Hardwood Flooring Cleaning Tips

I went on an inspection this week for “Cloudy, Hazy, Streaked Finish” on an Anderson Wood Floor by Shaw Industries. Anderson Wood Flooring features Anderson’s “Luster-Lok” finish, which a low luster U.V. cured, polyurethane finish with aluminum oxide.

The consumer stated that she only used Bona hardwood Floor Cleaner on the floor to maintain it, nothing else- as she was instructed by the Dealer who sold and installed her flooring. Although most wood flooring manufacturer’s endorse Bona Wood Floor Cleaning products, Anderson is a division of Shaw Industries. Anderson Wood Floors and Shaw Industries recommend the use of their own cleaning product – Shaw R2X Hardwood Floor Cleaner. (Make sure and check the Care & Maintenance Instructions for your particular brand of wood flooring to be sure, as this could void warranties).

The problem here was that “She only used Bona Wood Floor Cleaner to maintain the floor”. The problem with the cloudy, hazy, streaked finish was actually nothing more than dirt residue on the surface, built up over time. I demonstrated this by using a clean cotton pad with distilled water in 3 areas. There was a reddish brown residue left on the white cotton pad which was the same color as (of all things), the dirt in the yard in this South Carolina home.

I read the Bona Hardwood Cleaner Instructions. The problem here:
1. She wasn’t vacuuming or sweeping the floor prior to using the cleaner.
2. She wasn’t maintaining or cleaning the Bona Mop Head as recommended.
Per Bona Hardwood Cleaner Instructions:
• Use water sparingly while cleaning your wooden floors. Make
sure to soak up liquid spills immediately as excessive water
causes the floors to swell.
• Avoid wax, vinegar and “all-purpose” cleaners, since they
dull the floor’s finish.
• Do not let sand, dirt or grit build up. Vacuum or sweep your
floors once every week.
• Place mats or rugs near doorways and in high trafficked
pathways to trap sand and grit.
• Use protective pads or caps on furniture.
• Trim your pet’s claws to help avoid scratches on the floor
1. When your floor looks dirty, spray it with Bona Wood Floor Cleaner to dissolve the dirt.
2. Wipe the floor clean using a Bona Microfibre Cleaning Pad on your Bona Mop.
3. Rinse the pad in water as it becomes soiled and wring it thoroughly before continuing to clean. Excessively soiled
pads may be laundered.
* Your instructions say “rinse pad often to avoid streaking.” What does this mean? I was told not to use water on my
floor. If you notice some streaking as you are cleaning, it means your cleaning pad is filled with dirt. Just rinse it out with
water, wring it out well so that it is just damp, and put it back on your mop. If your floor gets very dirty you may not be able to clean the entire room before your cleaning pad gets filled with dirt.

Per Anderson Wood Floors Care & Maintenance Instructions:
Sweep or vacuum regularly since built-up grit can damage the surface of the wood. The vacuum head must be a brush or felt type. Be certain the wheels of the vacuum are clean and do not damage the finish. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar head.
Remove spills promptly using a soft cloth and cleaning products recommended by Anderson.
Never wet-mop, damp-mop, or clean your floor with water or other products. This can severely damage the flooring and will void the warranties. Do not use hardwood floor cleaning machines or steam cleaners. See section on Improper Maintenance.
Use Shaw R2X Hardwood floor cleaner with a terry cloth mop. Always vacuum the floors prior to using cleaner. Do not allow excess cleaner to remain on the floors surface as this may permanently damage the wood fiber.
Important: Do not use oil soaps, liquid or paste wax products or other household cleaners that contain citrus oils, lemon oil, tung oil, silicon, or ammonia since these warranties do not cover damage caused by non recommended products. Use of these and other such products will harm the long-term performance of your floor and may also affect its recoat ability.
Do not use 2 in 1 cleaners with polish that may contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss – the use of these products will void the finish warranty and may produce unsatisfactory results when not applied properly.
Keep pets’ nails trimmed, and paws clean and free of dirt, gravel, grease, oil, and stains.
Place protective felt pads beneath furniture legs and feet to reduce scratches and dents. Replace pads as needed.
Use a dolly and protective sheets of plywood when moving heavy objects, furniture, or appliances.
Make certain furniture casters are clean and operate properly (a minimum 1” wide vinyl surface where it comes in contact with wood is recommended). Clean wheels periodically to remove dirt and debris.
Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on floor.
Exposure to the sun and its UV rays accelerates the oxidation and aging of wood. This can cause the stain and/or wood to fade and/or to change color. We recommend that you rearrange rugs and furniture periodically so the floor ages evenly. Exotic species such as Brazilian Cherry are more susceptible to color change during the aging process. These warranties do not cover damage from the sun and its UV rays.
Use area rugs in high traffic areas and pivot points (e.g., stair landings, room entries, etc.), especially if you have a large family or indoor pets.
Maintain the proper Relative Humidity in your home between 35% – 55%.

The moral of the story? READ THE CARE AND MAINTENANCE INSTRUCTIONS FOR YOUR PARTICULAR BRAND OF FLOORING AND FOLLOW THEM. This will insure years of lasting beauty, and in the event there is a legitimate manufacturing problem, it will be warranted.

Make sure and squeeze excess moisture out of the mop when cleaning wood flooring. Make sure and vacuum and/or sweep regularly. Two of the biggest enemies of wood flooring are dirt and water. Dirt is abrasive and will scratch the surface of the flooring. Excess moisture will damage the wood and cause permanent and irreversable finish and structural problems.

4 Comments on “Hardwood Flooring Cleaning Tips

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  3. Variety of flooring materials are there such as hardwood, vinyl, laminate etc. and from that you have to choose one which can give new looks to your home. And hardwood floor options are good. To clean the hardwood floor you should follow some important tips. To clean this floor use a soft-bristled or hard-surface vacuum to clean the floor and this also remove any dirt or debris. Also you can use liquid dishwashing soap or baking soda to clean the floor.

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