6 Easy ways to clean heavily soiled hardwood floors

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Hardwood flooring are renowned for their strength and beauty. Hardwood floors provide a neat, visually pleasing flooring that gives your home that extra edge. But to clean heavily soiled hardwood floors like most wood flooring, requires care and attention to detail. Is it therefore possible to clean heavily soiled hardwood floors?

There are various methods to clean heavily soiled hardwood floors. You can also clean your hardwood flooring with a mixture of water and Murphy’s oil, in addition to vinegar. Using a buffer and mineral spirit can also restore the appearance of your hardwood flooring.

You’ve come to the right site if you’re looking for simple solutions to clean your badly soiled hardwood floors. Continue reading to learn how to clean and preserve your wood floors using tried and true methods.

Clean Heavily Soiled Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors that have been finished add value and attractiveness to a home. However, you must know how to care for them. If you clean hardwood floors with the same strong chemicals you use on laminate or tile, the sealer will come off and the wood will be damaged.

Understanding which cleaning procedures allow you to clean the floor without clouding or losing the finish is crucial to knowing how to clean floors.

#1 Clean hardwood floors using Vinegar

Clean hardwood floors using Vinegar

In this step, we will learn how to clean heavily soiled hardwood floors with vinager. This method requires a sponge mop, a sweeper with a soft bristle brush, white vinegar, and a bucket of warm water. The steps for cleaning hardwood with vinegar are outlined below.

 Sweep the Floor Using a Soft Bristle Brush.

Sweep the floor to remove surface dirt before using water or white vinegar to clean badly filthy hardwood floors. This step is crucial because dirt and dampness can quickly cause hardwood floors to become unclean. Sweep the floor with your bare feet until the particles are no longer visible.

Although this is more of a preparation than a cleaning, make sure to sweep all surfaces, especially hard-to-reach spots under furniture. It’s easy to keep your hardwood floors clean and attractive by removing food debris and dust particles.

Warm Water with White Vinegar.

When mixing warm water and vinegar, be careful not to overfill the container. Four capfuls of white vinegar mixed with a third of a gallon of warm water should yield a good result. Warm water is chosen over cold water because it has the power to break the bindings established by stains on the floor, making it easier to remove them.

Stir the mixture carefully once the vinegar has been added before adding the mop. To keep the mixture warm enough, add hot water on a frequent basis. When adding boiling water, stir gently and set aside if the mixture becomes too hot.

Fill the Sponge Mop with the Solution.

Using high-quality cleaning products is the best approach to keep your hardwood floors in good condition. Sponge mops, such as the Libman 02026 Wood Floor Sponge Mop, are perfect for wood floors because they discharge very little water.

And, because too much water can delaminate the finish on hardwood floors, it’s better to wring out the mop thoroughly before putting it on the floor.

After mopping, let the hardwood floor air dry.

When mopping your hardwood floors, avoid concentrating just on the exposed areas, since this might cause stains, particularly if the surface is damp. As a result, take your time and clean all of the surfaces with your mop and vinegar solution.

After you’ve completed mopping, it’s time to let your hardwood floors dry. Sponge mops have the advantage of releasing very little excess moisture, so your floor will be nearly dry when you’re done. Switch on the ceiling fan for ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the surface area of your floor, to speed up the drying process.

#2 Cleaning Hardwood Floors with Water and Murphy’s Oil Soap.

clean hardwood floors with Murphy's Oil Soap

This cleaning process is great for your home’s floors. Murphy’s Oil Soap, warm water, a wringing mop, and a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush are all you’ll need. The steps to using this method are as follows.

Collect dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner.

A vacuum cleaner’s power and precision are required in high-traffic areas such as kitchen floors, living rooms, and bedrooms. A soft bristle brush can help, but a vacuum is more efficient, especially when it comes to eliminating trash, animal or human hair, and dust.

The floor will not creak as much as you would want if you start cleaning right away. As a result, devote some time to vacuuming the less obvious regions. When cleaning high-traffic areas, vacuum cleaners are essential because they are infamous for amassing dirt and debris that may rapidly harm hardwood floors.

Warm water with Murphy’s Oil Soap

After sweeping the hardwood floors, it’s time to use Murphy’s Oil Soap, your secret weapon. Add roughly 45 cups of Murphy’s Butter Soap to 3/4 of the warm water in the cleaning pail and gently stir. After months or years of use, Murphy’s Oil Soap restores the sheen of hardwood floors and makes them look brand new.

