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How to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Cleaning prefinished hardwood floors is easier than cleaning unfinished ones. A cleaning regime for such a hardwood floor is even much more enjoyable with the right preps, supplies and tools. Routine cleaning and maintenance of your flooring mean everything. They remain durable and functional for as long as they can serve.

Objectivities for owning and cleaning your hardwood floor:

  • Forming sustaining cleaning habits for prefinished hardwood floor
  • Benefits of regular hardwood floor cleaning
  • The best and most convenient way to clean and maintain your wood flooring
  • What preparations and supplies you need prior to cleaning
  • Post-cleaning details

What are Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

At the factory, prefinished hardwood floors are sanded, stained and sprayed with a polyurethane coating. They then get treated with an aluminum oxide crystal sealant in an oven. To install them you simply need to cut to size and nail. In this way, we say the hardwood floor planks are prefinished.

Prefinished hardwood traditional flooring with furniture and lighting

Benefits of Pre-finished Flooring

Some of the primary benefits of investing in prefinished hardwood flooring are as follows:

– Instant and Ready to use

Once installed, prefinished hardwood floors don’t require more time to acclimatize. Neither do they require any kind of sanding.

Anyone can start using the floor space immediately. There will be no downtime as you won’t have to wait for them to be finished before moving your items back into the space.

– Fumes-free Air and Space

Unlike unfinished floors, prefinished floor planks are treated at the processing factory. This allows time for the vapors from the polyurethane resins and solvents to disappear.

When you choose prefinished flooring, you have no health issues to cause worry.

– Value of your Investment

While you may need to dig a bit deeper in your pocket, going for prefinished hardwood floors is worth your money. They require no finishing costs and don’t have to wait any longer.

Ultimately, you would realize the value of your investment as it will end up costing less in the end. 

– No Sanding No Dust

Another plus for choosing prefinished hardwood floors is that they require no sanding. Unlike unfinished planks, not sanding means no dust in your home.

– Quick, Easy Installation

Prefinished hardwood planks can be installed very quickly. And the good thing is that you can inhabit the rooms and spaces already installed. It can take about 1 – 3 days to complete installation.

The kind of finishes and appearance the factory treats says a lot about prefinished floors. They are naturally beautiful and are also very durable. 

Why Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

Besides the durability and low maintenance, the popularity of prefinished hardwood floors is traditionally attached to their aesthetic appeal. To maintain their inherent quality, they need cleaning and other regular checks. Here is why you need to love cleaning your hardwood floors.

– Correct Cleaning means Longevity

Some unapproved cleaning methods will end up destroying the quality of prefinished floors. Any kind of little scratching, dampening and staining can mess up your floors.

Proper cleaning includes dirt, dust, and debris removal. If not cleaned, the accumulation of this unwanted stuff will shorten their longevity and curtail their lifespan.

– Keeping up with Elegance and Beauty

Proper maintenance can help to preserve the floor’s appearance, preventing dullness and discoloration. Regular cleaning and maintenance can remove dirt and debris, preventing them from scratching the surface of the floor. Additionally, applying a floor polish or conditioner can help to maintain the floor’s shine and prevent dullness.

– Cleaning is Healthy

While cleaning is an important aspect in day to day living, there are mental and general health benefits that come with it. As such, maintaining prefinished hardwood isn’t only for the sake of appeal or appearance.

Regular dry-mopping and vacuuming of your floors significantly remove allergen sources. These sources include dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. As a result, cleaning in this way elevates indoor air and life quality.

Additionally, there is a generally good feeling of satisfaction with every meaningful cleaning. This boosts mental health and wellness. These benefits include:

  • Sense of order and control
  • Released endorphins to relieve stress and pain
  • Improved focus
  • Calming effect to help regulate emotions
  • Stability realized from consistent cleaning and familiarity

– Cost-Effective

As a basic maintenance, cleaning your prefinished hardwood floors at regular intervals has proven to be cost-effective. Neglected floors have otherwise high repair costs.

If regularly cleaned, the maintenance cost is relatively inexpensive in the long run. A little effort or pay to get a janitor to do the cleaning is cost-effective in the end. You’ll have the chance to learn the how-to steps too.

Before or Pre-Cleaning Preps

To develop a liking attitude toward cleaning, adequate preparation is what you basically need. Here is what you ought to know and have to create a cleaning regime that you are going to love.

Gather all Useful Cleaning Aids/supplies

Before your first assignment cleaning, it is important to gather all the necessary cleaning supplies. Here are the best tools you need for easy and safe cleaning of your prefinished hardwood floor;

a) Vacuum Cleaner

Before purchasing a vacuum cleaner consider the following qualities:

  • If you love light and easy-to-maneuver apparatus go for canister vacuum cleaners
  • Prefer ones with adjustable suction power
  • Select one that is padded to avoid leaving scratches on your floor
Typical vacuum cleaner for wood floor cleaning
Power-suction vacuum cleaner being used by a homeowner

b) Microfiber Flat Mops

These are convenient mops for either dry dust or wet mopping. Go for ones with longer fibers.

c) Furniture Pads

You also need these pads especially if you are planning to clean your floors single-handedly. Simply put one pad under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture. Doing this will prevent your furniture from creating unsightly scratches that will eventually damage the floor.

