The Difference in Hardwood Floor Cleaners
Hardwood floors are hailed for their natural beauty, but they require varying degrees of attention to maintain these good looks, depending on the finish. Floors with penetrating finishes (that soak into the wood) and wax top coats (which protect the finish) can be quite a chore to maintain because they easily absorb water and require solvent-based cleansers only—one reason many people opt for surface-sealed wood floors instead. These other hardwood floors all have polyurethane, urethane, or other finishes to form a protective waterproof barrier and protect from light scratches and dents, and their regular cleaning is much easier to get right because of the wider variety of cleansers that can be used
What Makes a Great Hardwood Floor Cleaner?
Factor in these features as you read labels of hardwood floor cleaners.
Gentle ingredients. Look for non-corrosive ingredients like water, weak acids such as citric acid or hydrogen peroxide, or weak bases such as sodium bicarbonate. Avoid products containing strong acids or bases, such as nitric acid or sodium hydroxide, which can strip the finish of surface-sealed floors. Also avoid hardwood floor cleaners containing oil, which can leave a sticky residue, or wax, which can dull the floor finish and leave it slippery.
Concentration. You’ll find hardwood floor cleaners in one of two formulations:
Complete hardwood floor cleaners can be applied to the floor straight out of the bottle because they contain all the necessary ingredients pre-mixed. They minimize overall time and effort, so great for everyday or last-minute cleaning jobs. Floor cleaner concentrate products contain a potent cleaning fluid that must be diluted in water specified per product instructions before use. While they take more time to prepare, they let you adjust the potency (and pungency) by adding more or less water.
Convenient packaging. Hardwood floor cleaner is sold in three types of packaging:
Spray bottles feature a built-in trigger that dispenses a fine mist of cleaning solution onto the floor. You then either wipe down or mop the floor, which makes this packaging option good for spot cleaning or cleaning small areas.
Squirt bottles dispense a small pool of cleaner onto the floor, which can then be mopped. This option is versatile enough to use on small or large floor areas.
Refill bottles contain larger quantities, which you can pour into either a spray bottle or the fluid cartridge of a reusable spray mop. Avoid pouring cleaner from refill bottles directly onto the floor, because it’s easy to accidentally dispense more than intended—potentially causing floors to absorb the fluid and swell. This is the best option for larger cleaning jobs of one or more floors.
Please consider these recommendations when choosing a hardwood floor cleaner. If you don't feel up for the task. SERVPRO of Lansdale, Warminster, and Blue Bell are here to help.