How To Keep Bamboo Flooring In Pristine Condition

Flooring has a significant impact on the overall aesthetic and feel of a home, and everyone has their preferences. Even if you've decided to go with hardwood flooring rather than tile or carpet, the options still remain nearly limitless. You can choose colors from pale pine to rich mahogany, as well as unique patterns like herringbone. And then, of course, there are particular wood types to choose from with their own quirks and characteristics, including bamboo.

Bamboo is at the top of many homeowners' lists when it comes to flooring options because it's an environmentally sustainable choice, Bob Vila explains. Additionally, solid bamboo flooring is also incredibly durable and strong. While The Bamboo Flooring Company claims bamboo is a relatively low-maintenance choice, there are a few things you'll want to do to ensure your flooring is kept in pristine condition. Here are 15 tips for maintaining your flooring, from preventative things you should (or shouldn't) do to helpful guidance on dealing with issues that may pop up.

1. Get rid of dust or debris daily

We know, we know — sweeping your floors every single day seems like a big ask, but it's a necessity if you want to keep your bamboo floors looking pristine. As The Bamboo Flooring Company explains, those tiny particles of dust or dirt can wreak havoc over time, potentially scratching your floors, so you want to deal with it before all that grime builds up. And while doing so, make sure to be gentle. Use a soft-bristle broom or an attachment that won't scratch your floors if you prefer vacuuming.

2. Clean the flooring on a weekly basis

Sweeping or vacuuming can get rid of any dust or dirt particles that are lingering on your bamboo floors, but you need to take an extra step if you want your flooring to remain as gorgeous as when it was first installed. At least once a week, you'll want to clean them a bit more thoroughly, using appropriate cleaning tools like a microfiber mop or cloth, as The Bamboo Flooring Company suggests. After all, while a broom or vacuum can pick up certain particles, you need to cleanse every square inch to truly keep all build-up at bay.

3. Don't let spills linger

As The Greener Living Blog explains, you don't want to allow spills to linger on any wood flooring, but it's particularly important to address spills ASAP when you have bamboo flooring. Water-based spills can cause issues like warping if that moisture gets into the wood, and oil-based spills can stain your pristine bamboo flooring much quicker than you might think. It's a bit of a pain, but grab that cloth whenever a spill happens and deal with it immediately — your floors will thank you.

4. Don't steam clean them

If your floors aren't sparkling the way they once did, it may be tempting to deep clean them with the use of a steam cleaner. However, as Hosking Hardwood Flooring explains, you want to avoid that at all costs since steam cleaners douse your floor with water through steam. This can lead to warping of the bamboo planks as well as discoloration, neither of which you want. 

5. Steer clear of harsh cleaning products

Many homeowners regularly reach for DIY cleaning solutions that incorporate powerhouse products like vinegar, baking soda, or bleach. Still, when it comes to bamboo flooring, you'll want to avoid any harsh products, as Oh So Spotless explains. If possible, try to find a bamboo-specific floor cleaner to keep the flooring pristine. If that's tough to find, an alternative is a general hardwood cleaner. However, whatever you select, look for something with a neutral pH, as acids can stain bamboo, and avoid anything abrasive, as that can cause scratching. Once you choose your product and apply it to the floor, make sure you wipe away the moisture quickly not to stain the wood.

6. Set up measures to prevent damage

While the durability of your flooring will depend on what type of bamboo you have, in general, it's a good rule of thumb to set up measures that prevent scratching. Namely, as The Bamboo Flooring Company advocates, you'll want to add some anti-scratch felt pads to the legs of furniture or other heavy objects. Even if you don't regularly rearrange your furniture, chances are pieces will get jostled or moved slightly through simply living, so preventative measures can be beneficial in the long run.

7. Use door mats or rugs (but not latex or rubber-backed ones)

Since you want to keep excessive moisture off your lovely bamboo floors, you may be inclined to toss doormats or rugs in areas where moisture is a risk, such as near the front door or close to the sink. That's a fantastic preventative step. However, as Grove Collaborative states, you'll want to make sure whatever you select doesn't have a latex or rubber back, as those types of mats/rugs can actually trap moisture and potentially discolor your flooring.

8. Steer clear of wax or furniture polish

Since you know you can't steam clean bamboo flooring, you may be tempted to make your floors really sparkle by buffing in wax or polish. Resist the temptation! As The Bamboo Flooring Company outlines, wax or similar products can actually coat your bamboo flooring with a residue that could cause perilous slips or unappealing streaks that you'll spot from a mile away. It may take a bit of searching to find the perfect products to clean your flooring, but your effort will be worth it.

9. Make your house a shoe-free zone

Some individuals always remove their shoes when they step into their home, while others wouldn't dream of it. Whichever camp you fall into, if you have bamboo flooring, you may want to consider becoming a shoe-free household. As per The Spruce, footwear is a major source of dirt and other grime, which can wreak havoc if tracked across your flooring. Additionally, removing footwear also removes the possibility of any sharp heels denting your floors. It's a simple rule that makes a major impact in the long run.

10. Be mindful of sun exposure

While natural light is always a welcoming addition to any room, over time, that sunlight can cause your bamboo flooring to fade, per Bob Vila. Don't worry, we're not advocating keeping your curtains shut at all times. However, in areas with a lot of sun exposure, you may want to consider periodically switching the furniture layout to ensure the sun isn't hitting the same spots for years on end.

11. Keep your home's humidity in check

Even if you've never given much thought to your home's humidity levels before, you'll want to pay attention when you have bamboo flooring, At least, if you want to keep that flooring looking pristine. As Bob Vila explains, bamboo flooring requires your home to be in a bit of a humidity sweet spot between 30% to 50%. Air that's too dry can cause your bamboo flooring to dry out and even crack, whereas too much humidity can potentially lead to swelling and damage, neither of which you want.

12. Test new cleaners before using them

Unless you're supremely cautious, you probably don't bother testing new cleaners you buy before spraying them on whatever area you're looking to clean. However, when you have bamboo flooring, you may just want to instill an extra degree of caution since bamboo is sensitive to acidic cleaning solutions, per The Greener Living Blog. A good rule of thumb is to keep a few extra planks of your flooring on hand. That way, you can test whatever new product you find without worrying about damaging your floors if it doesn't work out.

13. Battle scuff marks with a gentler approach

When you spot a scuff, it can be tempting to use serious elbow grease and harsh products to get rid of it quickly. However, you'll want to exercise caution when dealing with scuffs on bamboo flooring, as The Spruce warns. Never use anything abrasive, like steel wool. Instead, spray some of the cleaner you use onto a soft microfiber cloth and gently rub at the scuff. It may take a bit longer than using a harsher approach, but your floors will thank you in the end.

14. Move furniture very carefully

You might be very careful when first moving into your home, but are you as cautious when you decide to do a little weekend rearranging to improve the feng shui of your living room? If not, you should be. As Tips Bulletin reports, bamboo flooring is particularly susceptible to scratches or dents, so in addition to adding felt pads to your furniture, you'll also want to be really careful when moving furniture around. Always lift, never slide, and your floors will hopefully remain pristine for as long as possible.

15. ​​Clean in the direction of the grain

You may have assumed it doesn't matter what direction you clean your floors in, as long as you're using the appropriate products. But when it comes to bamboo flooring, you should pay a bit more attention. As Grove Collective says, you should actually be cleaning bamboo flooring in the direction of the wood grain, regardless of whether you're sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. It's a simple step, but the little things add up when it comes to keeping your floors in great condition.