Wood floors are always stylish, and they can be a lot easier to keep clean than carpets. But they also need proper care and maintenance to look their best. And what you might not know is that wood floors are as prone to damage and bacterial growth as carpets are.
Are you looking for the best product to clean your hardwood floors like a professional? We have the best product recommendations and the best techniques for keeping your hardwood floors looking great. And with our tips on caring for your hardwood floors, you’ll prevent accidental damage and extend their longevity.
What this article covers:
- Best Products to Clean Hardwood Floors
- The Best Finish for Hardwood Floors
- Knowing how to Clean Your Hardwood Floors Properly
- Tips for Keeping Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best
Best Products To Clean Hardwood Floors
The important thing to remember when cleaning hardwood floors is that you need the power to scrub away excess dirt without scratching the wood surface. You also want a streak-free shine afterward. This will show your hardwood floors off to their best advantage, and keep them looking beautiful for longer.
But it's almost impossible to achieve that clean gleam without a proper floor scrubber or polisher. Manual scrubbing of hardwood floors is backbreaking work, and you’ll never get them, as clean as a professional machine will.
Because cleaning hardwood floors without the proper equipment won’t clean extremely dirty wood floors, we advise you to invest in one of the products below. They are all specifically designed to clean various types of floor surfaces, including hardwood floors.
Orbital Floor Scrubber
Orbital scrubbers are among the best tools to clean hardwood floors. You won’t be able to clean or buff your wood floors nearly as well with other methods. And although you can clean and shine wooden floors by hand, this is very labor-intensive. Your best bet is to use an orbital floor scrubber.
The best thing about our Orbot Vibe machine is that it has a variety of applications. Hardwood floors, tile, carpets, and even linoleum get super clean with this machine. It can be put to use for all your floor care needs. Scrubbing, stripping, polishing, and more are all possible with the Orbot Vibe.
Made in the USA, the Orbot Vibe is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) as a deep cleaning system. So you know that you can trust it to clean your hardwood floors effectively, safely, and easily.
Cordless Slimline Floor Cleaner
The issue that many people have with using floor scrubber machines in a residential setting, is their size. You get cordless vacuums for carpets, so why not a cordless floor cleaner, right?
Well, we’ve got that too. The Orbot Slim is the ultimate in user-friendly hardwood floor cleaning, practicality, and versatility. Work cordlessly for up to 45 minutes, and reach even the most compact areas with its 11” base.
Like the Orbot Vibe, the Orbot Slim cleans wood, stone, carpet, linoleum, and even safety floors with ease. But with the powerful, rechargeable lithium battery and streamlined design, it’s even easier to use in the home. The Orbot Slim is also suitable to clean manufactured wood floors.
And don’t stress if you need to use this machine in dim lighting conditions or dark corners. It’s fitted with front LED lighting to help you get a clear view of what you’re doing. That makes this floor-cleaning machine one of the most practical models around.
Bare Surfaces Scrubber With Extraction Power
The Lindwash Bare Surface Floor Scrubber & Extractor is lightweight and maneuverable, yet extremely practical. It not only removes dirt and grime with ease but has the power needed for water extraction. And it uses ten times less water and detergent than most other cleaning machines.
The Lind Wash Scrubber is effective enough to be used for all other bare, hard floor surfaces. And yet it’s gentle enough to use on carpets, too. It offers the convenience of individual clean and soiled water tanks, housed in one unit.
The best feature of this scrubber is its low profile. This enables you to clean hard-to-reach places with a minimum of effort. So there’s no need to move heavy furniture like beds, simply ease the Lind Wash Scrubber underneath furniture. With a base that’s only 55” high, it is the world’s lowest-profile floor scrubber.
Heavy-Duty Professional Floor Cleaner
Do you need heavy-duty cleaning of your high-traffic zones in your home and office? The Task Pro 17” Floor Machine will handle encapsulation cleaning with pads, clean all types of hardwood or stone floors, and even agitate your industrial carpets for a deeper clean.
