Floor cleaning should be easy. Mix up a solution of water and cleaner, apply it to the floor and, voilíæ, you have a floor that's clean and shines, without a lot of fuss. Beware, however, as you select your floor cleaning products and tools. There are some serious mistakes you can make that could scratch or remove the finish and ultimately damage the floor.
Here are five things you should look to avoid:
- Harsh Chemicals: Ammonia and other abrasive cleaners can damage finish, eating away at the layers that protect the natural wood beneath it.
- Standard Mops: Water is one of the floor's primary enemies. Leave too much behind after using a traditional string mop, and you'll risk damaging the floors. Traditional mops aren't constructed of materials that will harm the floors, but it's very difficult to completely wring out all of the water. Ideally, you should use a soft mop that's only slightly damp.
- Abrasive Tools: Another risk in floor cleaning is attacking stains or water marks with too much gusto. The finish on wood flooring is not indestructible. Choose an abrasive tool and you could damage its finish. For example, steel wool and sandpaper remove surface-layer stains, but the tools will also do a number on the finish, leaving behind unsightly spots and unprotected wood flooring.
- Dulling Agents: Some experts recommend using vinegar on floors, as it's a natural product that gets at germs; however, use it too often and it will dull the floor's finish. Vinegar is acidic and may disintegrate the finish. Combine vinegar with hot water, and the reaction quickens. If you choose to use vinegar on the floors, do it sparingly and mix it with lukewarm water. According to Hardwood Floors Magazine, you should always choose white vinegar for cleaning.
- Steam Cleaners: Unless the flooring manufacturer allows, avoid using a steam cleaner on the floor. The excessive amount of heat and moisture the machines put out can stress the floor's finish and eventually damage the wood underneath it.
Murphy® Oil Soap is an ideal product to use when cleaning floors to avoid these mistakes. It's a safe, natural, easy-to-use product that won't damage the finish and, at the same time, will get your floors really clean.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of MurphyŒ¬ Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.