Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance
Careful maintenance of a wood floor is as important as the finish itself. Even the best solvent or water based floor finish will be damaged pretty fast if acidic cleaning products are used on it. Cleaning and maintenance should only be done with quality wood floor cleaners designed specifically for wood floors. Most brands offering floor lacquers and floor refinishing products also sell wood floor cleaners that are designed for oiled or varnished floors.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Neutral
Most floors will only lose its shine and finish if dirt deposits on it and is not regularly cleaned. Daily dirt that accumulates can be easily removed with low PH maintainers. If the floor is not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis, dirt can penetrate into the wood floor fibres, then the issues will start. Even then, you need to make sure that you use only neutral wood floor cleaning products. A neutral wood floor cleaner will break dirt deposits instantly but it will not affect the floor finish. In fact, most professional wood floor cleaners actually increase the protection on the floor. Heavy duty wood floor cleaners with PH higher than 5 should only be used when neutral wood floor cleaners are not providing satisfactory results.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Oiled Floor Cleaner
The most common way of finishing a wood floor is with oils, varnishes or polishes. If your floor was finished with a hardwax oil or a wax, you will need to use a specific “oiled floor cleaner”. Most of the dirt that gets imbedded in the wood fibre is grease, oils and other types of fats have attached to the bottom of shoes. It is for this reason that most universal floor cleaners are also degreasers. In the case of an oiled floor, using a degreaser (grease remover) can be problematic because the finish itself is a type of fat. You will need to use a professional oiled floor cleaner that will remove the dirt but will not dissolve the oil that protects the wood against water. Most oiled floor cleaners also contain special refreshing ingredients that refresh the floor as it gets cleaned.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Varnished Floor Cleaner
A varnished surface is designed for very high daily traffic. But even varnished wood surfaces will get dirty. To remove the dirt you will need to use low ph or neutral wood floor cleaners. The biggest enemy of varnished wood floors is bleach based products. Even if the universal floor cleaning product does not contain bleach as a main component, it could have traces of bleach in its composition and that on its own is enough to discolour the finish. Never use oiled floor cleaners on varnished floors. Oiled floor cleaners contain a blend of waxes and refreshers that can make the surface very slippery.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Systems
All professional wood floor finishes are designed for medium and high traffic. These surfaces will require regular maintenance. Using too much water on wood can cause damage and discoloration over time. It is for this reason that you should try to use floor cleaning systems that use little or no water when possible.
The best way of cleaning wood floors is with a flat mop. A flat mop will only wet the surface of the wood and it will only release small amounts of moisture onto the floor. Standard cotton mops or microfiber mops, unless well wrung, can over-saturate the floor and cause water to leak between the floorboards which will create water damage (black lines).
There are a number of ready to use spray mops that are highly recommended, easy to use and very cost effective.
Bona Wood Floor Spray Mop
Tover Cinderella Spray Mop
These products are sold with 1 L of wood floor cleaner, enough to maintain your floors for about 1 month. You can buy extra refillers from www.cleanfast.ie
Wood Floor Cleaners & Maintainers – Cleaning Products
There are many professional wood floor cleaning products available in Ireland but very few are decent. From our experience we have found 3 great brands that are easy to use, highly concentrated and suitable for all types of wood floors.
Junckers Sylva Wood Floor Cleaner – heavy duty professional wood floor cleaning detergent from Junckers. This product is highly recommended for schools, pubs, restaurants, public buildings, etc. The product is highly concentrated and very effective. It will remove dirt instantly and it will not negatively affect the finish of the floor. It can be used with any cleaning system (including scrubber driers). Available in 1L, 2.5L & 5L. One of the most popular wood floor cleaners in Ireland. Suitable for varnished or polished wood floors
Junckers Floor Oil Cleaner – a professional oiled floor cleaner from Junckers. The product is highly concentrated and safe to use on all types of oiled or waxed floors. It will deep clean the floor with ease and will refresh the finish. Junckers Floor Oil Cleaner is available in 5L. It can be used with a flat mop, a standard mop or with a scrubber drier. Highly popular oiled floor cleaner & maintainer. To be used on waxed or oiled wood floors only.
Bona Cleaner – this product is highly active and highly efficient. A quality, heavy duty wood floor cleaner that is known to remove all types of dirt from varnished or lacquered surfaces. This product requires a dilution of 1 to 100 for heavy duty use or 1 to 200 for daily maintenance. Affordable, efficient and cost effective. One of the most popular wood floor cleaners from Bona brand.
