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August 2016

5 Ways You Are Ruining Your Denver Hardwood Floor

By | Cleaning Tips | No Comments
dirty and damaged wood floor in a Denver apartment

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We get a lot of requests from customers asking us how clean we can get their wood floors.  Cleaning wood floors is what we do every single day at Alpine Maids.  We put plenty of elbow grease into our work and often make multiple passes over wood floors.  Most of the time your floor comes out looking great, but sometimes it is already too late.  At the end of the day, all any maid service should do is damp mop with safe neutral pH floor cleaner.   We use one of the things in the pic below.  They’re the best!

microfiber mop system for cleaning wood floors

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If you are keeping up with your floor maintenance, you should be sweeping daily, vacuuming weekly, and damp mopping monthly.  You are sweeping daily, right?  I know if sounds like a lot of work, but it really is necessary to keep your wood floors in good condition.

Sweep daily, vacuum weekly, and damp mop monthly with water, Bona, or a Neutral floor cleaner.

Want a good shine?  Picture yourself walking through a forest…. See any shiny trees?  No! Wood doesn’t shine the finish shines.  Unfortunately, if the finish is no longer shining it may be time for a new finish.  A wood floor specialist will be able to help you with this.  It may not even be necessary to sand and refinish the entire floor.  There are products that will take off the top layer of finish so that new coats can be applied at a cheaper price than sanding and refinishing the entire floor.

Murphy’s Oil

OK, this stuff is awful for wood floors!  The reason is contained in the the name itself.  Oil.  Murphy’s Oil is an oil based soap.  Bellawood Prefinished Hardwood Floors Certified 50 Year Warranty expressly states, “Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.”  Even if you don’t do explicit damage to the floor, the oil will build up causing streaking and eventually attract more soiling than if you had just cleaned your floor with water.

Vinegar

Remember when I mentioned a pH neutral floor cleaner above?  The reason for this is that you are not cleaning the wood.  You are cleaning the finish on the surface of the wood.  Vinegar is acidic with a pH of about 2.4 (7 being perfectly neutral). Vinegar will slowly eat through the finish leading to a dull finish.

Mopping

Even simply mopping your floor could be doing damage.  Wood floors are supposed to be damp mopped.  Emphasis on damp.  This is part of the reason why sweeping and vacuuming often is so necessary.  Mopping your floors with too much water will lead to warping.  The wood will absorb any water left on the surface.  Worse yet, water will seep between the planks and pool under your floor.

Steam Mopping

The use of water in all its forms, including steam should be limited to the smallest possible amount.. Furthermore, the high heat from steam mops can break down the protective finish dulling it in the same way that vinegar can.

Living in Denver

Unfortunately Denver’s dry air is overall inhospitable to all wood flooring.  The lack of humidity causes wood floors to dry out and crack.  You can counter this by installing a whole home humidifier.  Swamp coolers also help to keep some humidity in the air.  Beyond keeping your home slightly humid, there is not much that can be done.

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