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How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors Without Streaks!

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors Without Streaks!

Despite the increased use of concrete as a sub-floor in many houses today, hardwood flooring remains one of the favorites, and prefinished hardwood flooring is a homeowner’s favorite choices. It’s durable, solid, and aesthetically favorable. Its classic look and shiny finish leave any room looking warm and comfortable.

However, you need to keep in mind that every day, the hardwood floor in your home is exposed to different elements like liquid, heat, and dust, which may cause deterioration of quality. Hardwood floors require constant care. From daily sweeping, to weekly mopping, from monthly polishing, to yearly sanding, there are many things you can do to make sure your hardwood floor is preserved. Properly maintained hardwood floors last longer and require less refinishing compared to unkept ones. Always make sure you clean in the correct order, use the right tools, and apply correct mopping practices.

Don’t worry, their not as complicated as it sounds! Here, we give you an easy-to-follow rundown on how to clean your prefinished hardwood floors spotless while maintaining its luster through the years.

Dusting - Weekly

Maintain your hardwood floors by constantly removing loose dirt, dust, and debris. This will ensure that your floors don’t scratch, and those floor contaminants are not ground into your hardwood over time. To do this you should be sweeping or using a dust mop weekly. If you choose to use a broom, choose a soft bristle brush, rather than a hard bristle one to prevent scratching. If you choose to dust mop your floors, we recommend using microfiber over a cotton dust mop. That’s because microfiber is positively charged, thus attracting negatively charged dust like a magnet! We offer a variety of sizes of microfiber dust mops. If you are interested in using microfiber dust mops check out our short video

  • You may opt to use a vacuum instead. Make sure it has a soft brush hard floor attachment, as opposed to the more abrasive types with the beater bar, or make sure it has a dedicated hard floor setting.

Wet Mopping - Monthly

For a deeper clean you will want to wet mop your hardwood floors every month. This will remove the more stuck on dirt and debris. Here's the most important tips to remember when wet mopping:

  1. Do not soak your floors, as that can damage them and/or is more likely to leave streaks
  2. Only use cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. When mopping use a method known as "leading edge cleaning". Basically you walk backwards through the room working the mop side to side, twist the handle to turn the mop, almost in a figure eight motion. Here's what it looks like.

Because of the above, we recommend using a microfiber flat mop. Microfiber is so great at picking up dirt that you won’t need to excessively use soap. Microfiber is extremely porous, meaning they mop pads are extremely easy to rinse and wring out, thus you’ll be using less water. Plus, microfiber flat mops are lightweight, able to clean your floors faster meaning less chances for streaks to form.

Get Streak Free Floors

Avoid Streaks

To reduce your chances of streaks forming on your floors when mopping, here are three tips for best mopping practices from MaidPro's Melissa Homer (for the full details on best mopping practices see this article by Melissa Homer).

  1. More soap is not the answer. Using more soap then needed may make your job harder, as it'll more quickly saturate your mop pads.
  2. Mop the floor in 3’x3’ sections. This will ensure dirty water isn't drying onto your floors.
  3. Rinse your mop often. Make sure you are releasing the dirty and soapy water from your mop pads often, or switch them out.
  4. Check your mop often to make sure you are not just smearing dirty water. The last thing you want is sticky dirty soapy water drying on your floors.

Remove Streaks

After you've taken the proper steps to clean your floors (above), finish up by going over your floors again with the microfiber wet mop pad. This is the final sweep to remove the lingering streaks You might have some more stubborn spots or streaks remaining. If so we recommend the following (these will also work to remove things such as scuff marks and some stains).

  1. Use a microfiber cloth to buff them out.
  2. Use a more powerful scrubbing mop pad to really pick up the dirt (example: Microfiber Scrubber Mop Pads)
  3. Use a more powerful floor cleaner to loosen the debris up, then mop it up.

Polishing

When polishing your hardwood floors the most important thing is to use manufacturer recommended polishes. You can apply the polish using your mop or microfiber cloth, just make sure you are going with the grain of your floors and you are applying evenly. After you've applied the polish, make sure you allow ample time to dry before you walk over that space.

Now You Have Shiny Hardwood Floors!

Follow the above steps for clean and streak free hardwood floors. If you want a full guide so you remember how to do this, use our below infographic! If you are looking for a microfiber mop here's one we recommend, or if you are looking to further research a mop, checkout this post Best Mops For Hardwood Floors.

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