Hardwood floors are a time-tested, worthwhile investment in any home. They add value, last a long time, and are beautiful with any style of decor. If you’ve had hardwood flooring installed in your house or condo, it’s important to follow proper cleaning procedures so they continue to enhance the beauty and functionality of your home. Here are 3 things you should never use to clean your hardwood floors:
1. Vinegar. While vinegar is a terrific cleaning agent for many other surfaces, it isn’t ideal for cleaning hardwood floors. “Even if you dilute the vinegar, it’s still an acid, which can break down the finish on the surface of your hardwood floor,” explained Ron Vohs, owner of Best Vac in St. Charles. “Over time, vinegar can deteriorate the finish, especially if used with hot water. It can result in cloudy, dull, or white patches on the floor.”
2. Oil soaps. “Oil soaps are made with vegetable oil, which can also dull or damage the finish on hardwood floors,” added Vohs. “It can cause swelling or warping, and can leave a residue that creates streak marks. Using oil soap on hardwood floors may also void the warranty from the hardwood manufacturer.”
3. Steam cleaners, especially if the hardwood flooring isn’t sealed. The intense heat from a steam cleaner can drive moisture deep into the wood and cause damage. “Wood planks can shrink, swell, or buckle,” said Vohs. “If floors have been properly sealed a steam mop may be used, but the floor should be tested first so see if water beads on the flooring, indicating the seal is still intact.” If water seeps into the wood or doesn’t bead up, the floors need to be resealed.
Hardwood floors aren’t waterproof, or even water-resistant. The best way to keep hardwood floors clean is to use a vacuum designed for hard surface flooring. For more information about how to properly clean hardwood floors, please contact:
2015 Dean St., Unit 3
St. Charles, IL 60174