Carpets are common floor protectors. And when it’s hardwood, the number of carpets triples. Reason – the delicate nature and tough upkeep of the said floor. Carpets are used as embellishments too. So, it’s not unusual to see the carpets everywhere. It actually depends on the house owners’ taste and preference, like, how many they want to put on the floor to decorate it and keep the hardwood safe from long-standing furniture, dirt layers, and roaming feet.
Carpets, Rugs, And Mats
Some use carpets, rugs, and mats everywhere to cover the expensive hardwood to keep it protected, and the dirt goes through the carpet only. And some use just the much-needed ones at the front door, in front of the washrooms, in the hall, and prefer exhibiting the precious hardwood flooring. And a section turns the whole flooring into a carpeted area, especially the heavy foot traffic ones. In all cases, you have carpets, and specific portions of the hardwood are covered with them.
Cleaning A Hardwood Floor with Carpets
Now, to clean hardwood floors that have carpet all over can be easily done with a versatile cleaning machine that is designed to clean both hard floors and carpets by clicking a button and changing the cleaning mode. However, that doesn’t clean the areas beneath the coverings.
Why the Spots Beneath the Carpet Stains
As hardwood floors are not thoroughly mopped more than once every fourth month or twice a year, those covered areas get dirty. More than dirty, those portions lose their color due to lack of sunlight.
If you are using carpets with rubber bottoms, the rubber badly reacts to the wood in the long run. And stains the hardwood, turning it ugly, yellowish.
Even the most high-quality soft carpets, perfectly safe to use on hardwood, can ruin the floor if it’s at one place for too long and is old now.
For the carpets to not move from the spots and permanently stay where they are, people use adhesives, pretty potent ones, tacks strip, and staples the carpets to the floor too. All these not just dull the hardwood due to lack of sunlight but leave clumps on the floor from the sticky adhesives.
So, it is necessary not to skip cleaning the hardwood floor after removing the carpets every now and then. Also, make sure to replace the carpets, rugs, and mats when they are somewhat old and worn off.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors After Removing Carpet
We talked about cleaning under the carpets, which basically calls for proper knowledge about the process of how to clean hardwood floors after removing carpet and which tools and products you need to use to do it safely but effectively.
Step #1 – Remove The Carpets
When it comes to mopping a hardwood floor, we always prefer doing one room per day. And here you have a lot of extra work to do. The first step, of course, is to remove all the carpets from the vicinity. So, let’s say you have five rooms with hardwood floors and carpets on them. In that case, set your schedule for floor cleaning for five days straight. Though you will clean the floor one room at a time in the next five days, including the present day, you can remove all the carpets from all the rooms the very first day.
Step #2 – Wash The Carpets
The carpets are in bad condition, filthy. So just send them to a carpet cleaning service or schedule a few days for that tedious core to wash them all by yourself. If you want to save time and energy, and do not want to spend tons using a service, invest in a high-quality, heavy-duty carpet cleaner. Within a day you can wash a lot of carpets and rugs. Rinse them thoroughly following the legit process and dry them thoroughly too.
Step #3 – Clean The Loose Dirt and Mess
Now your hardwood floor that was beneath the carpets all this while is out in the open. Assess its condition. You will see dirt, dull spots, adhesive lumps clustered all over. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the loose particles, adhesives, and staples. You can use a broom and dustpan too to remove the loose particles. Make use of what you have. Also, make sure you mark which portions have sticky adhesive lumps.
Step #4 – Work On the Sticky Adhesive
You can either use ice or peanut butter to remove the adhesive lumps. Both work great to remove the lumps safely. Ice is water, which is a risk factor, and peanut butter is way too expensive than ice cubes. Depending on what you have in the house, you can use both items.
To use the ice method, get a terry cotton cloth, wrap some ice cubes with it and hold it on the adhesives. Do not put it for more than 2-3 minutes. Moisture is not good for wood. Now you use a soft microfiber pad, rub it to remove the loose adhesive lumps.
If you want to avoid moisture, then apply peanut butter to the adhesive lumps. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then rub it with a microfiber pad. If it’s too stubborn, you can use a putty knife or a scraper to scrape the stuck-on mucilage but very gently.
Step #5 – Prepare The Cleaning Solution
Take a bucket and fill it with a gallon of warm water. Mix a cup of vinegar and a cap full of dishwashing soap in the water, and your cleaning solution is ready to attack the stubborn dirt and grime.
Step #6 – Mop The Hardwood Floor Thoroughly
Use a stick mop, damp it with the solution, and thoroughly mop the floor. The cleaning solution will remove the sticky mess and adhesive and disinfect the spots too.
Step #7 – Polish with Olive Oil
Now fill a spray bottle with water. Half a liter of water will do, and mix one tablespoon of olive oil in it. Spray the solution on the dull spots and buff it well with a string mop. The cotton cloth will also work, but strands are best to buff and polish. The olive oil will hydrate the dull spots, polish them, and bring the sheen back.
Step #8 – Dry The Hardwood
You have used water, butter, oil, everything that is dreaded by the hardwood floor. Hence, after making sure there is no standing water or excess olive oil, or any other residue on the hardwood flooring, use a soft dry cloth and pat dry the spots. Leave the flooring as it is to air dry, do not place anything over those spots.
Step #9 – Place The Carpets Again
If your carpets are well cleaned and thoroughly dried, put those on the hardwood flooring once again. Make sure the floor is thoroughly dried too. Also, make sure to replace the worn off carpets. If you do not want to buy new carpets, keep the spots open, rather than covering them with older ones.
Never leave a thing on the hardwood floor for too long, even if it’s a floor protector. If kept for too long, the protector itself damages the hardwood. With a little care and much hard work, make sure you always maintain your hardwood floor.