Clean Hardwood Floors: How to Make Them Shine Again

Hardwood floors bring beauty and value to your home, but keeping them clean might be a challenge. In the United States, the hardwood flooring industry continues approximately $4 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. 

If you’re wondering how to clean hardwood floors to make them shiny again, there are some crucial things to keep in mind.

Read on to learn some ways that you can make hardwood floors shine like they’re brand-new once more.

Why Do Hardwood Floors Get Dull?

Before we dive into some of the best ways to clean hardwood floors, let’s look at a few reasons why they may have lost their shine. First, if your home gets a lot of foot traffic, then scratches, scuffs, and dirt are to be expected.

Pet claws, high-heeled shoes, and everyday footwear can all make your beautiful wood floors look dull over time. Area rugs can help a bit, but overall, proper maintenance is key to keeping them smooth and shiny.

In some cases, you might mop your hardwood floors and simply redistribute the dirt. Even when you can’t see this dirt with the naked eye, it creates a film that will certainly dull the floor’s shine over time.

Another reason why hardwood floors can get dull is due to using the wrong cleaning products. Many acrylic-based liquid floor waxes can turn the polyurethane finish on hardwood floors a dull, milky color.

If you end up with a layer of film on your floors, it might be time to turn to professionals to help make hardwood floors shine again. Mineral wax might take the milky layer off, but it’s usually best to have your floors stripped and re-finished to restore their original shine.

The Best Ways to Clean Hardwood Floors

Regular care and maintenance are the best ways to keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful. Always wipe up spills as soon as they happen, and use a broom and dustpan to remove crumbs and other small debris. Simple daily cleanings can help to keep the floors in good condition over time.

You can also use a damp (not soaking wet) mop to clean hardwood floors, but this should only be done a few times per year. Always clean in the direction of the wood grain and make sure that your mop is just barely damp. Soaking wet mops can cause the wood of your floors to warp over time.

If you’re using a hardwood floor cleaning product, only apply it with a sprayer and never douse it onto the floors. Apply a light mist of the cleaning product onto the floors, then use your damp mop to finish the job. Use a dry microfiber mop head to buff the floors when you’re done.

Hardwood Floor Polishing Tips

It’s important to note that polishing your floors is not the same thing as cleaning them. Regular cleaning is done to remove spills and grime, but polishing hardwood requires more time and more elbow grease.

Before you even think about polishing the floors, you’ll need to determine what type of finish they have. Hardwood with a waterproof barrier like urethane looks beautiful with the right polishing products and techniques.

However, any floors finished with oil or unsealed hardwood floors need wax instead of polish. If you use the wrong product, it can either make your floors too slippery or ruin the original finish. This can also make it more difficult to polish or refinish them later on.

You can test your floors if you’re not sure what type of finish they have. Choose a small, hidden area in your home and gently scrape a small bit off using a sharp knife. If the finish looks smudged, you likely have a penetrating finish and should only use wax.

If you notice a clear material when you scrape your floor, then it likely has a surface finish. These types of hardwood floors can have polish applied without causing damage. 

Once you know that you want to apply polish, always start by cleaning your hardwood floors thoroughly and letting them dry. Next, make sure you follow the directions per the manufacturer of the polish to ensure that you’re using the right methods to apply it.

Polishing your hardwood floors yourself can be tricky and messy. You’ll also need to wait at least one full day before you can walk on them to allow the polish to dry and cure completely.

Consult the Pros

Before you decide to polish or clean hardwood floors, it’s best to consider getting professional help with your hardwood floor cleaning. Choosing hardwood floors is a big investment, so it’s vital that you take care of them properly to keep them in great condition.

When you choose to hire professionals, they have the skills, experience, and training to care for your wood floors the right way. This also ensures that everything from cleaning to polishing is done with precision for beautiful results.

Trying to polish hardwood floors yourself can be a tricky endeavor that may lead to damage. That’s why talking to the experts at Carpet Cleaning Group in Chicago is a smart move. 

A team of experienced hardwood floor cleaners knows the proper methods to restore your floor’s shine. With years of practice under their belt, these experts can handle any type of flooring they encounter.

Restore Your Floors Today

Whether you need to polish or clean hardwood floors, following these tips will ensure they stay shiny for longer. Remember to talk to a professional cleaning company that understands your specific needs for amazing results.

If you live in the Chicago area, be sure to contact us today to get your free quote and find out how we can help!