Best Way of Cleaning Heavily Soiled Hardwood Floors

cleaning heavily soiled hardwood floors

It’s not just the walls and furniture that make up a good home. The floor, too, plays a bigger role in giving your rooms a complete look, especially if is a hardwood floor. 

If properly maintained, hardwood flooring will last for decades. However, it depends on the level of care and maintenance that would keep up the shine of the floors. In other words, you need to keep the hardwood free of the dust and debris that can scratch and dull the surface. 

However, one of the most common concern of the homeowners is, the fact of cleaning heavily dirt hardwood floor. They often tend to use harsh cleaning chemicals that eventually damage the floor . So, you need to be very careful before applying different methods. 

In this article we’re going to show you a handful of methods that would help you clean heavily soiled hardwood floors without causing any damage. These methods are also applicable for cleaning laminate and vinyl plank flooring. But, before going to applying different methods it’s crucial to know about the type of your hardwood floors. 

Testing Your Hardwood Floor:

There’re two kinds of hard floors, finished and unfinished. If you’re living in a home that’s built may be prior to 1950s, chances are you have an unfinished hardwood floor. Currently, the majority of hardwood floor is finished with smooth polyurethane coating. There’s also hardwood floor available with oil-based coating.

Well, if you’re unsure what type of hard floor you do have, you can make sure by doing a very simple and easy test. Just drop a bit of water on the surface. If the water sits on the top, they’re finished. If the floor absorbs it fast, they’re unfinished.

Well, now let’s move into the proven hardwood floor cleaning methods.

Method 1: Clean Hardwood Floor With vinegar

This method is one of the oldest methods that’s been used to clean really dirty wood floors. However, it’s still very effective for finished hardwood floor.

Cleaner needed: Regular white vinegar, a bucket with warm water.

Tools needed: A sweeper with soft bristle brush, a sponge mop.

Here are the step by step process:

1. First of all, sweep your floor with a soft bristle brush. You can either sweep the floor with a broom or use a disposable electrostatic mop.

2. Take a bucket with a couple gallons of warm water. Than, add couple
capfuls of regular white vinegar into the water. Mix the solution properly.

3. Than, take a sponge mop. Keep in mind that, it should not contain any harsh chemicals already. 

4. After that, saturate the mop into the solution and make sure that you wring it out properly before mopping. That’s because, excessive water can make your hardwood finish delaminate.

5. Once you’ve wrung out your mop well, you can mop the floor continuously until you see your floor looks  glossy.

6. Turn on the ceiling fan to allow the floor to air dry.

Method 2: Clean Hardwood Floor With Murphy’s oil soap And Water

This method is effective for the floors with high traffic. 

Cleaner needed: Murphy’s oil soap,  a bucket with warm water.

Tools needed: A vacuum cleaner with soft bristle brush, and a spring mop. N.B: If you’re an allergy sufferer, make sure to use a bagged vacuum instead of a regular vacuum cleaner.

The step by step process:

1. Take a vacuum cleaner and vacuum thoroughly to collect all the dust, debris and animal hair.

2. Take a bucket and fill it up about 3/4 with warm water.

3. Add 3 to 4 cupfuls of murphy’s oil soap into the water and mix it properly.

4. Grab the spring mop and saturate it into the mixture and start mopping. Make sure the mop is not too wet, otherwise the excessive water can get in between the cracks of the hardwood floor and cause the wood to expand.

Method 3: Clean Extremely Dirty Hardwood Floor

There are not many challenges in turning an old hardwood floor into a new one. One smart way is to screen the floor with the help of a buffer. This method will be helpful to remove build-up and dirt from the wooden floor.

Cleaner needed: Mineral spirit.

Tools needed: Single disc buffer, a dust mop, cleaning pad and polishing pad.

1. Start mopping your floor with a wet mop to clean as much dust and debris as you can.

2. Take a cleaning pad and attach it to the buffer.

3. Apply a spray of mineral spirit on to the pad.

4. You need to apply some spirit on to the floor surface as well.

5. Once done, bring the buffer into action and use it with a sanding disc for screening the entire area.

6. After that, wipe the surface with a dust mop to remove the fine dust produced by the sanding disc. 

7. After moping the floor, replace the cleaning pad by a polishing pad. and go over the surface again for polishing the floor and give it a final touch.

This method is super helpful to remove all sorts of surface scratches and restore the shine of your hardwood floor. However, it is advisable not to opt for this method if the floor is too old. Remember, sanding becomes crucial only when the floor is heavily soiled and difficult to clean.

The following video will show you the process of sanding a hardwood floor in step by step process:

Regular Cleaning Tips For Hardwood Floors:

Hardwood floors are so popular because it doesn’t hold in allergen like carpet does. and it’s also easier to clean and maintain than laminate flooring. So, how do you clean your hardwood floor? Well, here’re a few regular cleaning tips for your hardwood floor:

Sweeping regular basis:

Start with regular floor sweeping and that too daily. The more you maintain, the better it is, and the more you clean, the newer it gets. Remember, the hardwood floor will attract a massive amount of dirt, dust, and even pet hairs every single day. If you’ve laminate or vinyl floor surface, you can use a best steam cleaner to effortlessly remove sticky stains and buildup.

Some users prefer using towels made of microfiber for eliminating dust. Once done, switch to vacuuming. Take the cleaner, activate the bare floor setting and get going. If you think there are too many scratches and you must remove them as soon as possible, a hose attachment alongside a brush with soft bristles will do a great job.

Remove daily messes:

Remember, you need to wipe off the most rigid spills and stains. Be it those sticky pet messes, coffee or tea stains, baking soda stains, wipe them off all by applying proper steps. Make sure you don’t end up allowing your floor to saturate excessively with water.

Final words:

So, you can see the different methods of how to clean a dirt-filled hardwood floor. The interesting aspect is there is no such fixed procedure to clean up these floors. You can do it in your own way but of course in a very wise manner. The testing process is very crucial and unless you complete it, you cannot proceed towards the right cleaning strategies. Make wise use of water on these woods and also choose the right set of cleaning agents. A silly confusion or a small mistake can make you burn a hole in your pocket. So, be wise, follow the methods and enjoy cleaning.