Every once in a while you will want to clean your wood floor more extensively than just sweeping it with a brush. How you go about this will largely depend on the type of solid wood flooring you have in your house and the type of finish it has such as whether it is lacquered, naturally unfinished or oiled.
- Cleaning lacquered finish wooden flooring
Cleaning a lacquered solid wood floor is easy. The lacquer offers protection against busy environments and is easy to wipe and sweep clean. If you want to carry out a more extensive clean, a spray product especially designed for lacquered wood flooring is essential because if you use a spray for vinyl or tiles it will be too abrasive. Just lightly spray over the surface and remove with a microfibre flat mop. You can wash dirty areas with hot water but it is essential to not over wet the surface because it could lead to staining.
Never use furniture polish or wax on a wooden floor because this can make it extremely slippery and pose a safety hazard.
- Cleaning an unfinished wooden floor
If your solid wood flooring is described as unfinished, this means it has never been treated with lacquer or any other protective coating. It also applies to older wooden floors that you may discover in an older property once you have removed carpeting.
As with all wood floors, too much water will cause damage. You can clean with mineral spirits or white vinegar and you can also use oil soap mixed with water as long as you dry it.
However if your wooden flooring is new your best course of action is to ask the advice of your supplier. That way you can be sure that you can clean effectively without causing any damage.
- Cleaning an oiled wooden floor
Cleaning an oil floor is a similar process to cleaning a lacquered floor. Ensure that the flooring is clear of dust and debris and then apply an oil floor cleaning product. This is usually in the form of a soap product which you add to warm water. You gently apply the mix to the soiled area and then rinse off the cloth and use it to dry the area. It is important not to clean the area with water following treatment as this will remove protective oils.
- Cleaning a vintage wooden floor
If you have moved into a property with a vintage wooden floor, you need to identify the finish before you can clean it properly. Many pre 60s wooden floors were varnished or had a shellac coating. To identify this, try scratching some of the finish off and if it comes away in flakes, it is probably shellac. To clean shellac, use diluted washing up liquid in warm water and be careful not to get the surface too wet.
Often a vintage floor will have an additional wax finish. You can identify this by applying mineral oil to a small area, waiting a few minutes and then wiping it off. If it has been waxed it will leave a yellow stain on your cloth. You can clean a waxed floor with a waxed floor cleaning product.