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Maintenance guide: preserving the beauty of a varnished hardwood floor

All the experts will agree with me: a well-maintained hardwood floor stays beautiful for a longer period of time.

All the experts will agree with me: a well-maintained hardwood floor stays beautiful for a longer ‌time.

However, varnished and pre-varnished floors cannot be cleaned just anyhow. We must observe certain maintenance rules.

Keeping your hardwood floor in good condition is ‌ easy if you do things correctly and with the right products.

Maintain favorable environmental conditions

We must control the temperature and humidity inside a house during the sanding and varnishing stages of a floor.

Indeed, it is rather desirable to maintain relatively dry air (45-55% humidity) as well as a temperature between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius throughout the year in the residence.

This has a preventative effect on hardwood planks by reducing their chances of experiencing unwanted warping.

Ultimately, maintaining such environmental conditions has an impact on the beauty of the floor finish, as a smooth wood surface is less likely to wear out quickly or be scratched.

The 3 steps of a simple professional cleaning

It is useless to lie to each other: any floor will sooner or later be put to the test. Whether by a deposit of dust, scratches made by hard particles, or by food splashes.

Contrary to what one might think, varnish is not more fragile than any other floor covering, but its regular professional cleaning standard is recommended.

Fortunately for us, many tools and products exist on the market to make our lives easier and reduce the time we spend cleaning our floors.

Here are the techniques that I particularly like and that I recommend to everyone to carry out the maintenance of wood floors.  :

  1. Vacuum, broom or mop first to remove dust and other small particles. Note that the vacuum cleaner is preferable to the broom only if you use it with a non-motorized and soft accessory (soft bristles). Also, the flathead mop is ideal. All you have to do is rinse the refill with clear water after use and then wring it out.
  2. Spray a specific hardwood cleaner directly on the floor. Always proceed in sections of about 4 ft x 6 ft (1.2 x 1.8 m). It is unnecessary to completely. Soak the surface of the floor. Also, you will want to avoid all-purpose products, prioritizing a neutral pH cleaner instead. Ready to use, we recommend quality brand cleaners since they are non-toxic and they remove stubborn stains without dulling the wood.

 

  1. Clean the floor using a flat-head mop fitted with its cleaning refill (mop), clean and slightly damp. Do not wait until the fabric is completely dirty before rinsing it with clear water. Once rinsed, you must wring it well before continuing the cleaning. If you use blue microfiber refills , they are machine washable and reusable. However, never use fabric softener or bleach in the wash; these products decrease the effectiveness of the microfiber.

10 bad habits to avoid at all costs when you have a varnished floor

  • Allow dust and hard particles such as sand, sugar and salt to accumulate; this dirt has an abrasive effect on a hardwood floor.
  • Allow liquids to dry on the floor before cleaning them up; the wood can be affected and eventually tarnish.
  • Wash the hardwood with plenty of water; this could warp the boards.
  • Get rid of your pet; you can absolutely have a dog or a cat while enjoying a beautiful hardwood floor. You should not let your pet walk on the floors with their claws untrimmed and unfilled. Otherwise, hello scratches and nicks, regardless of the hardness of the wood and the number of coats of varnish.
  • Walk with stiletto shoes on the floor; this always damages the surface of varnished floors.
  • Move furniture or heavy objects on the floor without lifting them; doing so you will see large scratches appear.
  • Install an indoor plant and its pot directly on the varnished wood floor; excess water in prolonged contact with the floor will eventually cause irreversible damage to the boards.
  • Forgetting to check the state of the felts glued under the legs of the chairs; by sliding on the floor, these felts quickly accumulate dust, which turns them into a source of abrasion for the wood. If you use your dining room frequently, I recommend replacing these felts at least two or three times a year.
  • Use an alcohol or vinegar-based detergent, wax, bleach or solvent to clean a varnished hardwood floor. Besides tarnishing or oxidizing the finish off the floor, these complicate ‌the floor cleaners during the eventual varnishing.
  • Use a steam cleaning system; this causes water to penetrate ‌the wood, resulting in deformation of the boards in the more or less short term.

 

Watch out for popular products

Many “multi-surface” products on the market should be avoided when you want to properly maintain a hardwood floor.

In fact, we should avoid any cleaners that leave a greasy or soapy deposit on the wood.

Why? Simply because the dust sticks to these deposits, which not only reduces the shine of the floor besides altering its finish more quickly, but also leads to the obligation to clean it more often.

 

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