Bamboo flooring is gaining in popularity across the United States for its eco-friendliness, low cost and one-of-a-kind appearance. It's helpful to know how to clean bamboo floors before you install the material, or when you move into a home that already has this kind of flooring. Ultimately, proper care and maintenance will help to extend its life span and increase your home's resell value in the future.
Because strand-woven bamboo is stronger than solid glued bamboo, according to Hardwood Floors Magazine, your variety of flooring may be more sensitive to wear and tear than others. Therefore, it's important that you prevent damage through daily care and more specific cleaning practices. Tools with soft applications are best. A few options include:
These soft cloths are great for spot cleaning if you or a household member spills liquid or debris on the floor. Like most wood, moisture is bamboo flooring's number one enemy, so it's important to quickly take care of wetness. And microfiber cloths are highly absorbent.
For regular cleaning, use a broom to quickly sweep different rooms in the home to rid them of debris, dust and dirt. Letting this material build up may require a more aggressive cleaning job later, and bamboo's often lighter color shows this mess more easily.
Vacuums With a Soft Brush
If your vacuum employs a soft brush, this is another handy tool. It's safe to use on the flooring, but you can also use a vacuum designed for hard surfaces if it's light enough; bamboo can produce dents and scratches quickly with an abrupt maneuver.
Also highly absorbent, microfiber mops help to remove lingering grime and dirt left behind after sweeping or vacuuming. Fill a bucket with water and a safe cleaner, and swish the microfiber mop around in the water. Squeeze it out thoroughly—the mop should be barely moist, not damp—and then apply the mop to the floor in large back-and-forth motions, making your way across the entire floor. Microfiber plays an important, preventive role, because too much moisture can eventually damage the delicate bamboo material.
Bamboo flooring tends to be sensitive to harsh cleaners, but the material is sustainable enough to clean naturally. Avoid using oil or bleach, which can damage the finish, and follow the flooring manufacturer's guidelines.
How Not to Clean
Avoid using tools that will damage your floor, including abrasive stain-removing tools like steel wool, a vacuum with a beater (the beater bar has too strong of a force coming down on the floor) or other potentially toxic cleaners. Also, take care to use brooms and vacuums gently; dragging heavy items or even furniture challenges the floor's quality, and could eventually damage the floor itself.
With consistent cleaning, and attention to using the right tools, you can keep your home looking like new. Knowing how to clean bamboo floors using a little water, a natural cleaner, gentle cloths, mops and gentle vacuums will bring out the best in this modern product, and your floors will thank you.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.