Hardwood floors are undeniably beautiful, but there are some things you should know when trying to keep them clean.  For that reason, in this article we’ll give you some tips on how to clean your hardwood floors right.

Floor Finish Types

First of all you’ll need to know what type of floor finish you’re dealing with.  There’s three main types:  surface sealed, oil treated (or penetrating sealed) and lacquered (or varnished/shellacked.)  You can tell what type of floor you have by rubbing your finger on it.  If there’s no smudge you have a surface sealed floor.  If there is a smudge you’ll have an oil treated or lacquered floor.

Surface Sealed Floors

For surface sealed floor you’ll want to sweep them daily and mop them once or twice a week.  When you mop, use a solution of about a quarter cup dishwashing soap added to a bucket of water.  Make sure to wring most of the water out of the mop before using.  You only want it to be damp, not dripping wet.

Treated Floors

Whether oil treated or lacquered, you’ll still want to sweep your floors daily.  You can also vacuum them if you’d like.  However, you don’t want to be mopping these types of floor finishes.  Treated floors are easily damaged by water.  These types of floors will also need to be waxed every so often to keep them looking shiny and new.

When it comes time to wax your floor give it a good sweeping or vacuuming to remove all the dirt and dust.  You’ll need to use a wax stripper to remove the old wax before you can apply a new coat.  Apply the wax stripper according to the instructions.  You’ll typically need to rub it into the floor and then wipe it off.  Once the floor has dried you can add a new coat of wax.  If you plan on adding more coats, make sure the first layer has dried before going over the floor again.

To get the best shine out of your floor you’ll need to buff the new wax coating.  And although you can do this by hand with a cloth, it’ll save you a lot of work by getting a buffing machine to polish the wax for you.