Hardwood floors are stylish interior touches which consolidate room design and give the entire property a classy look and feel. Hardwood floors are also somewhat expensive to purchase and install, so it makes sense to keep them looking better for longer through the right cleaning maintenance procedures.
Hardwood floors require specialised cleaning approach in order to preserve their good looks and properties. Hardwood floors don’t tolerate harsh cleaning chemicals or aggressive solvents so consult with manufacturer instructions or speak to your specialised retailer on how to keep your particular type of hardwood floor clean and fresh without risk of damage or alteration.
One thing all hardwood floors have in common is that they require polishing as part of their effective cleaning routine. Polishing your hardwood floors may seem complex and tedious, but in fact the process is not as hard or daunting as it appears.
Solid Paste Wax – the good, old fashioned wax-in-a-can, is best used for polishing true linoleum flooring, most types of unvarnished hardwood floors, unfinished cork flooring as well as some polished concrete floors.
This type of wax is not to be used on no-wax flooring, vinyl and urethane-finish flooring surfaces.
For best results, solid paste wax is applied manually. The correct application procedure is as follows:
- Moisten a non-linen cloth or rag, wring it out well to prevent it from absorbing too much wax.
- Work the wax over the hardwood floor surface as per the instructions on the wax container.
- Make sure you work systematically and spread the wax evenly for a good, uniform finish.
- The drying waxed surface will appear clouded – buff it to a glimmering finish, using a soft cloth or an electric polisher.
Liquid Wax or Oil – Liquid wax is easier to apply than solid paste. This type of wax is best used for polishing unvarnished hardwood, unfinished cork and linoleum. Liquid wax has a shorter lasting effect than solid paste treatments. Do not use liquid wax on no-wax flooring, vinyl and urethane-finish flooring surfaces. Application of liquid wax is the same as the application method for solid paste wax in the above paragraph.
Water-Base Silicone Polishes – these waxes are the more universal sealing and polishing treatment as they can be used on a variety of hard flooring surfaces, except unsealed wood, cork and linoleum. Water base silicone polishes are the only suitable product for urethane-finish surfaces. These polishes are hard wearing and long lasting. Apply the treatment in a number of thin layers or coats, consecutively as applying a single thicker layer will take forever to dry. Application is as follows:
- Pour a small amount of polish onto a no-linen cloth or rag, also pour a small amount of polish directly onto the flooring surface.
- Spread the water-base wax evenly as to avoid bubbles forming in (the still) liquid polish.
- Let the polish dry and then buff to a shine using soft cloth or electric polisher.
Apply additional coats of polish in high traffic areas as per the instructions above. Avoid spilling and splashing the polish on painted surfaces and walls as it causes heavy stains.