Mop Away with a Spring Mop in the Mixture

You’ll need a soft, easy-to-squeeze mop to clean hardwood floors. One of the best squeegee squeegees for hardwood floors is the OCedar Easywring microfiber squeegee. The product includes a built-in squeegee that aids in the drainage of over 95% of the water.

Mop your hardwood floors until you’re happy with how they look. Also, don’t be afraid to wring the mop numerous times until it’s damp enough to absorb the grime, as using too much water when cleaning hardwood floors isn’t recommended.

#3 Clean heavily soiled hardwood floors using Single-Disc Buffer and Mineral Spirit

Single-Disc Buffer

Using a buffer to screen the floor is a tried and true method of removing unattractive areas or stains from your hardwood floor. This approach will require mineral spirit, a single-disc buffer, a dust mop, a polishing pad, and a cleaning pad.

Remove dust and debris with a dust mop.

Dusting should always be done first when cleaning heavily soiled hardwood floors. Gently sweep all the dirt and debris off your floor with a high-quality microfiber dust mop like the Eyliden Cleaning Mop for Hardwood. Sweeping is an important component of cleaning hardwood floors, so don’t rush it.

To the Single-Disc Buffer, add a Cleaning Pad.

If you want to keep your hardwood floors clean and tidy, you’ll need to utilize high-quality disc buffers designed for floor cleaning. The Oreck Commercial Orbiter Floor Machine, which is recognized for its stain removal properties and polish hardwood floors, is a perfect example of a buffer that will come in helpful in your floor cleaning operations.

Place a cleaning pad on your buffer and spray mineral spirit on it before using it. Please keep in mind that the mineral spirit should also be applied to the floor. Screen the entire area that requires cleaning or stain removal with the buffer.

Remove fine dust produced by the buffer with a dust mop.

Attention to detail is required while cleaning soiled hardwood floors. Before attaching the buffing pad to the buffer, remove any fine dust particles from the floor with a mop. Because it simply focuses on clearing the buffer region, it doesn’t take long.

Remove the Cleaning Pad and replace it on the Buffer with the Polishing Pad.

Hardwood floors with a shine look fantastic. Place a buffing pad in the buffer after dust removal and wipe the hard wood surface again. Rep until the scratches on the cleaning wipes are gone. Following that, the floor should be spotless and gleaming. Buffers should not be used for routine hardwood cleaning and should only be used to remove stubborn stains that do not fade.

#4 How to Clean Old Hardwood Floors easily.

Clean Old Hardwood Floors

This section explains how to clean heavily  soiled hardwood floors while maintaining a good finish. Hardwood flooring are simple to keep clean. Your finished hardwood will survive for decades if you stick to your cleaning routine and use the appropriate materials.

This section will walk you through the cleaning techniques and alternatives you’ll need to establish a regular cleaning schedule. If you only have one or two rooms in your house, some of these treatments for conventional hardwood floors can also be utilized to clean hardwood floors.

Sweep Your Floors Every Day

Never underestimate the importance of sweeping once a day. Most cleaning difficulties can be nipped in the bud with a simple broom before they become serious concerns. If you don’t sweep and clean your floors on a daily basis, dirt, pet hair, and other debris will quickly accumulate.

Every day, sweep each area with hardwood floors in a systematic manner, moving from one side to the other and pushing the dirt as you go. A dry mop can also be used in place of the broom. To get into gaps and nooks, use a foxtail.

Pay special attention to the flooring around the molding or wainscoting, since here is where hair and grime tend to collect. Using your foxtail, sweep the particles into a dustpan.

Vacuum Hardwood Floors Weekly

Sweeping  is a good start, but you still have to deal with dirt that a broom can’t remove. Wood holes can collect dust and debris. To clean such a mess, you need something more powerful than a broom. A vacuum cleaner is useful here. For a more thorough weekly cleaning, a vacuum cleaner is ideal.

Make sure the vacuum has a fur attachment that is suitable for carpets but can damage the wood. A soft brush attachment is useful when you need to deep clean a worn hard floor. Vacuum the entire floor, paying particular attention to the out-of-reach areas of brooms and foxtails.

Cleaning with Vinegar

If you have spills and stains on your hardwood floors, such as dog urine or other nasty stuff, you`ll need a cleaner that can manage the situation without damaging the finish. In these kinds of instances, vinegar is exactly what the doctor recommended.

  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 10 drops essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber mop or sponge mop

The natural cleaning ability of white vinegar will eat away at surface spills without causing damage to the sealant or underlying wood. Whenever necessary, mop your floors with vinegar.

Treating stains first is the best approach to mop hardwood floors. Fill a spray container halfway with vinegar, warm water, and essential oil, and mix thoroughly. Spray any spills or stains with the cleaning solution, paying special attention to high-traffic areas.

