Using These Cleaning Ingredients On Hardwood Floors Is A Big Slip Up

Hardwood floors are the preferred flooring choice of many homeowners and have maintained popularity throughout recent years. Perhaps many opt for hardwood floors because they are thought to be easy to clean. However, many commonly used cleaning ingredients are not ideal for hardwood floors. Depending on what products are used to keep the grime away, hardwood floors will either remain looking like new or sustain damage over time.

Oils, vinegar, waxes, bleach, and furniture sprays are among the ingredients that should not be used on hardwood floors. Unfortunately, many people incorporate these products into their hardwood floor cleaning routines hoping for amazing results, not knowing that they are causing damage or even a safety hazard. To avoid the hassle of having to repair or replace flooring, it is important to understand which cleaning ingredients are not recommended for use on hardwood floors. Luckily, you have quite a few options for products that will help you maintain the quality of your hardwood floors — it's all about making the right choice.

These cleaning ingredients are not ideal for hardwood floors

Oils are go-to floor polishing ingredients for many hardwood floor owners. Despite their popularity, these products are actually not ideal for use on this kind of flooring. Although the smooth, shiny effect of oil on wood may be appealing, it could indicate the start of a problem. This cleaning method can lead to slippery residue buildup that can be difficult to remove. Waxes are also commonly used to clean and protect hardwood floors. There are a few things to consider before deciding whether wax belongs in your hardwood floor cleaning routine.

Like oils, waxes make hardwood floors look smooth and can enhance visual appeal. However, they can also lead to a slippery surface. Waxes can also be burdensome when it comes time for floor refinishing. This is because frequent use of wax on hardwood floors leads to layers of buildup that is hard to get rid of. Furthermore, floors can eventually look dull and dingy as wax accumulates over time.

Hardwood floor owners may be tempted to use wood furniture sprays, but this product is not ideal for use on floors either. Wood furniture sprays make hardwood floors slippery and difficult to walk on. Meanwhile, some may think that cleaning agents like bleach or vinegar are a good choice for sanitizing hardwood floors. However, vinegar is so acidic that it can harm the surface layer. Bleach can also damage the protective coating of hardwood floors.

Use these products to safely clean hardwood floors

Although many of the most popular cleaning products can damage hardwood floors, fear not because there are safe alternatives that still get the job done. The first recommendation is about as simple as it gets. Water in a damp — not soaking wet — mop is actually the preferred method of many of the companies that make flooring, according to "Cleaning Plain & Simple," author Donna Smallin Kuper. "Some hardwood floor manufacturers recommend using a mop dampened with water only, and may even void a warranty on new floors that have been cleaned with any other cleaning solution," the author told Today.

For those pesky stains and sticky areas that may need a bit more than just water, you can also add a bit of liquid dishwashing soap to make a simple soap and water solution. If soap and water aren't doing the trick either, or if you would just prefer to use a product specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors, you can also opt to use the cleaning agent recommended by your specific floor finisher. Regardless of the product you choose, it is important to remember to only lightly dampen your mop so that you do not soak your flooring with liquid as this could trap moisture underneath your hardwood floor.