How to Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors

An engineered wood floor is made of several layers. These layers are of wood planks and plywood. Engineered hardwood surfaces are made of genuine hardwood. But underlying layers are typically made of plywood or high density fiberboard. On the other hand solid hardwood floors are a solid piece of wood.

Generally engineered wood floors are durable. But you need to take care of it to prevent it form a permanent damage.  Here is how we could clean engineered hardwood floors. 

Engineered Wood Flooring Options

Almost all wood species are found as engineered wood. You just need to consider following things before buying: 

Material: The bottom of the board is plywood — multiple layers of wood veneer glued together. There are  medium-density fiberboards or high-density fiberboards . Company to company varies the material and layer. So you need to be careful when selecting. 

Width: Engineering wood generally found seven inches wide, but hardwoods are six.  But anything bigger than four inches could be damaged by moisture. So select appropriate boards according to your location and environment. 

Thickness: The top layer of Engineered flooring consists of solid wood veneer. And their thickness depends on quality. Typically engineered flooring boards could be  3 mm to 7mm, but may be available in 15mm also. If you need to repair or refinish your floor- thickness will be an issue. 

How to clean Engineered Hardwood floors- step by step process: 

If you have engineered hardwood floor and decided to give it a monthly cleaning we recommend you the following 3 steps to follow for best cleaning. Before we start take the preparation:

Preparation: 

  • Please move away all the movable things or tools, furniture  from the floor. 
  • Please take some protective measures by yourself, i.e. wear protective eyewear, gloves, long sleeves, long pants and safety shoes. 
  • If you have an electrical outlet near the floor, put tape on it to avoid any hazard. 
  • Keep the children and pets away. 
  • Prepare a solution with the followings
  • 2 gallon of lukewarm water
  • 1 cup white vinegar

   or

  • Of course you could use a commercial cleaning solution appropriate for your engineered hardwood floor type! 

First:  Cleaning Up Dirt and Debris

  1. Sweep with a broom.

sweep with a broom You can track loose dirt chips and small stones entering your home each day. Use a soft broom to clean all the dust in the room. Pay close attention to areas where dirt or stones are likely to accumulate, such as doorways. Sweep dirt and dust in a dustpan and throw it outside.

  • Leaving  loose dirt chips and small stones on an engineered hardwood floor can corrode the surface and scratch or damage the top layer of hardwood. Dirt and rocks can scratch on the hardwood floor if left on the floor for long. 
  • Clean your engineered hardwood often to keep it in good condition. To maximize the durability of your floors, make a routine to sweep or vacuum your floors daily.
  1. Vacuum the floor.

You can use a vacuum cleaner, If you’d prefer not to use a broom. Set your vacuum cleaner to the appropriate mode. Make sure you have cleaned up all the dirt from the hardwood floor. Appropriate mode will confirm that there will not be any scratches, sometimes created from rotating bristle bars.  

  • Scratching a hardwood floor treated with a bristle rod can cause irreparable damage.
  1. Dry mop your hardwood with a  microfiber mop.

Make sure you use a microfiber mop to clean the floor and clean up any dust that is tracked or blown into the house. The dry microfiber mop head effectively picks up dirt and debris from your floor, including some that your broom may have missed, and there’s no risk of water damage to your floor. Make a routine to mop hardwood floors at least once a week. 

  • Plan on mopping engineered hardwood with just a microfiber mop. The material wears less on top layers of veneer and hardwood floors than standard mop heads and does not require the use of water.
  1. Use a damp mop.

You may prefer not to use a microfiber mop. In this case, you can use a traditional cotton mop to clean the floor. Make sure the water is completely squeezed out of the rag before applying it to the wood. If moisture remains on the hardwood floor after mopping, wipe it off with a towel.

  • A damp yarn mop can also remove any light stains from liquids that may have spilled on the floor.
  1. Place a floor mat or rug at entrances to your house.

Securing entryways to your home, especially front and back doors, with mats or rugs can help reduce sweeping and mopping of hardwood floors. Mats trap much of the dust, dirt and grime that can be tracked on your hardwood floors.