Furniture pads for seats, chairs and tables

d) Cleaning Solutions

Here is what to use and what to avoid:

Cleaning solutions for your hardwood floors: Bona
  • Avoid white vinegar and water to clean your prefinished and unfinished wood floors
  • Use a pH-neutral cleaning solution
Multi-purpose hardwood flooring cleaner

Additional Preps

Take your time to prepare as this will greatly signify what kind of floor you are going to end up with.

  • Remove or relocate all movable furniture and objects to create space for movement
  • Light up the spaces you‘ll need to see or remove all sorts of obstructions to those spaces of interest
  • Clear any dirt and dust from the walls first
  • Pick up any metallic parts and objects
  • Include a bucket for holding your solution while cleaning
  • Ensure you wear waterproof gloves
  • Have soft towels at your disposal

How Best to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Cleaning prefinished hardwood floors is essential to maintain their beauty and prolong their lifespan. Here are the best ways to clean your prefinished hardwood floors.

Clean your Hardwood Floor in Sections

For effective and manageable cleaning, do it in bits. Simply mark out your floor area into small sections. This will allow for thorough cleaning. And it won’t waste your cleaning solution.

Look for a specially-formulated wood floor cleaning liquid. Go for a brand like Bona for the best cleaning experience.

Adjust your spraying bottle such that you have a fine spray mist.

All in all, avoid applying too much cleaning solution.

Dust-mop your Hardwood Floors Daily

One of the most basic details in any defining cleaning regime for hardwood floors is dusting. Dusting your floor daily helps remove pet hair, tiny debris, and accumulated, almost invisible dirt.

Use the very soft bristle in areas and spaces with high foot traffic and spots where pets love spending. I prefer using a vacuum with a soft broom attachment.

Pay attention to corners, nooks, and crannies.

Vacuum your Hardwood Floor Weekly

Ensure you vacuum your wood floors every 5 – 7 days. Always prepare a cleaning solution as directed.

  • Avoid using excess water as excess water can damage the floor
  • Go for vacuum cleaners without beater bars (to avoid scratching your floors)

Mop your Floors once a Month

Dip a microfiber mop into your cleaning solution. Thoroughly, wring out excess water so that it is only damp but not wet. Always place the cleaning solution in the front to avoid accidentally spilling it.

Leave no Water Traces on your Floor

After mopping, use a dry soft towel to wipe and thoroughly dry your floors. Doing this will remove excess moisture and rid your floors of watermarks. Neglecting this could your floor in case someone steps on such a floor or dust accumulates.

Use Specific Hardwood Floor Cleaning Brands

After having purchased your wood floor planks, ask the manufacturer for a suitable cleaner.

According to the HGTV writers, the efficiency of a hardwood floor cleaner may vary. Price, hardwood type, and pet and home safety are some of the factors to consider.

  • Spray: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner.
  • Concentrate: Aunt Fannie’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner.
  • Natural: Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner.
  • For large areas: Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner.
  • Multipurpose: Rejuvenate Hardwood Floor Cleaner
  • Best Scented: Everspring Wood Surface Cleaner

Post-Cleaning Essentials to Prefinished Flooring

Is post-cleaning essential to prefinished hardwood floors? Absolutely yes. Homeowners who follow up floor cleaning with post-cleaning as a maintenance practice. Here are the top guiding tips.

Use Hardwood Floor Cleaner

After cleaning the prefinished hardwood floor, use a “hardwood floor cleaner to restore the shine and protect the surface.” To get the ultimate result prescribed by the cleaner manufacturer, go step by step. Follow every direction on the label.

Place Doormats and Rugs

Mats and rugs can reduce cleaning workloads

Besides reducing cleaning intensity, doormats and rugs can lighten the cleaning process and save time.

Identify those areas with high foot traffic or that are frequently busy. Those areas that require rugs and mats include:

  • Entrances and hallways
  • Main entry points from the outside

Invest in good-quality mats and rugs. Remember to clean rugs regularly.

Stop Handling Water More Often on Floors

Excessive exposure of prefinished hardwood floor to water can damage it. Water can easily penetrate small lines between the individual planks. While wiping up instantly is the way to go, totally avoiding water is the answer – if you want your floor to keep shining.

Clean up Immediately

Do not leave dirt and potentially staining stuff lying on your wood floors. Start cleaning up the moment you spot or identify strange streaks, marks or splashes on your hardwood floor.

What we can Say

These simple cleaning tips also come in handy to see that you keep your prefinished hardwood floors in their ideal shape. Staying vigilant about what happens to your flooring is also crucial.

Regular maintenance will not only preserve the factory finish looks but also keep up the beauty of your flooring.

References and Sources

  1. The Mental Health Benefits Of A Clean Home. Forbes Health. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/mental-health-clean-home/. Accessed online 3 May 2023
  2. The 10 best hardwood floor cleaners of 2023, with expert tips. New York Post. https://nypost.com/article/best-hardwood-floor-cleaners-with-expert-tips/. Accessed online 3 May 2023
  3. HARDWOOD FLOORING CLEANING PRODUCTS. VINTAGE HARDWOOD FLOORING. https://www.vintageflooring.com/ENG/maintenance/. Accessed online 3 June 2023

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