How to Clean Up Food Spills on Wood Floors

Caring for wood-looking laminate floors is relatively easy. To keep them looking their best, it's important to clean up spills as soon as they occur and sweep or vacuum frequently. For a deeper cleaning, you can use a steam mop, but avoid soaking in water, as it can cause the lower layers to deform. Avoid harsh cleaners such as pine oil or any other cleaner that promises to leave a shine.

Wax buildup will leave the laminate looking dull, so opt for a small amount of dishwashing liquid in warm water to wet the mop.When it comes to hardwood floors with a surface finish, the best way to scrub them starts by saturating a sponge mop with a wood floor cleaner, wringing out excess liquid until the mop head is damp but not dripping, and then scrubbing 3-foot sections of the floor with circular movements to remove dirt and grime. The best mop for hardwood floors is usually one with a large, flat head attached to a microfiber cloth pad, such as the Swiffer sweeper. If vacuuming is your preferred way to remove dust, use a floor brush and avoid the mixer bar, as your swivel brush can dent hardwood floors.Since different floor finishes have unique care requirements, the best way to clean hardwood floors will depend on the type of finish and not on the type of wood (for example, solid and engineered wood floors may receive the same cleaning regime, but never use wood floor cleaners on the laminate, as the oil and waxes in the ingredients can dull the surface). Moisten a microfiber mop slightly and always clean it following the grain of the wood and allow the wood to dry completely before walking to prevent staining.

If the wood starts to rot, split or splinter, or turn black, it's a sign that you need a professional to fix the floor or possibly replace it.For floors with penetrating finishes, it is best to remove stains by using only a suitable hardwood floor cleaner and a scouring pad designed for floors with a penetrating finish. If a hardwood floor with a surface finish still looks dirty or dusty after you dust it off, clean it thoroughly with any pH-neutral, wax-free, petroleum-free cleaner, such as the Bona PowerPlus deep hardwood floor cleaner, or with a homemade solution containing ¼ cup of dish soap and 1 gallon of warm water.To capture the dust bunnies that seem to appear out of nowhere, clean hardwood floors at least once a week. If you've been cleaning dirt promptly and keeping your floors free of sand and dust, you'll only need to wet the mop with a cleaning product a few times a year. Donna Smallin Kuper, author of Cleaning Plain & Simple, warned: some hardwood floor manufacturers recommend using a mop moistened with water only, and may even void the warranty for new floors that have been cleaned with any other cleaning solution.

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