It is ok to use dusting mops on areas where there is just dust build up, but for high traffic areas like entry ways, hallways and kitchens it is best to use a vacuum. If there is any sand and dirt you won’t want to push it around, increasing the likelihood of scratching your floors.

When choosing a vacuum, use one that is made for hard surfaces, they are closer to the ground and will have better suction as opposed to those with a beater brush made for carpet. I highly recommend the Shark Rotator Upright vacuum. It has an excellent hard floor vacuum that picks up all debris. Pro Tip: To ensure you’re getting all the sand and grit, vacuum with the grain of the wood. This will help to get in all the cracks and crevices. Use a hose attachment to get along the wall and base boards. For areas with stubborn sand use the hose directly for a stronger more direct suction.

2. Tools

Bona Floor Mop is the absolute best mop and cleaning solution on the market for cleaning your hardwood floors. Bona is a non-toxic, biodegradable, mild, pH neutral cleaner. This makes it safe for the environment, safe to use around your family and safe to use on your wood floors.

What I like best about the Mop is its ease of use, it is a spray bottle and mop all in one. No need to mop with one hand and spray with another! It feels sturdy, and their microfiber pads are excellent quality. I don’t recommend purchasing the Bona Express Mop. You may be tempted by the price and how light weight it is, but it is flimsy. When you apply extra pressure to get stubborn areas, it feels as though the mop might break in half. Refills can be expensive, purchase this cleaner by the gallon in concentrate for extra savings. What’s great about the Bona cartridges is they are sturdy and can definitely be reused to save money and reduce waste.

3. Technique

To mop you will want to make sure you have several mop pads with you. If you use an apron while cleaning you can have one pocket for clean pads and a pocket for the dirty pads.

Starting in the back corner of the room, spray the floor lightly. Light spraying is best for area’s that do not get much traffic and basically need a damp dusting. Increase the number of sprays in areas with higher traffic (front entry way) and more spots and spills (kitchens). You don’t want to over saturate the floors, as this can be damaging to hardwood and this is where streaks can happen, start with one spray and increase if needed. Moving with the grain of the wood to reduce streaking, start mopping your way out of the room. You never want to mop yourself into a room with no choice to walk over wet flooring. This will leave foot prints and if you have any debris on your feet it will stick to the floors. You already worked this hard up to this point, you don’t want to ruin it with dirty feet!

4. Let dry and admire you’re work!

Following this routine on a weekly basis will help your floors look bright and clean like they did the day they were installed. Tip: make sure to ALWAYS use a pH neutral cleaner (look for pH 7), anything else can damage your flooring finish, cause streaking and create a sticky residue. The great thing about using Bona wood floor cleaner is that it is a mild and neutral cleaning agent. It will not damage the finish of your hardwood floors. When choosing a cleaner for your hardwood floors it is extremely important to choose pH neutral. Anything else will damage any sealer you have protecting your floors exposing them to dulling, cracking, and other damage. See why other flooring companies recommend it as well

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