Caring for Your New Floor

Ingredients You Should Avoid In Floor Cleaners

  1. Avoid cleaners that are alkaline in nature, such as ammonia or cleaners which contain ammonia. They will dull the finish.
  2. Do not use a cleaner that contains oils, (such as furniture polish/duster) they will make your floor very slippery.
  3. Please note that Murphy Oil Soap, has a deceiving name and does not actually have any oil in it, meaning it is safe for hardwood floors.

Commercial Cleaners We Recommend

There are lots of different types of commercial cleaners. Bona, Bruce, and Murphy Oil Soap, are some of the most popular though.

Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipe

When cleaning any urethane finished flooring it is best to use a mild soap/detergent that has a neutral or near neutral pH, and that will not leave a residue behind on your floor.

  • The best homemade cleaner is a teaspoon or two of dishwashing liquid in a bucket full of warm water.
  • When mixing your cleaner you want a few bubbles, but avoid using too much soap or detergent because it will make your floor harder to rinse, and a sticky soap film will result.
  • A soapy residue on your hardwood floors will dull the finish, and will also make the floor slightly sticky which causes dirt to cling to the surface more tightly than it otherwise would have.

Tips for Preventing Damage to Hardwood and Laminate

  • Keep pets’ nails trimmed and their paws clean. Pets can track in substances that cause scratching and stains.
  • Use a humidifier during heating seasons to help reduce wood shrinkage and humidity between 35% and 55%.
  • Wipe up spills and spots immediately and apply a hardwood & laminate flooring cleaner directly to area using a clean white cloth.
  • Use ice to harden tough substances like wax or chewing gum, and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper or a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.
  • Invest in high quality floor mats and protective pads on heavy furniture for an extra layer of protection on your hardwood floors. Place floor mats at entrances and exits— they collect and trap corrosive substances that can be tracked in, like dirt, sand, oil, grit, asphalt, or even driveway sealer. Placing mats in high traffic areas—in front of vanities, kitchen sinks, and stoves—is an effective way to reduce wear.
  • Vacuum or sweep your floor regularly with a soft-bristled attachment or broom, especially in high-traffic areas. This prevents gritty dirt and particle buildup that can scratch the wood’s surface. Don’t use vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head.
  • Use protective window coverings to block fade-causing UV rays and excessive heat from direct sunlight.
  • Most wood types will gradually age when not covered, so it’s a good idea to rearrange rugs and furniture periodically to help it age evenly.

What to Avoid

  • Avoid walking on your hardwood floors with spiked or damage-heeled shoes.
  • Don’t allow water to stand on your floor for any length of time – wipe up immediately.
  • Resist wet-mop, damp-mop, or cleaning your hardwood with water or other liquids.
  • Stay away from harsh cleaning aids like steel wool pads, any scouring pads containing metal, or scouring powders.
  • Don’t use 2-in-1 cleaners that contain acrylics or urethane polish to restore gloss.
  • Don’t use any of the following products (or products similar in nature) on your floor:
    • ammonia based cleaners, acrylic finishes, wax based products, detergents, bleach, polishes and oil soaps, abrasive cleaning soaps or acidic materials such as vinegar, lemon, citrus, or tung oil, or silicone to clean floors.
  • Do not allow furniture to rest on the floor on small metal tips or hard domes.
  • Don’t use rubber, foam back or plastic mats as they may trap moisture and possibly discolor your floor.
  • Do not use vacuums with beater bars or hard heads.