Hardwood is my favorite option for flooring. Yes, they are not furry and soft but think how convenient it is to clean them.
If you have a hardwood floor vacuum and mop, cleaning is more like a fun activity. But what about a carpet cleaner? Don’t raise your eyebrows. It is possible. You just have to ensure 4 things before turning on the carpet cleaner.
- 1 How Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on Hardwood Floor
How Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on Hardwood Floor
Wondering what those steps are? Let’s dig in.
1. Give a Through Dusting before Cleaning
This is a very basic but proven way of cleaning any hard surface like wood, metal, or ceramic. Even your mom will tell the same. Thus, before you even take out your best carpet cleaner to take care of the hardwood, dust the surface.
You can use a regular vacuum cleaner to dust the floor. It will help you in two ways. First, it will prevent any dust pile up during the final cleaning, and secondly, if you use any steamer or liquid, there will be no sticky mess of dirt and water.
Use an extension if the vacuum cannot reach any corner to clean the dust.
2. Seal Any Cracks or Joints
Hardwoods are made with planks or pieces of wood or polymers. So, there will be joints and cracks on them. Besides, the wooden floor absorbs the most intense beating, denting, and impacts than anything else in your home.
No wonder you will find more cracks on the hardwood floor than your ankle! Running carpet cleaner on those cracks will track water and moisture inside the planks and make them a sanctuary for mildew. It can also ruin the integrity of the planks.
Use any high-quality floor sealant to seal off those joints and cracks. You can use a paintbrush or roller to apply salient on the damages. An oil-sealer will be a perfect option for this type of sealing task. However, if you hire professionals for it, they may suggest a Water-Based Polyurethane sealer.
3. Steam Cleaning Solution, anyone?
As the wooden floor is all sealed up, you can go for the steam cleaning of the surface. Steam cleaning will remove any stubborn stain or dirt pile from the floor, leaving a more polished shiny surface behind.
Each carpet cleaner is different, so their steam cleaning option. Some machines need only water to create the cleaning mist, whereas others may need a particular solution for better cleaning. The mixture of the solution and water forms a steam that offers better and long-lasting cleaning.
But there is a catch. Not every solution is equally suitable for the hardwood floors. Before you pour down the solution into the carpet cleaner, make sure it is friendly to your floor. Typically, a solution with harsh chemicals is not recommended for the wooden floor.
4. Is Your Carpet Cleaner Ready for Hardwood?
Now you are all set for cleaning the hardwood floor with a carpet cleaner. Before you plug-in and turn on the machine, go over the user manual and give a final check. This check is for ensuring the device is compatible with hardwood cleaning.
You will find several manufacturers claiming their machines are perfect for both carpet and hardwood floors. Nevertheless, don’t get carried away by the claim. Too much steaming can ruin the integrity of the wooden planks and do permanent damage. The National Wood Floor Association (NWFA) already said in 2010, “Using steam or excessive water may damage a wood floor.”
It is better to give a test run on the floor. You can steam clean a small portion of the floor and check the interaction between the machine and the floor. If you see excessive beads of water after each run, then the machine provides too much mist, but your floor is sealed enough to tackle it.
However, if you see the moisture getting absorbed into the floor and making wider patches of wet areas, it will be better not to use that particular carpet cleaner.
Tips for Hardwood Cleaning and Care
Hardwood floors are aesthetically better than any other flooring option. However, they need a whole lot of maintenance and care. Why won’t they? These surfaces face the most dent, impact, and shock at home.
Issues with Stains
- Mix a little Ammonia with water to remove greasy stains. Use a soft towel to apply the solution to the stain.
- A soapy solution is perfect for removing a non-greasy stain. Don’t forget to use a soft towel also.
- If you see a white ring or mark on the floor, it means the protective layering has been affected. Soak a microfiber cloth with denatured alcohol and rub the spot for better results.
- A black ring or mark on the wooden floor means the water has penetrated it. Now, it’s time to be very serious. Rub a small amount of bleach with a brush on the problematic area. If the problem persists, contact a professional immediately.
Issues with Scratches
- Use a paintbrush and apply the same finish on the scratches. Before you apply any type of finish, make sure to clean the area thoroughly.
- If the scratches are minimal, then you can use the same color wood wax stick. You have to sand the scratches and rub the wax on it. Buff the area to remove any excess polish.
Soft Care for Hardwood
- Encourage the guests and family members to be on socks on the floor
- Put felt pads under the sections of any furniture that touches the floor
- Trim your pet’s claw regularly to have a scratch less and smooth floor
- Avoid any mats with rubber backing. They keep the dirt forever on the floor
- Too much polish can be counter-productive for the floor
- In any case, when you are not sure what to do contact a professional wooden floor cleaner immediately
Hardwood floors are delicate yet a decent option to make your home attractive. If you want them to do the job continuously, follow the tips and tricks to keep them clean using a carpet cleaner.