If you have hardwood floors in your home, you’ll know that cleaning them can be a process that requires a little work.
All hardwood, whether sealed or unsealed, require regular maintenance and cleaning to bring out their natural shine.
Unsealed hardwood floors, in particular, require a little more effort to maintain. If you are not sure which kind of floor you have, rub your thumb on it. A smudge would mean that your floor is unsealed.
Cleaning Sealed Hardwood Flooring
Sealed hardwood floors are easier to clean because:
1) You can use water to clean them
Unsealed hardwood can be easily damaged by water that soaks through its beams.
Conversely, you’re able to clean sealed floors with water and a simple terry cloth mop.
2) Their shine lasts longer
The shine of sealed hardwood flooring remains, and only needs regular sweeping and mopping. For natural, less abrasive cleaning methods, you may use lemon dips, tea tree oil or olive oil.
Sealed floors only require you to wipe up spills on them immediately so that no stains are left behind.
6 Safe Tips For Cleaning an Unsealed Hardwood Floor
Cleaning an unsealed floor is another kettle of fish. It requires a little more effort other than regular sweeping.
The cleaning process is a more difficult one because water cannot be used. Cleaning methods and ingredients have to be safe for use on your floor.
1. Sweep the floor every few days
Make sure that you sweep and vacuum the floor regularly with a good hardwood floor vacuum. Regular removal of dirt from grooves and crevices will eliminate scuff marks. Never use water for regular cleaning.
Brooms like the Swiffer Sweeper removes dirt in hard to reach grooves.
2. Use a well-wrung mop, cloth or sponge
Unsealed floors cannot absorb water. Make very sure that your mop, cloth or sponge is wrung very dry before proceeding to clean it.
If the floor gets too wet, use a dry cloth to soak up additional moisture. The floor must be completely dry before you move any furniture on it.
3. Use natural cleaners
Avoid commercial cleaning products, especially if your plan is to refinish your floor. These can be harsh and leave abrasions like scuff marks.
Mixed with water, natural cleaners like:
- half a lemon
- 2 teaspons of olive oil
- 3 teaspoons of white vinegar
- and 3 teaspoons of tea tree oil bring out the natural shine of wood floors.
4. Wax your floors
Unsealed floors shine with the help of a little bit of wax. Be wary of using wax if your intention is to seal your floor in future.
Wax can be very difficult to remove from floors, so you’ve to be sure that you’re not going to apply sealers.
5. Use mineral spirits
Mineral spirits do a fine job of bringing out the shine of hardwood. These are solvents often used in place of turpentine to thin paint.
Examples are paraffin and cyclo-propane, which leave behind a strong odor when you use them. Odorless mineral spirits are often used instead.
Aside from cleaning your floor, they remove nasty scuff marks. Dry cloths must always be used to remove any excess liquid.
6. Use rugs and runners
Protect your unsealed hardwood floors with carpets, rugs and runners. These prevent any dirt and scuff marks left behind by the movement of furniture.
Unsealed hardwood can be a little more difficult to clean. Fortunately, a range of options is available to expedite the process.