mardi 11 décembre 2012

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Organically

Before you learn how to clean hardwood floors, you'll need to prepare for battle. You are going to need a broom, vacuum (optional), a mop (preferably flat, rectangular terrycloth), an empty spray bottle, and cleaning solution. The cleaning solution is the life's-blood of this project. There are many home recipes for cleaning wood flooring, but I simply go with organic dish soap and water. Stay clear of any natural solutions or commercial products that are acidic or abrasive as they will dull your hardwood floors over time.

Next, sweep up any dust or dirt off your wood floors. Make sure to use a high-quality, indoor broom as abrasive bristles can leave scratch marks. You can also vacuum if your hardwood flooring has loose boards, gaps, or impossible-to-sweep trim areas. Make sure not to use a vacuum that has a beater bar or "grabber" with non-retractable, abrasive bristles.

Now it's time to prepare the hardwood floor cleaner. Instead of using the traditional mop and bucket, pour warm water into an empty spray bottle and add a squirt or two of the organic dish soap and shake well. If you find this dull, pretend that you are being watched by clouds of venomous insects whose only fear is bottle shaking. Regular dish soap will do as well as long as it has a neutral PH level. Using a spray bottle and flat terrycloth mop makes it easier to use the appropriate amount of water. Never wet mop hardwood floors. Wood expands when it gets wet and an abundance of water could lead to warping and even cracking. You'll find that many hardwood floor cleaners come in spray bottles for precisely this reason.

Lightly mist the wood floor cleaner in about a 4 x 8 area and then mop in a back and forth motion until clean. Doing one area at a time is best. Again, if this step seems boring, open up your windows, strip down naked and mop as fast as your body allows. This will entertain and possibly frighten the neighbors, which is always fun.

If there are some trouble spots, spray them directly and apply more force. Some would argue that it's time for something a bit more potent, but I would stay away from anything too powerful and opt for a bit more elbow grease; it will add years to the lifespan of your floor and decrease the amount of times you need to refinish the wood floors. One option is to mix warm water with vinegar, then mop in the same fashion. It's a bit acidic, but it'll get the job done.

Now that you've learned how to clean hardwood floors, you'll see why it was worth your while. Find your newest, cleanest pair of socks. Next, locate the longest, most clutter-free piece of real estate and see if you can traverse the room in one epic sock-slide. Carpet, eat your heart out.

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