Allow the mixture to loosen the particles on the floor for at least five minutes before mopping the area. When the mop becomes soggy, wring it out to eliminate the excess water. After that, squirt plain water on the floor and mop it again with a damp mop.

Use this solution to remove mold off wood surfaces to disinfect them and get rid of the unwelcome fungus if you spot an area of mold when cleaning the floor.

Using a Commercial Hardwood Floor Cleaner

If you can’t remove the stains with vinegar, you’ll need to use a hardwood floor cleaner. Bona and other commercial cleaners can be found at Home Depot and other home improvement retailers. They’re ideal for finished wood, effectively polishing hardwood floors, and quickly cleaning up practically any problem.

To keep your floors clean and in good condition, use a floor cleaner once or twice a month. Before using a hardwood floor cleaner, remove all furniture from the floor. Sweep the floor and mop it with a damp mop before applying the floor cleaner.

Follow the directions provided by the cleaner’s maker to guarantee that you can get help if you run into problems or have queries regarding the product. To avoid water marks, always let the floor dry completely after cleaning with hardwood cleaner before walking on it or putting the furniture back in place.

#5 How to Clean Worn Hardwood Floors in a Deeper Way?

Clean Worn Hardwood Floors in a Deeper Way

The simple part is figuring out how to clean old hardwood floors with a finish remaining on them. Unfinished wood or floors with a worn-down finish are a different issue altogether and necessitate a different strategy. To clean heavily soiled hardwood floors without a finish necessitates the employment of certain procedures.

Cleaning Unfinished Floors

This section explains the best ways to clean old hardwood floors that need a new finish. It shows which cleaning products provide a beautiful appearance without damaging the untreated wood, and you also get a number of ways to prepare your old parquet for hand refinishing.

Your hard work will add to the beautiful floor and the value of your home.

Remove any old debris using a scraper.

If you’ve raised your rug and discovered some ancient hardwood beneath it, it’ll definitely take a lot of work to restore it back in shape and polished. All forms of floor debris, including old glue and other adhesives, will need to be removed from your floorboards.

The scraper facilitates cleaning and is required for the restoration of old floors. When it comes to deep cleaning aged hardwood floors, this is the first step you must take.

Gently scrape any sediment or glue back and forth with a dull scraper held at an angle. When cutting the tree, don’t go too hard. Carry on in this manner until the area is clean and ready for additional upkeep. To keep track of development, wipe the tree with a dry cloth or paper towel. Vacuum up dust or debris with a hand vac.

Sand the flooring.

Unfinished wood has a huge amount of potential for development, but you have to chop it down to its bare bones before you can start working on it. It’s time to get out the sandpaper once you’ve scraped away any heavy particles with a scraper.

A good sanding is the finest way to bring your planks down to bare wood, and it’s also the greatest way to remove scuffs and water stains from wood. You can sand the entire floor with a power sander, or spot sand using a hand sander if you’re working with a tiny section of unfinished wood.

To avoid damaging the wood, sand the area you want to clean with only a light touch. Start with the coarsest grit and work your way down to the finest grit sandpaper. As you work, vacuum up any dust and wipe off the wood to see how far you’ve come.

If you need to clear debris or huge amounts of dirt, occasionally use the foxtail and dustpan. Continue until the raw wood is visible.

Apply mineral oil to unfinished wood.

Of course, you don’t have to finish your wood flooring. Unfinished wood floors can be stunning and transform any area, but they must be treated to avoid dulling, wear, and damage. Mineral oil is an excellent alternative for cleaning your heavily  soiled hardwood floors, and it will give them a rich luster.

To keep unfinished wood in like-new condition, use mineral oil anytime you clean it. To avoid damage, never use mineral oil on floors with a polyurethane finish or any varnish.

Before you get the oil out, sweep the floor well. Squirt a little mineral oil on a microfiber cloth after you’ve wiped away any dirt. To guarantee that any remaining filth or dirt is picked up, rub the oilcloth in the direction of the grain.

Using the fabric, polish the wood until it has a deep, warm sheen. Before you finish cleaning, make careful to wipe away any excess oil. To clean hardwood furniture and floors, apply mineral oil or olive oil. It removes unattractive stains, discolouration, and scales, as well as giving the surface a lovely sheen. With a little elbow grease and some oil, clean antique wooden furniture organically. The fantastic outcomes will make you pleased.

#6 How to Stain Hardwood Floors?

