At each and every jobsite, hardwood floor contractors have to put on their teaching hats.
Making sure your clients know how to properly clean a hardwood floor is essential to protecting the integrity of your work in the long run. (It also helps you avoid angry callbacks.)
Before we get into the products that your clients should use to clean their floors, let’s go over some…
…things that should never, ever touch a hardwood floor:
Wet mops: The #1 source of damage to finishes – Although people might think that sloshing a soaking wet mop back and forth over their floors is a good idea, this will actually ruin the finish and damage the wood itself. A mop that is used to clean hardwood floors should only be slightly damp.
Vinegar is good for cleaning many things, but not hardwood floors – White vinegar was once a popular product used to clean hardwood floors. And a quick Google search reveals that a lot of people still recommend using it. But vinegar should not be used as a hardwood floor cleaner because its acidity can lead to etching in the wood’s surface.
Avoid ammonia – Ammonia will discolor, deteriorate, and dull the finish. Using ammonia to clean a wood floor will take years off of its life.
Steam cleaners are bad news – You should only use steam cleaners on carpets and other surfaces that they are designed for. Using a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor can cause peeling, cracking, and cloudiness in the finish.
Popular cleaning products – Most of the cleaning products sold in grocery stores aren’t friendly to wood. They’ll damage the finish if used over a long period of time. Pair one of these products with a soaking wet mop and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Approved cleaning products for hardwood floors
When it comes to long-term care and maintenance, make sure your clients are aware of what they should and shouldn’t use on their floors. You should include information about approved cleaning products and processes in the floor care guides that you hand out to your clients. Click here to read our guide to floor care guides.
To further encourage good cleaning practices, you might even consider giving out floor care kits to your clients.
As a contractor, it’s up to you to lead by example. A few good products to use during and after a hardwood floor installation or refinishing include:
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner – For long-term maintenance, you should advise your clients to invest in a product like Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaning Spray. This product is designed for use on hardwood floors, so it’s wood and finish-friendly.
Basic Coatings IFT – This intensive floor treatment (IFT) is designed to remove the toughest of dirt and grit from hardwood floors. It also removes scuff marks, waxes, oils, and polishes. Using IFT is the first step of the Tykote Dustless Refinishing System process.
Basic Coatings Squeaky Clean – This product is designed to clean hardwood floors without damaging the finish. It’s a commercial-grade cleaner that’s safe to use on all wood and laminate floors. This product is the second step in the TyKote Dustless Refinishing System process.
Using Basic Coatings IFT and Squeaky Clean to prep for refinishing will ensure that you start every job on a professional note, and will encourage your clients to take care of their floors with the proper products.
For more information on how to properly clean a hardwood floor, or to find out more about any of the products discussed in this blog post, call us at 1-800-737-1786 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.