  • Visitors may have dirt or mud under their shoe sole. Place one mat outside each of the entrances so they could dirt off their shoes.  Place another mat inside the doorway that will further wipe the fine dirt from the shoe sole. .
  • Clean your mat or rug outside weekly, to prevent dust from the mat itself being tracked through into the house.

Second:  Using a Commercial Liquid Cleaner

  1.  Buy a liquid cleaner recommended by the manufacturer of your floor.

Engineered wood floors should only be cleaned with liquid detergents made by the company that made them. Different types of engineering hardwoods require different cleaning agents, and using the wrong type or brand of liquid cleaner can seriously damage hardwoods. If you are not sure which type of cleaner to use, contact the manufacturer by phone or email for a liquid cleaner recommendation.

  • Remember to buy only liquid cleaning products designed for engineered hardwood floors at your local hardware store.

2.Cleaning with Commercial liquid cleaner.

If the floor area is particularly dirty, stained or spilled, liquid detergent can be used to clean it. Apply a small amount of liquid detergent directly to the wood surface and wipe with a sponge or clean cloth. Wipe the wood surface until the stain is removed, adding more cleaner if necessary.

Do not leave excess liquid cleaner on the floor after cleaning the stain. Wipe immediately with a clean paper towel or cloth. No need to rinse off the cleaner with water.

  • You may need to scrub by hand to clean small areas where the mop can’t reach or to wipe hard-to-reach stains. Pour a small amount of cleaner onto a clean cotton cloth and pat or wipe the dirty area on the floor.
  • Some liquid cleaner must be diluted with water. Check the manual before using the cleaner.
  1. Be careful not to use products designed for tile or vinyl flooring.

Although cleaning products may look similar and sit side by side on a hardware store shelf, the products are not interchangeable. Tile or vinyl cleaning fluids can permanently damage treated hardwood.     

  • Cleaning products designed for tile or vinyl will not fully clean treated hardwood floors. If you have queries about alternative cleaning products, contact your flooring manufacturer to find out which liquid cleaning products are safe to use on your engineered hardwood floor.

Third:  Maintain and Avoiding Floor Damage

  1. Wipe up any spills immediately.

Accidents can happen, but if you spill water—or any other type of liquid—on your engineered hardwood floor, it should be cleaned up immediately. If you spill liquid on hardwood and let it sit for any length of time, it can soak in and damage the hardwood or veneer. It can also be a permanent scar.

While you’re cleaning up spills, dab the spills gently to remove them. Do not scrub the spill or use forceful pressure to clean the area. If you do, you risk warping the hardwood veneer or forcing liquid into the wood and causing damage.

  1. Avoid ammonia and vinegar.

These abrasive liquids can clean certain surfaces like porcelain or ceramic tiles, but  they may damage your engineered hardwood floor. Engineered hardwood veneer of the top layer could be damaged by ammonia and vinegar.

  1. Never use a steam cleaner on your engineered hardwood floor.

Steam cleaner is extremely useful tool for cleaning  carpet floors, but it should not be used on an engineered hardwood floor. The heat and steam can damage the wood surface by forcing water into the veneer and the top layer of hardwood.

  • Steam cleaners using too much water can potentially damage hardwood more than other types of cleaning. Steam cleaners can damage plywood or fiberboard underlayers by forcing moisture into the wood.
  1. Never use a harsh cleaning brush.

Steel wool or wire-bristle cleaning brushes are tough. You should never use them on an engineered hardwood floor.  These products will somehow  scratch or damage the veneer on the top layer of the hardwood.

5. Wipe up any liquid residue immediately.

Engineered hardwood floors are more resistant to liquids than conventional hardwood floors, but still water or liquid cleaner should not be allowed to stand on the floor. If liquid cleaner remains after cleaning the floor, dry the floor with a towel. Similarly, using a dripping rag risks damaging the top layer of hardwood. If the wood absorbs a significant amount of water, it can warp or warp. After mopping the floor, dry all the water. 

We hope if you follow these steps and clean your engineered hardwood on a regular basis, your floor will not only last longer but will also stay shiny.

 

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