Stain Hardwood Floors

The hardwood flooring will begin to wear down after many years of use. Applying a coat of paint to the floor, on the other hand, may revive it and make it look brand new. Follow these recommendations when painting solid wood:

Clear the room

For two reasons, you’ll have to clear your room. The first reason is that it is necessary to have sufficient working space. Make sure you clear out all of the furniture so you can work in a clean, clutter-free space.

Second, dust-sensitive items should be removed. To keep dust from infecting sensitive gadgets or devices, seal the doors and even the HVAC vents.

Use a Random Orbital Sander to Sand.

Because you’ll need to sand gently and slowly, the second step is likely the most important to your staining success. Place 60-grit sandpaper on the orbital sander after prepping the area you’ll be working on and putting on your protective gear.

Sand your hardwood floors in rows for a smooth, warm finish, carefully overlapping your runs by half the sander’s breadth. Switch to 80-grit sandpaper and repeat the process once you’ve finished sanding with the 60-grit paper. Always keep the orbital sander level with the floor and never stop it when it comes into touch with it.

You may need to sand your hardwood floor one last time with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper. You can use a detail sander or palm sander to get the job done in places where a random orbital sander won’t fit.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner to Remove Dust.

To ensure that the stain finish lasts, it’s critical to clean the hardwood floor well before applying any stain. While a dry mop can assist eliminate dust particles, a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner is suggested since it can remove dust thoroughly. So don’t be stingy with the floor washing before applying the stain.

After you’ve finished vacuuming, wipe the surface clean with moist rags or a wet microfiber mop.

Apply the stain and finish with a coat of polyurethane to protect it.

Apply the stain lightly from the walls towards the door to avoid leaving footprints on the floor. Working on a two-foot length at a time, apply the stain generously and evenly. Before moving on to the next stage, always wash away any excess stain.

It’s time to safeguard your hardwood floor by using a polyurethane sealer after you’ve applied your selected stain. To apply an even coat across the entire hardwood floor area, you’ll need a foam roller.

Before treading on your refinished hardwood floors, let the polyurethane coating cure.

#7 How to Maintain Hardwood Floors?

Maintain Hardwood Floors

According to the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), you should clean your hardwood floors on a regular basis with little water. Here are some suggestions for keeping them in good shape.

Clean Spills Immediately

Because wood shrinks and swells in response to changes in temperature and moisture, spills must be cleaned up as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that moisture is known for splitting, gapping, and cupping in woods. To keep your hardwood floor in good shape, make it a routine to wipe accidents as soon as they happen.

Use Furniture Pads if Needed

On wood floors, furniture is renowned for scratching and dislodging planks. As a reason, it’s a good idea to use furniture pads to preserve your hardwood floors.
The X-Protector Premium Furniture Pads, for example, can provide adequate coverage for furniture feet, reducing the chance of scratches.

Sweep and dust on a regular basis.

It’s a recipe for disaster if you let dust and debris accumulate on your wooden floors. Because dirt scratches and dulls hardwood flooring, this is a good idea. Cleaning hardwood floors at least four times a week is recommended, even if everyday cleaning isn’t necessary.

The frequency with which you clean your hardwood floors, on the other hand, should be determined by the amount of traffic. Cleaning high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen and living room, on a regular basis is a good idea. Remember to utilize microfiber surfaces while sweeping your wood flooring because they are mild. Remove stains from your hardwood floor with steel wool or any other rough surface.

Use of the Correct Cleaning Material

You’ll need to be especially cautious when choosing a wood cleaning product because there are many on the market. Remember that different materials are used to make hardwood flooring, so what works for one type of wood might not work for another.

Try the Libman 2065 Hardwood Floor Cleaner on hardwood floors to cover minor scratches and re-nourish the wood.

Refinish After Long Usage

When stains and deep scratches appear to penetrate the polyurethane coating, it’s time to refinish your hardwood floors. Discoloration from age or sunlight is also a hint that your floor has to be refinished to bring it back to its former glory.
To remove scratches and discolorations from a floor, it must be sanded extensively. Because of the intricacies of refinishing, it is best to seek advice from a professional to enhance the likelihood of a successful solution.

Last word about this article

Hardwood flooring are among the easiest to maintain, despite their high initial cost. Light stains can be easily removed with a white vinegar solution, mineral spirit, or Murphy’s Oil Soap. An orbital sander, on the other hand, may be required to remove difficult stains and scratches.

On hardwood floors, wet microfiber towels or mops are recommended because hardwood doesn’t function well with water. Avoid using steel wool or other hard surfaces that could scratch your delicate flooring. Clean spills right away, in addition to vacuuming regularly, because frequent cleaning helps keep hardwood floors in good shape.

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