Those who have installed hardwood floors very well know how whimsical wood is. You do not even have to have hardwood floors to grasp it. Everyone has wooden furniture at home. Take that as an example. Even after much maintenance, they warp, bend, swell, expand, shrink, and whatnot. The wood changes its nature according to the weather as if it has its own life. So, when its hardwood floor, a surface that remains under feet and is consistently used, no wonder it requires high-level up keeping.
Grooves On the Hardwood Floor
One crucial part of maintaining the hardwood floor is to keep its grooves well-filled and clean. Not all hardwood floors have wide grooves, though. If some have, then those are just the size of grouts of the tile floors. But unlike the tile floors, the purpose of the grooves in the hardwood floor is to let it breathe and give it space to expand and shrink.
Most of the time, the gaps have wood putty as filler. But even the putty has its shelf-life. Thus with passing time, the putty in the grooves deform, exposing the gaps between the wooden plank.
Now cleaning the slightly lower putty surface in between all the slightly higher wooden planks is easy. Yes, it needs a bit of effort. But with the same pad or cleaning tool and a few extra sweeps, you are cleaning it along with the rest of the floor. And if you are using a vacuum cleaner, then the chore turns easier. The vacuum pulls away even the stuck-on dirt from the pit.
But when the gaps have no putty left to seal them, are a bit wide, very much noticeable, not as wide to put your hand in there, though, reaching those narrow, deep hollows to clean then turn tedious. In that case, a vacuum cleaner, a powerful one, is a must.
Cleaning The Dirt in Grooves of Hardwood Flooring
So, how to clean dirt in grooves of hardwood floors, let us explain it with a quick step-by-step guide.
Step #1 – Vacuuming
The first step is to vacuum the grooves. You do not need to precisely follow the grooves and move the vacuum along them persistently. Do the vacuuming of the whole floor of the room, and the grooves will be well-vacuumed that way?
Step #2 – Use A Cleaning Solution
You can use dish washing soap. Just lather it up, mixing it in warm water. You can use vinegar too, a tablespoon in one cup of water. But we prefer a high-quality cleaning solution, if possible a wood cleaner, safe to use on hardwood.
Step #3 – Brush It Up
Here you will need a brush. Make sure it has long bristles, and the bristles are nylon. Nylon bristles will be soft on the wood, and long length will go deeper in the grooves. It might not reach the pit bottom, but the purpose is to go as deep as possible and scrape the dirt. First, use the dry brush to scrub the grooves. Then dip it in the solution and once again brush the grooves. With the brush and the cleaner, you are just rubbing off and loosening the dirt, not cleaning it.
Step #4 – Clean It with Water
Now, take a clean pad. Thinner ones will fit the grooves better. Dip it into warm, clean water, and then try to insert the pad as deep as possible. You can use the brush in between to further clean the grooves. You will notice the wet dirt and mess are sticking to the pad, and you are cleaning the wood around, too, basically soaking the residue and wiping off the dirt. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the neatness. Do not expect the grooves to be ultra-clean. Manual cleaning of the narrow grooves is impossible.
Step #5 – Dry Pad
It’s time to dry the grooves up. For that, you can use a clean, dry pad or cloth. Insert it in the gaps, pat the cloth or pad around, and the rest of the drying will be air drying. Switch on the fan at full speed. It will help to dry the grooves a little quicker. If you want, you can once again fill the grooves with putty. And if the gaps are not too glaring, let them be so that the wood can expand and shrink with ease in different weather conditions.
All the above steps could turn easier only if you are ready to invest in a cleaning machine. Which cleaning machine, let’s find out right below.
What Type of a Cleaning Machine Would Be Best to Clean the Grooves of Hardwood Floor?
Best Cleaning Machine for Hardwood Floors, the best among tons of options, would definitely be a wet-dry vacuum. Multiple renowned brands make wet-dry vacuums, and not just that, those are more than safe to use on your expensive, high-maintenance hardwood floor. So, any high-quality ones designed to clean hardwood floors will do the job.
Why A Wet-Dry Vacuum?
When it comes to showing versatility in cleaning every type of mess from every groove, aperture, and corner of a hardwood floor, there is hardly any competitor to a wet-dry vacuum.
To Clean Dry Dirt Particles
You can use it daily to vacuum and do the dusting. Large, fine, ingrained, the size and kind don’t even matter.
To Vacuum the Dirt in Grooves
You can use the same machine when working on the grooves of hardwood floors once in a while. We already have talked about vacuuming the dirt deep from the grooves to clean it. You have to vacuum twice with a wet-dry vacuum. Once at the start to remove the dry dust. And once when you are done scraping, have used the cleaning solution and have to clean the wet mess and residue from the grooves.
To Sweep the Wet Mess
Then you can also clean the wet mess, spilled drinks, and dropped food with it, quickly, at once, in no time.
To Deep Clean
Finally, when you need a deep cleaning of the hardwood floor, you can use the same machine. It has robust vacuum power, powerful but gentle scrubbing brush, and the cleaning solution to disperse sparingly.
Using the wet-dry vacuum seems the best to clean the grooves of the hardwood floor. However, nothing is mandatory when it is your house, your rules. You now know the entire process of manual cleaning of the grooves. And also, know how convenient a wet-dry vacuum will make the tedious hardwood cleaning chore. It’s up to you whether to choose the time-consuming way or invest in a cleaning machine.