Equipped with a 50” power cord, it can be used in every nook and cranny without having to be right next to an outlet. And the 5” heavy-duty transportation wheels are guaranteed not to leave marks on your floors.
Best of all, the heavy-metal construction and powerful motor will serve you well for years, even with daily use. And the 5-year warranty on the motor and housing gives you complete peace of mind. This versatile machine can even be used on tiled floors and will clean away embedded dirt in the grouting.
Flat Mop Finish Applicator
One of the best ways to clean a hardwood floor without a machine is mopping. Manufactured wood floors can also be kept clean with simple mopping. But what is the best mop to clean hardwood floors? A mop that allows for better contact with the floor, like our Flat Mop, is ideal for this.
It can also be used on tile or linoleum floors, and to apply sealant or finish. We recommend using this product with a terry cloth cover when cleaning your hardwood floors. This soft cover will not damage or scratch your floors. This product is also the perfect tool for applying a finish to wood floors.
If you need extra length and a more comfortable grip when sweeping or mopping, get our EZEE Grip Pole. The telescopic pole extends to 60” and can be attached to any standard US broom or mop with a threaded bar. Made of lightweight aluminum with a soft, neoprene coating, it protects your hands from chafing and blisters.
An old-style “spaghetti-strand” mop not only doesn’t give a smooth, streak-free clean. It can also become a breeding ground for bacteria. And that will then be transferred to your floor with the next use. If you must use one of these mops, always allow it to dry thoroughly after each use.
Disinfectant Safe on All Surfaces
Disinfecting tiled surfaces is easy. There are so many products that are safe for those surfaces. But what do you do with hardwood floors? Is it possible to disinfect and sterilize your floors without causing harm to the surface? Yes, it is possible, and we have the ideal product to keep your wood floors sanitized.
If you want to disinfect and sterilize the surfaces in your home or business, you can trust in the antimicrobial and sterilizing power of Sporicidin. This product is bactericidal, virucidal, mildewcide and tuberculocidal and fungicidal. It kills disease-bearing germs, mold, and mildew - even black mold.
Sporicidin is non-flammable and will not leave stains. It’s also non-abrasive and non-corrosive on a multitude of surfaces, including wood. Although effective against germs it contains no bleach and no alcohol. Clean and deodorize all the surfaces in your home or business with a safe and reliable product you can trust.
The Best Finish For Hardwood Floors
A durable hardwood floor finish will protect the floorboards from moisture damage, scratches, and other wear and tear. But different finishes offer different pros and cons. Look through these top hardwood floor finishes and select the one that best suits your requirements.
When sanding and sealing hardwood floors, the best thing to use is Oil-Modified Urethane. This is the most commonly used sealant in the industry and amongst DIYers.
Oil-based polyurethane is moisture-resistant, durable, and suitable for high-traffic zones. However, it is slow-drying and flammable and gets a yellowish tinge over time.
This is best for floors where you want a clear finish. It doesn’t yellow like oil-based polyurethane does, and dries quickly to a shiny finish with minimal odor.
Do you have oily, tropical wood flooring? This natural product adheres well to these types of woods. Also, shellac dries quickly. Unfortunately, it isn’t as durable as other finishes and is highly flammable.
A penetrating oil sealer will highlight the wood grain and offer a low-shine finish. Although it’s expensive and has to be reapplied every couple of years (at least every 3-5 years) it brings out the beauty in hardwood floors naturally. And you can easily camouflage scratches by applying oil.
But be prepared for a long wait before you can walk on your floor again. This oil takes a long time to dry between coats, up to a full day. Oil-penetrating sealer finishes are natural and attractive. But they are susceptible to staining from water and chemicals. You’ll need to use a cleaner designed for oil sealant.
Wax penetrates the wood and dries quickly to a low-sheen finish but will turn yellow over time. It may also darken the wood significantly with repeated use. But it seals the floor with a protective and water-resistant barrier.
