Cleaning a hardwood floor without a cleaning machine is not something unheard of or impossible. Generally, in a different scenario, we would suggest you invest in two types of vacuum cleaners. A robot vacuum is mandatory, and a standard vacuum cleaner is for doubling up the ease. We can do without cleaning machines for mopping, of course.
Why Vacuum Cleaners Instead of Cleaning Machines
Two vacuums might sound too much but trust us when we say both the vacuums will make your work easy in maintaining the hardwood floor. And we prefer the vacuum cleaner’s way more than the cleaning machines because a hardwood floor demands frequent dusting. As you can make do with a stick mop instead of a cleaning machine so you can invest in two vacuums.
However, we are strictly following a condition where we will use no cleaning machines to clean the hardwood floor. So, be it. Here is our step-by-step guide on how to clean hardwood floors without machine.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Machine Step-By-Step
Step #1 – Dusting The Hardwood Floor
The tools could be any, but what remains constant is the thorough dusting. Take the broom and the dustpan and make sure to thoroughly remove all the dust from the wooden surface before you start mopping it. To clean the stuck-on dirt, you can use a soft nylon bristle brush or a used toothbrush. Do not vigorously rub the brush on the hardwood. Go gentle even on the stuck-on dirt. The purpose is to loosen as much dirt as possible, not to scrub the spot clean. Now use the broom and dustpan to take off all the dust from the hardwood floor.
Step #2 – Preparing The Cleaning Solution
No matter how much you want us to tell you to make do with vinegar and baking soda, but here we prefer a high-quality cleaning solution. To be precise, a hardwood cleaner. If you have an excellent hardwood cleaning solution available, why to use home remedies, right? Vinegar, dishwashing soap, baking soda, and such household items work to clean the stains and embedded dirt, to a great extent, of course. But it is better to use a mild, safe hardwood cleaner, which will not leave any residue after cleaning the hardwood with it. Saying all that, if you still want to use home remedies, then we have the measurement for you. A cup of vinegar for a gallon of warm water and a full cap of dishwashing soap, that’s it. Vinegar will clean, disinfect and the soap will break and loosen the oily mess and grime.
Step #3 – Choosing The Mop
There are some excellent stick mops available in the market, simple but efficient. Then there are spray mops, similar to a stick mop but include a hardwood cleaning solution. They are designed to clean the hardwood floor. Machine to clean hardwood floors is plenty in the market, but when it comes to cleaning the hardwood floor without a machine, we prefer a stick or spray mop with a microfiber pad. A stick mop will be perfect if you are cleaning the hardwood floor with a vinegar solution or have bought a wood cleaner separately. And with a spray mop, you just need to take care of the cleaning solution being safe for the hardwood. The rest are all installed and built-in in the mop itself, from spray trigger, nozzle to cleaning solution bottle or cartridge.
Step #4 – Mop The Floor
We don’t think anyone needs to be told how to mop a floor. How to use the tool could be explained, yes, as the difference comes with the tool you are using.
With The Stick Mop
With the stick mop, you are either using the vinegar-water solution or wood cleaner. Some wood cleaner demands direct use, and some you will need to mix in the water. In the latter case, a cap full mixed in a gallon of warm water will do. Wet mopping is not what you do to clean the hardwood floor. It is always damp mopping. So whenever you soak the mop head, make sure to remove the excess water from the pad, cloth, or strands. Wring the mop thoroughly. It should be damp, almost dry. Dripping water from the mop is a big no when it’s hardwood. After wringing the water well, move the mop following a specific pattern. Follow a straight line rather than impelling the mop randomly. It will make sure that you are cleaning the hardwood floor without streaks. Also, make sure to change the water when it becomes dirty. We prefer using half a bucket of water to clean each room.
With The Spray Mop
With a spray mop, you need to spray the cleaning solution by pressing the on-demand trigger. The nozzle will disperse the right amount and spread it right at the front of the mop head. You will have to sweep the mop head over that spot. To remove the stains, spray the solution and let it sit for a few minutes, and continue sweeping other areas of the room. You can do this right at the beginning, too, after scrubbing the stuck-on dirt. But don’t let the cleaning solution stay on the spot for a long time and dry. Move the mop head a few times until it removes the now wet embedded dirt and stubborn stain.
Step #5 – Sweep Again to Remove the Residue
If you have used the vinegar solution, then there will be residue. So, thoroughly wash the mop pad or cloth or use a clean one to sweep the hardwood once again to clean the residual, only after saturating the mop in clean water and a thorough wringing, of course. Follow the pattern this time as well. Wood cleaners, in most cases, don’t leave a residue. Even if it does, it doesn’t need to be cleaned.
Step #6 – Dry The Hardwood Surface Immediately
It is always better to sweep the hardwood floor with a clean, dry pad after mopping it clean. This step, albeit, makes the process lengthy, but is always good for the hardwood and its cleanliness. Remember that you do not need to mop the hardwood more than once in two months, so even if it’s a lengthy process, you must follow the steps meticulously. Letting the hardwood air dry will only give the dirt a chance to stick-on the damp hardwood. So all the hard work of cleaning it will get ruined in no time. If an extra step can keep the hardwood clean for longer, it’s the best to do.
Cleaning machines clean your hardwood floor safely, quickly, and efficiently but with ease. But if you manually want to clean the hardwood, you can do that too but with a bit of cautiousness. The whole process sounds tedious, it is actually, but as you do not need to do it frequently, it somehow compensates. But the key is to continue daily dusting, mopping with or without machines, with vinegar or wood cleaner are all secondary.