Steam Cleaning Hardwood Floors

One of the most attractive and durable flooring options is hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors come in a variety of colors, grains and types. In the past hardwood floors were finished with a type of paint solution that required a lot of maintenance because the floor had to be polished often in order to maintain its attractiveness.

Today's hardwood floors are finished and sealed, and upkeep is easier because the shine is sealed right into the floor. Depending on the quality of the wood, the sealing process and installation, one may not have to work as hard at maintaining the luster of the flooring. However even today’s hardwood flooring will still require some type of cleaning to retain its original beauty.

Should You Steam Clean?

The traditional way to clean hardwood floors is to first sweep and then mop them. This entails sweeping the entire floor and then it wiping with a damp cloth or mop. Another way of cleaning hardwood floors is to use a wood cleaning solution applied directly to the floor prior to wiping. In many cases, this traditional method works just fine.

However, if your floors get an unusual amount of traffic or if your family suffers from allergies aggravated by harsh chemicals, it may be worth your while to learn how to steam clean hardwood floors. Steam cleaning kills bacteria and microbes that are not killed by regular mopping. Therefore, a steam-cleaned floor can reduce allergies in your house and ensure that your floor is as clean as it can get.

How it’s Done

Make sure your hardwood floors are sealed before steam cleaning them. If there are spots that are not sealed, you may notice some warping from excessive moisture. Don't use a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor that is not intended to be used on wood.

Remove any dirt, grit or loose particles from the floor by sweeping or vacuuming it. This is a very important step because your floor can be scratched by dirt left on the floor and trapped under the steam cleaner.

Fill the water canister in your steam cleaner. If you choose to use cleaning solution, add the solution at this time.

Begin cleaning in one corner of the room and work toward the opposite corner. Use a back and forth motion as you clean, just as you would with a vacuum cleaner. When you push forward, the steam is released, and when you pull back, the cleaner picks up the grime. Continue until the room is completely cleaned.

After cleaning hardwood floors, it is important to take measures to help prevent hardwood floors from building up dirt or stains. Vacuuming is one way to help prevent debris from building up in the hardwood floors. Another way to prevent potential problems with hardwood floors is to put down mats or runners.

Thirdly, walking barefoot on the hardwood floors helps to ensure that dirt from shoes won't get onto the flooring. Finally, it is important to take extra caution when moving furniture, since it can cause nicks within hardwood floors. Do not drag the furniture along the floor unless you use furniture pads.

Vapor Steam Cleaning

A vapor steam cleaning system let's you sanitize and deodorize all kinds of surfaces around the house without the use of chemicals or detergents. It helps eliminate mold, mildew, grease, regular everyday dirt, and in some cases is said even to kill dust mites.

Some cleaners intended for other hard surfaces such as tile or linoleum can actually damage hardwood floors. Read the manufacturer's directions and warnings before purchasing or renting a steam cleaner for hardwood floors. If the cleaner isn't made for sealed hardwood floors, look for one that is.

Steam cleaning is the best way to go about cleaning hardwood floors. After the hardwood floors are cleaned, one must then make sure to prevent dirt, stains or nicks to negatively impacting the beauty of the flooring. Using steam cleaners will help maintain the fantastic appearance of a hardwood floor.

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