Bona Cleaner For Oiled Floors – Highly popular oiled floor cleaner and maintainer. This amazing product will deep clean and restore the look of your oiled floors in a matter of minutes. The product acts fast and it leaves a perfect residue free finish. Safe to use on fancy and sensitive surfaces. The product is ready to use. Do not dilute.
Bona Soap – a highly concentrated oiled floor cleaner. This product is safe, easy to use and very efficient. It can be used with all types of cleaning methods. Bona Soap is PH neutral and will enriches the surface on which it is used. Suitable for commercial and domestic floor cleaning projects. To be used on oiled or waxed surfaces.
Tover Pullito Wood Floor Cleaner – one of the most popular parquet cleaner from the Italian brand Tover. This professional wood floor cleaner is very popular all over Europe for many years and its popularity is still growing. Safe to use on all types of varnished and polished wood surfaces. Tover Pullito is very concentrated wood floor cleaner that requires dilution before use. It will deep clean and maintain wood surfaces without leaving any residue on the floor. Suitable for commercial and domestic wood floor cleaning.
Tover Deteroil Oiled Floor Cleaner – the best oiled floor cleaner from Tover brand. Unique formula suitable for all types of waxed or oiled wood floors. One quick wash will enhance the look of the floor and increases protection. It can be used with all types of floor cleaning systems. Tover recommends this product as the main cleaner for all its waxed floors. If you are looking for premium oiled floor cleaner to protect and enhance your wood floors, try Tover Deteroil.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Recommendations
If you have had your wood floors refinished and want to keep it looking great for as long as possible, you should follow the following steps:
-invest in a proper wood floor cleaner
-try to use flat mops instead of cotton mops
-have 1 mopping system for wood floors only
-respect the wood cleaner recommended dilution
-train your staff on how to use wood cleaners (commercial)
-avoid over wetting the wood floor
-refresh the floor regularly
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – Refreshers
Floors finishes ususally wear off unevenly. It is very likely that some areas will have much more traffic than others. In a domestic property, the front of the sofa where people feet will rub against, will wear off faster, the hall will receive a lot of traffic, the dining table area will receive a bit more traffic, etc. In a restaurant or commercial unit, the corridors and the area that brings you to the bathrooms will get much more traffic than the area under the tables.
In these cases regular refreshers or polishes are highly recommended. A refresher is like a liquid varnish that reseals the damaged areas and increases protection. All brands of wood care products sell at least one type of refresher. A refresher can be applied with a flat mop, the same way you wash the floor. Do not dilute. Just soak the flat mop in refresher and apply it to the floor in an even coat. Wait 1 hour and the job is done. It is essential to deep clean the floor before refreshing it to avoid trapping dirt under the refresher.
Oiled Floors Or Waxed Floors – all oiled or waxed wood floors require regular refreshing. The product used to seal your floor is a type of natural oil that will dry and wear off within few months. Even if you do not use that particular area a lot, it will still dry. It is highly recommended to refresh the floor every 6 months if possible or minimum once per year. All brands of wood care products sell oiled floor refreshers. A refresher is a quick drying oil that will bond with the pre-existing finish and will restore the full protection. Most oil based refreshers are compatible with all brands of hardwax oils. You do not have to use a particular type of refresher even if the manufacturer of your own floor highly recommends it. But you need to refresh the floor each year. Otherwise the floor will dry, water will penetrate and you will have to sand the floor every few years. By refreshing the floor regularly, you will extend the life of your floor.
Wood Floor Cleaning & Maintenance – How long does the floor finish last?
Well, it all depends on you, as a floor owner. A wood floor cleaned regularly with professional wood floor cleaning products and refreshed regularly, will not require sanding for another 10 years at least. There are people who get 10-15 years of use between refinishing and there are people who need to get their floors sanded each year. A properly maintained floor will look better for longer.
You have all the information required to properly maintain your wood floors. It is up to yourself to do it right. What we can guarantee is that all our products are premium quality, designed for high traffic and the best available at the time the project was being done.
If you require any more information about any type of floor maintenance issues, please email us. All the information listed in this article is not relevant for laminate floors. This article refers to semi solid & hardwood floors.