When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, there are certain products and practices that should be avoided. Pure ammonia, alkaline products, abrasive cleaners, vinegar, lemon juice, soaps, waxes, polishes, varnishes and objects that could burn the wood should all be avoided. Ammonia will discolor and deteriorate the finish, while vinegar and lemon juice can damage the floor seal. Wax creates unnecessary build-up on the surface and makes the floor slippery.
Varnishes will dull the finish. Soaps, waxes and polishes should not be used. If the hardwoods are sealed, it is okay to scrub a little from time to time. If not, cleaning with a damp mop can damage floors as there is no barrier that prevents water from soaking into the wood.
It is important to know what you are working with before you start. When it comes to prefabricated cleaners, both Dulude and Nogales-Hernandez recommend the Bona floor care kit because it is gentle, safe and effective. To further promote good cleaning practices, you might even consider delivering floor care kits to your customers. In addition to avoiding certain products and practices, it is important to clean up all spills immediately to prevent the wood from deforming or discoloring.
When cleaning hardwood floors, only use solutions specifically designed for hardwood floors and do not pour any cleaning product directly onto the floor. Routinely cleaning wood from dust, dirt and grit makes a huge difference from the final product and makes any wet cleaning more efficient. Making sure your customers know how to properly clean a hardwood floor is essential to protecting the integrity of their work in the long term. You should include information about approved cleaning products and processes in the floor care guides you provide to your customers. Using Basic Coatings, IFT and Squeaky Clean as preparation for finishing will ensure that you start every job with a professional touch and will encourage your customers to care for their floors with the right products. Even if you don't do any of these things to your hardwood floor, it will still show signs of wear and tear over time. To keep your hardwood floors looking their best for years to come, make sure you know what not to clean them with.