Unlike traditional hardwood floors, which are made using solid wood, engineered hardwood floors are created using different layers. The surface layer of engineered hardwood is real wood, and the underlying layers are typically high-density fiberboard or plywood. This difference in composition means engineered hardwood has different cleaning requirements. To make sure you don’t accidentally damage your floors, learn about the best ways to clean engineered hardwood.
Manufacturer Recommended Liquid Cleaner
Different styles of engineered hardwood floors require different cleaners. When you’re looking for a liquid cleaner, it’s important you choose one that has been manufactured or recommended by the same company that created your floor. If you use the wrong type of liquid cleaner, you could seriously damage your engineered hardwood.
If you’re not sure what type of cleaner you should use, you can contact the manufacturer to request its recommendations. Once you find out the liquid cleaner you can use on your floor, you can typically find it at your local hardware store or one of the larger supply stores.
A liquid cleaner is particularly effective at removing dirt and stains. When you’re ready to start cleaning your floor, apply a small amount of the liquid cleaner right onto your engineered hardwood floor. Then use a sponge or mop to wipe up the cleaner. If the stain or dirt didn’t come up the first time, keep adding more cleaner until you can remove it.
It’s important to remember that you don’t want to leave the liquid cleaner on the floor for too long, and you want to make sure you wipe all of it up after you’ve cleaned the stain. Excess cleaner could cause more damage to your floor if it sits there too long. It’s not necessary to use any water to rinse the area when you’re done cleaning.
If you have small corners or spaces you can’t reach with a mop, you might find it easier to clean by hand. In this case, pour a small amount of liquid cleaner on a clean rag. Then use the rag to gently clean the dirty area of your floor.
Do Not Use Excessive Water
Excess water is the enemy of your engineered hardwood floors, and it could cause irreversible damage or stains if it stays on your floor too long. Of course, life happens, and you’ll occasionally spill something on your floor. When that occurs, make sure you wipe it up right away. As you’re cleaning up the spill, be sure to blot gently instead of scrubbing or using forceful pressure. Putting too much pressure on your floor could press the liquid into the layers and cause damage.
Not only can spills cause damage, but using excessive water or liquid when you clean can also cause harm to your engineered hardwood. Therefore, you never want to use a soaking wet mop to clean. Instead, make sure your mop is only slightly damp. If you have any excess cleaner left on your floor after mopping, use a towel to wipe it up.
Dry Mop and Vacuum Daily
No matter what type of floor you have at home, dirt and grime can cause problems. When you walk around on your floor, these particulates will act as abrasives that can scratch the finish and leave it susceptible to damage. Therefore, one of the best ways to keep your engineered hardwood floors clean and safe from damage is to dry mop or vacuum them every day.
To help clean up any dirt that ends up on your floor, use a dry microfiber mop. This will effectively pick up debris and dirt without the risk of damage. If you decide to vacuum your floors instead of mopping them, be sure to turn off the beater bar. If your vacuum has a setting for bare floors, use that. If not, make sure you select the highest setting so the beater bar is as far away from the floor as possible. This prevents your vacuum from leaving any scratches on your floor’s finish.
Good preventative maintenance between cleanings can help make sure your engineered hardwood floors stay beautiful for many years.
First, you want to make sure you keep the right environmental conditions inside your house. Aim to maintain the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 35 and 55 percent. Wood reacts to changes in temperature and humidity. If the air inside your house is too warm or dry, the wood in your floors can become brittle and possibly crack or split. On the other hand, if you have too much moisture in your air, the wood can swell and buckle.
Since it’s important to keep dirt off of your floor, consider putting a doormat outside all exterior doors to trap dirt before it enters your house. You can also put a throw rug just inside the entrance for added protection. Just make sure you regularly clean the rugs. If you want to protect your floors from accidental spills in the kitchen, cotton area rugs in front of the sink, stove, and refrigerator work best because you can easily wash cotton. Just make sure you don’t use mats with a rubber backing since they can trap water underneath.
If you want to help prevent scratches and marks on your floor, don’t use furniture with rolling casters because they can cause damage. Instead, put fabric glides on the bottom of furniture legs. These glides will let the furniture move easily across the floor without scuffing it. Just make sure you remember to occasionally clean the glides to remove dirt that gets embedded in them. You should also consider keeping your pets’ nails trimmed and keeping your shoes in good repair to prevent scratches.
Engineered hardwood floors are a popular choice for homes because of their beauty and durability. With these helpful cleaning tips, you can make sure your floors continue to stay lovely for years to come.