How Do *You* Deep Clean Hardwood Floors?

chisueNovember 26, 2005

There's been some discussion of the Hoover Floor Mate on other forums. I'm leary of using this on site-laid poly-finished hardwood flooring. It sounds convenient, but someone raised the point of water seeping between the boards and eventually damaging the flooring. I know the poly "seal" is gone with the first seasonal change -- boards expand and contract with the weather. Hoover only provides a "do what you think best" sort of answer. Maybe Consumer Report has commented? What do you think? How do you clean your hardwood flooring?

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Well, water can damage any wood floor. So you dust mop and spot clean any sticky mess. You do not use water to wash the floor like you would on a vinyl floor. I grew up in a house built in 1900 that had solid oak floors. We dust mopped them at least weekly. When Dad finally decided they needed refreshing, he sanded them down and revarnished them the week we were away visiting our grandmother. They were beautiful when we sold the house 60 years after it was built.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 4:18PM
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I use a solvent-based hardwood floor cleaner.

You can damp-mop hardwood and clean up messes with a wet rag, but the Hoover Floormate dumps quite a bit of water in the process, and it can't possible get it all out of the cracks between the boards. Next thing you know, you'll have cracking and peeling poly on the floor.

It CAN be used on factory-finished engineered hardwood, because that isn't as absorbent as real wood.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2005 at 8:35PM
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Oh, fooey! I was hoping for an easier way than damp mopping, rinsing, buffing dry. I do vacuum about twice a week, and run around with the Swifter dry mop sometimes.
I also use the Clorox Clean-Up now and then, but that doesn't seem adequate to "deep" clean.

Guess there is no magic easy way! Thanks for the replies!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 5:50PM
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I am having the same question run through my head. Entire house is hardwood except bathrooms/mudroom. I am considering getting a vapor steam cleaner like the Ladybug XL. Because this steam is at such a high temperature, it is a dry steam and supposedly does a great job of cleaning with minimal moisture to the floor. Still researching though. Dry vapor steam machines are not cheap either...high hundreds to $1,500 is what you'd pay for a good dry steam machine. Good luck in your quest. :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 10:58PM
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bbgirl66 -- Somehow I don't see "steam" and "wood" going together, except in a sauna. Nor do I understand "steam" and "dry" as a single concept. Do the makers recommend these cleaners for hardwood (not manufactured hardwood) floors?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 10:23AM
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deep clean a poly coated floor?

what's the point? it's plastic. wood and water would only meet in the cracks, anyway.

a dash of disinfectant in the mop water would be more than enough- and since it's not soap, there wouldn't need to be any rinsing.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 1:30PM
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I don't see the need for "deep cleaning" either.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 10:23AM
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I have a Hoover Floor Mate. I also have engineered oak hardwood floors. (And a side note: engineered flooring is "real" wood. It's not solid hardwood all the way through, but is composed of layers and the top layer (thickness depends on brand) is real oak with a poly finish and should be treated the same as a solid hardwood floor.

As far as Floor Mate, I won't be without it! (Actually, I used the first FM version about 4 years, then a little plastic part broke and water leaked some. So I just replaced it with the purple (500 model, I belive, DH just put it together last night, so I haven't used it yet.) Anyway, I would not recommend using it on hardwood, no matter if it's engineered or solid. It does secrete enough water that it would ruin the floor if it seeped between the seams (and that is inevitable). I do, however, use Floormate religiously on: ceramic, lineoleum and commercial grade laminate. (Our laminate has a rubber backing, since it was installed below grade on top of concrete. It's actually a commercial grade laminate. If I had "residential" laminate, which we are thinking of installing in our kitchen, I would not use the Floor Mate because the underside is not rubber but wood composition and if water seeped between the seams it would ruin the underside of the flooring.) Love my Floor Mate, BTW. The gunky water that is left in the dirty water tank is unreal. I can't go back to a mop and bucket, knowing I'd be spreading that stuff right back onto the floor again. And a double bonus: if you have a bad back, it's a life saver!

So I clean my hardwood this way:
Vacuum thoroughly to get large particles picked up and to avoid scratching flooring with Swiffer or hardwood mop. When I vacuum, I use a filter queen with a hardwood floor brush attachment (no rotating beater/bristles!). Next I follow up with a Swiffer. (I got Swiffer Max, which is much wider and covers more floor space.) After that I spray Bruce Duraluster cleaner on a hardwood mop and wipe the floors. Love the Bruce cleaner, gets the floors really clean (evidence is on the hardwood mop) and leaves a nice satin sheen (but no residue build-up).

Sounds like a lot to do, but it's not really. I can do an entire level of hardwood flooring (3 bedrooms, hall, living room) in under 30 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:14PM
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