Hardwood is a floor very distinct, susceptive. You cannot treat it like other floors, not only because it’s high-priced. It’s also because of how delicate wood is as a material. Delicate not in terms of longevity, but regarding the maintenance. One wrong move can damage the precious hardwood flooring in seconds.
Hardwood flooring is also one of those rare floors which don’t handle water and moisture well. So, cleaning it could be really tricky. And even if you clean it after much effort, the most common issue you will face is the streaks the mopping of hardwood floor leaves.
Therefore, we are here to solve that common issue and discuss how to clean hardwood floors without streaks elaborately.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Streaks Step by Step
Step #1 – Inspect The Hardwood Floor
There could be a ton of hardwood type. It could be old or recently placed. It could have different finishes or coatings, and it could be without any finish. Basically, the finishing, the protector decides what you can use to clean the hardwood floor. If it has a decent coat of modern finish, then you can use water to mop it.
No need to be too meticulous and over-cautious in wringing the water from the mop. A decent effort is enough. But if it lacks the finishing, that means the surface is all wood without any barrier and will absorb water within. Thus, you will have to damp mop. That, too, once in a while and after vigorously wringing and squeezing all the water out of the mop.
Tip #1 – Avoid Wet Mopping Regardless Of The Finishing
To stay on the safe side, we will always suggest you not to wet mop. Damp-mop your hardwood floor but as delayed as possible. The finishing could be the most water-resistant; we still prefer damp mopping. If you do daily dusting and take care of the little messes, you will not need to damp mop the floor very often anyway.
Step #2 – Twice A Day Dusting
Some of you might have already got the ridiculing expression the moment you read dusting two times a day. Who has the time and energy, but then you have to put extra effort to upkeep it when you could install such an elegant floor. Dirt and dust are the substances that scratch the floor. Also, if you directly start mopping without dusting the hardwood, you will get streaks all over. The first step to get a non-streaky hardwood surface is thorough dusting. So, we were talking about dust particles leaving scratches on the hardwood. Immediate removal of the fine particles is the key to keep the surface scratch-free. Dust is not only fatal for people who are struggling with dust allergies. It is fatal for the sheen of the hardwood as well. It is a latent menace. If you could somehow keep your floor free of dust, you are already doing 75% of the up keeping. And the dirt will also not get a chance to make the floor streaky during damp mopping.
Tip #2 – Get A Robot Vacuum
If you cannot do the daily dusting twice a day, we suggest investing in a robot vacuum. Set it to do the dusting once in the morning and once in the evening. In between, if you want, you can do the dusting manually when you see the patches that the robot couldn’t clean.
Step #3 – Decide The Products To Mop the Hardwood
No matter how many times we say hardwood floors cannot handle moisture, there is no other way to clean a surface thoroughly. So, one needs to use water anyhow to deep clean the hardwood floor. But the key is to use the moisture safely.
Do Not Use Random Cleaning Solution
Otherwise, dish washing soap or vinegar are the two best substances to use to deep clean the hardwood. But make sure to dilute the vinegar and not go overboard with the dish-washing soap. A cup of vinegar or a cap full of dishing soap in a gallon of warm water is the measurement of diluting. Vinegar will disinfect, and dish washing soap will work the best on sticky mess and grimes.
Now to mop the floor, you will need a mop, and we prefer nothing else than a stick hardwood floor mop with microfiber pads. We do not even like scrub pads. The grime could be removed by cleaning the surface regularly with a microfiber pad and household cleaning solution. The process will be slow and long, but very safe.
If not that, you can use a high-quality hardwood floor cleaner machine, but even then, it has to be specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors. Otherwise, it’s forbidden, no matter how good quality it is.
Tip #3 – Sparing Use
When you are using vinegar, dish washing soap, and water, make sure you use them sparingly. These mild products could turn vicious for the hardwood with an extra drop of use.
Step #4- Damp Mopping
You have done the thorough dusting. You have your cleaning solution ready. Now damp the mop in the water, wring it well. There must be no excess water dripping from the mop. Start from one side of the floor and maintain a pattern. Do not move your mop randomly. Push it straight in one line, and do not drag it back on the area you have cleaned just now. You will notice the color of the wood darkens a bit. And if you have somehow broken the straight pattern, just get back and take the mop from the start of that line again. Now, take a bucket of clean water and again mop the floor, the same way, in the same pattern. This step is to remove the residue. Damp-mop the hardwood floor once every two months.
Tip #4 – Watch Out Your Feet
Make sure your feet are clean. If you are wearing slippers, keep those clean as well. Better you wear socks. Shoes will leave streaks.
Step #5 – Dry the Surface
Air drying will not work. When you leave damp hardwood to air dry, the dust will again gather on the surface and leave streaks. So, when you are done mopping with clean water, take a dry microfiber pad or soft terry cloth and dry the surface. Even here, rather than randomly moving the pad or cloth, better to follow a pattern. There will be no streak at all.
Tip #5 – Use A Stick Mop
The easiest way to dry the hardwood floor is to attach a dry pad on the stick mop and move the mop over the floor just how you did the damp mopping.
Before you install a hardwood floor, always make yourself understand this floor will need careful cleaning. Prior to investing money in the hardwood flooring, ask yourself whether you are ready to put effort into upkeep. However, when a floor provides such elegance, a little bit of effort to keep it clean, streak-free is not too much it demands. So, do not hesitate if you truly want to install hardwood flooring. There are convenient ways to handle streaks, scratches, so forth.