Unfortunately, applying wax to hardwood floors is very labor-intensive and doesn’t offer the durability of other finishes. Therefore, you’ll have to reapply it regularly. Waxed and buffed hardwood floors are very attractive and you may decide that the result is worth the effort.
Knowing How To Clean Your Hardwood Floors Properly
Having the right equipment is vital to cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors. But without the proper technique, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. You must use your floor cleaning machine correctly, for the best results.
Because we want everyone to get the most out of our floor cleaners, we offer expert training through our TMF Academy. In our user-friendly tutorials, we share our expertise gained through over 30 years of experience.
Several courses are available or get the TMF Academy Bundle for advanced instruction in the cleaning of hard floors, carpets, upholstery, and even tile and grout. Knowing how to use our machinery and other products will help you to clean hardwood floors without leaving streaks.
Tips For Keeping Hardwood Floors Looking Their Best
The best way to keep hardwood floors looking good year-round is also the simplest. Daily sweeping will remove surface dust and debris and prolong the time between proper floor cleanings. Regularly sweep your hardwood floors, and use a professional floor scrubber when they’re very dirty.
If you have invested in engineered wood flooring, that is usually all you’ll have to do. It’s very easy to clean prefinished wood floors, because of the layer that they are coated with. Dust will just sit on the surface, ready to be swept away.
Many people ask us if they can steam clean the floor. So, is steaming safe for hardwood floors? Steam cleaning is an excellent way to sanitize all floors and remove sticky dirt. You can keep carpeted floors, tiled floors, and sealed hardwood floors clean and sterile with steaming methods.
But it’s not ideal for all hardwood floors. Moisture is of particular concern with unsealed wood floors. Any moisture that seeps into the bare wood may cause it to warp. It will cause irreparable damage to your unsealed wood floor.
This is why even though steam cleaning may be safe for sealed hardwood floors, we don’t recommend this method for unsealed wood floors. Rather choose one of the other methods above, and preferably seal your wood floors with a finish as soon as possible.
If cleaning and polishing wood floors is taking up more of your time than you like, consider sealing your hardwood floor. A sealed hardwood floor can be kept clean with a simple vinegar water solution. Mix a cup of white vinegar in a bucket of warm water, and use it to mop or wipe your floor,
If you prefer to leave your wood floors unfinished, remember that they will be harder to care for. When you have the best appliance to clean hardwood floors, this will not be such an effort. Dirt buildup can cause damage long-term to all wood floors, even sealed ones.
Surface dirt that gets repeatedly trodden down can scratch and eventually strip the varnish. But without sealing, you’ll find cleaning unsealed wood floors even more of a chore. Dirt, grime, moisture, and bacteria can also get into little cracks and the spaces between unsealed floorboards.
Lift Chairs, Don’t Drag Them
Heavy furniture, or metal-legged furniture, can severely damage your wood floors. Dragging furniture across the floor will scratch your floors, and that can be difficult to remedy. Engineered wood floors are just as susceptible to this type of wear and tear.
When you have to move furniture in rooms with hardwood floors, lift the items. Don’t pull or push them along. Simple tips like this will save you a lot of money and effort in the long run.
Scuff marks generally result from the movement of furniture against your wood floor. Just the slightest movement of chair legs while you’re seated can stuff a wood floor badly. A simple cleaning hack for tiny scuff marks is to use an eraser. It's ideal for emergency scuff mark removal in a pinch.
Shoes can cause unsightly scuff marks in high-foot-traffic zones. But there’s a simple solution. Attach our foam blocks and tabs under your chair and table legs. This is the easiest way to solve this messy and potentially damaging problem, protecting your furniture and your floor.
Even wood floors are not impervious to dirt and damage. Like carpets or rugs, they need proper cleaning with the right products to stay looking good.
Using the correct products will also nourish the wood and prevent damage from daily wear and tear. So always use the best cleaning detergents for your wood floors as well as your carpets, rugs, and upholstery.
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking other guides:
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- How to Clean an Unfinished Wood Floor
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