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Want to learn how to clean hardwood floors and keep them looking their best? Our guide covers everything you need to know to keep your timber floors pristine.

How To Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are aesthetically pleasing and add a touch of elegance to your home’s interior. They can also be an excellent alternative to carpets, especially if you have children or pets, as accidents or spills can be mopped up efficiently.

To keep your hardwood floors looking pristine for as long as possible, regular cleaning is important. By using appropriate products and tools, you can effectively remove dust and dirt while safeguarding your floors against scratches, dents, and other forms of damage. Learn how in our guide.

Protecting Hardwood Floors

Keeping timber flooring in its best condition starts by properly protecting it. This helps reduce the chance of unsightly scratches, dents or damage to wooden floors, which could allow spills to penetrate and cause more serious staining.

Protecting your hardwood floors also saves you time because it’s easier to clean properly protected wooden floors.

To protect hardwood floors, you should:

  • Use door mats inside and outside your home to prevent dirt from outside being brought into your home.
  • Ask everyone to remove their shoes at the entrance to your home.
  • Never wear heeled shoes on a timber floor, as they can scratch the surface.
  • Have a cloth handy to clear up any spills as soon as they occur.
  • Use floor protectors under any furniture, and never drag furniture across your hardwood floor to move it.
  • Put rugs down in high-traffic areas, like your entrance hallway or areas where children or pets spend a lot of time, to prevent scratches.
  • Rugs should also be used in areas susceptible to sun damage, like near windows or glass doors, to protect your hardwood floor from sun bleaching.
  • Sweep your floor regularly, ideally at least once per day, to keep the amount of dirt and debris to a minimum.
  • Avoid excessive moisture on your floor like wet objects. If your home is humid, invest in a dehumidifier to help protect your wood floor.

How to Clean Your Hardwood Floor

Now that you know how to protect your hardwood floor, you need to make sure you follow a regular cleaning regime to keep it looking pristine. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take to clean timber floors below,

1. Prepare the area

To prepare your wooden floor for cleaning, remove any obstructions or easy-to-move furniture and lift any rugs. This will make cleaning quicker and easier.

2. Get rid of dirt and dust

The first step to cleaning your hardwood floor is to remove any dirt or dust. The best way to do this is by sweeping or vacuuming.

If sweeping your floor, use a microfiber dust mop to efficiently pick up pet hair, dirt and dust without scratching your floor.

If vacuuming, use a brush cleaner that will suck up all the dirt and dust without scratching your floor.

Sweep or vacuum daily to reduce the amount of dirt, dust and pet hair on your floor.

3. Mop the floor

Once you have removed any loose dirt, you should mop your floors to remove any oil, dirt or grime that has built up over time.

  • Use a wood floor mop and a specialist cleaning product designed for cleaning hardwood floors. If possible, check with the manufacturer of your floor to find out which products they recommend. Always follow the instructions when making up the cleaning mixture.
  • Saturate the mop in the cleaning mix, then wring it out until it’s just damp.
  • Mop the floor being careful to avoid putting excess water on the floor.
  • Use a clean, dry mop to remove the excess water if needed.

4. Dry the floor

You should leave your wooden floor until fully dry before walking on it or replacing any items. To safely speed up the drying process without damaging your timber floor, you can run your air conditioning or ceiling fan.

5. Buff for a pristine finish

If you’re looking for a professional finish for your wood floor, the final step is to buff it. You can hire a buffing machine to effectively polish your floor, but it’s also possible to use a DIY method to get a similar finish. Simply mix white vinegar and water and wipe over the floor with a soft, clean cloth or a clean microfiber mop.

Post Cleaning Care for Your Hardwood Floor

After cleaning your wood floor, you should follow the below steps to keep it looking its best for longer:

  • Allow adequate drying time before placing any items or rugs onto the floor.
  • Keep pets and children away from the floor until fully dry.
  • Clean up any spills immediately to prevent stains or watermarks.

Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to prevent debris from scratching the floor.

How to Remove Stains From Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are aesthetically pleasing when in good condition. However, stains can quickly diminish the overall look, which is why it’s so important to clean any spills as quickly as possible to prevent staining.

If you’ve inherited a hardwood floor with stains, or you didn’t notice a spill soon enough, fear not, as we have some top tips for removing stains from hardwood floors.

Cleaning Different Types of Hardwood Floor

The first step to deep clean hardwood floors and remove stains is to find out whether your floor has a hardwood or softwood finish.

Usually, hardwood floors are treated with a coating that prevents spills from penetrating, so the stain is likely to be on the surface. Whereas if the stain has penetrated the wood, then it is likely it has a soft finish.

If you’re not sure, you can perform a quick test on an inconspicuous area. Simply put three to four drops of water onto the floor. If the water sits on the surface, it’s likely you have a hardwood finish, but if it starts to soak into the floor, then you have a soft finish.

Cleaning Hardwood Finish Floors

To clean hardwood finish floors, use a soft, clean cloth to wipe away surface stains.

Never use steel wool, harsh chemicals or sandpaper.

Cleaning Softwood Finish Floors

If you need to get stains out of a softwood floor, you will need to treat different stains in different ways:

  • Pet or dark stains – Rub the stain with 000 steel wool and floor wax. If necessary, apply vinegar or bleach and allow to soak in for one hour before rinsing with a damp cloth.
  • White stains or watermarks – Rub with 000 wool and floor wax. For tough stains, lightly sand the floor and clean it with odourless spirits and fine steel wool.
  • Heel marks – Rub floor wax into the affected area using fine steel wool.
  • Oil-based stains – Rub the stain with a soft cloth and dish detergent, and then rinse with water. Repeat as needed to remove the stain. Once the area is thoroughly dried, use fine sandpaper to smooth any raised grains.

The Best Products for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Before cleaning your hardwood floor, you need to make sure you use the most appropriate cleaner and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it.

The following products are recommended for many types of hardwood floors:

  • Enzyme Wizard uses natural enzymes to break down organic stains and odours without causing any damage to your floor. It is a powerful solution that tackles spills and stains with ease leaving your floors pristine and fresh.
  • Bona Australia offers a range of products for professional-grade hardfloor maintenance. Their high-quality cleaning products and accessories deliver optimal results without causing any damage to your flooring.
  • If you’re looking for a natural way to clean hardwood floors and remove tough stains, you can use white vinegar. Dilute ½ cup of white vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water and use a mop or soft cloth to clean the floor. Just be aware that vinegar can dull some types of hardwood flooring, so it’s best to test the mix on an inconspicuous area before using it on your entire floor.

How Star Car Wash Can Help?

Now you know how to get your hardwood floors looking pristine you might be wondering how to get a professional quality finish for other household tasks, like cleaning your car.

Star Car Wash is Australia’s leading professional hand wash & detailing provider. Star prides itself on offering an unrivalled service and is determined that every customer enjoys that new car feeling.

We have a variety of 100% hand wash and detailing packages for you to choose from. Whether it’s a quick exterior wash or a full detail, our team is dedicated to restoring your vehicle to a like-new condition.

Find a location near or book an appointment online today.

Contact Us

Contact any participating Star Car Wash today and experience the difference a professional detailing makes.

02 9700 7420


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