Care and Cleaning of your wood floor
The one constant in wood floor maintenance is dust mopping of the floor. You can have a laminate floor like Pergo, a manufactured wood floor, a urethaned wood floor, or an older paste wax wood floor, and frequent dust mopping will provide the best care. Dust mopping your wood floor removes abrasive dirt that works like sand paper on your floor. The best dust mops are nylon or micro fiber. They come in sizes starting at 12″, all the way up to 60″. Stay away from the old time cotton dust mops. They require a dust mop treatment to work. Most dust mop treatments are oil based, and are harmful to your floor. Also I don’t recommend dust mops like the Swiffer. The Swiffer cloth is treated with a silicone to attract dust which leaves a silicone residue on your wood floor. Over time this will cloud the finish of your floor. Microfiber, and nylon dust mops work by creating a static charge as they are pushed along the floor. This attracts the dirt to the dust mop.
Before we can further clean your wood floor we need to know what kind of woof floor you have. A simple test is to take mineral spirits on a white rag, and rub it on the floor. If the rag is orange, or brown you have a paste wax wood floor. If the rag is clear your wood floor is urethane, laminate, or a manufactured wood floor. These floors require special cleaners to clean, and enhance the shine of the floor. The major brands in wood floor cleaners are Basic Coatings, Wood Wise, and Bona. I’m very partial to the first two because they’re made in America, and are used by more professionals. The cleaning of the floor is accomplished by using one of these chemicals in conjunction with a micro fiber pad. You can mist the floor with the cleaner, or apply it to the dust mop.
Older wood floors that have liquid, or paste wax on them can be cleaned using mineral spirits if the floor isn’t very dirty. Old wax and dirt build up requires a more aggressive cleaner, along with a number 2 steel wool pad. Usually a floor machine is used with the steel wool pad on the bottom of it. This makes the job much easier. After the old wax and dirt are loosened it must be wiped up with old towels, or rags. Before any new wax is applied a thorough wipe down of the floor with mineral spirits is necessary. When applying wax to a wood floor, very thin coats are recommended. Appling a few thin coats will leave your floor with a beautiful shine. Applying one thick coat will leave you with a sticky mess that three days later still hasn’t dried.
I’ve listed three excellent video’s below that go into detail along with demonstrations of how to clean, and maintain wood floors. It will also touch on some of the things to never use on a wood floor. Hint Murphy’s Oil Soap is very bad.