Hardwood floors are a popular flooring option due to their neat, sleek and clean look. However, they require regular maintenance just like other flooring options. The biggest problem after cleaning hardwood floor is the streaks most cleaners leave behind.
This guide explains how to clean hardwood floors without streaks!
Simple Method to Clean Hardwood Floors without Streaks
Dry Mop with a Microfiber Before Cleaning: Remove as much dirt and debris as possible with a dry mop or vacuum cleaner before applying a cleaner.
Use Natural Cleaners for Hardwood Floors: Avoid harsh chemicals or oil-based cleaners that can leave spots, residues, or streaks behind. Select one specifically made for hardwood floors if you are going for a commercial cleaner. Follow the instructions on the packaging to prepare the cleaner.
You can also use DIY cleaning solutions such as borax, warm water, tea bag, and olive oil mixed with lemon and hot water. Some people may recommend using vinegar to clean hardwood floors. You must avoid vinegar if you want your floors to look good and last long. Vinegar is acidic and can damage the hardwood floor finish. On the contrary, vinegar is an excellent cleaner; some stains don’t go away without it. You must dilute it by adding 1/8 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water.
Don’t forget to test the cleaner (commercial or DIY) on a hidden spot before cleaning.
Use a Microfiber Mop for Cleaning: Only use microfiber mops for cleaning hardwood floors. These mops work great on hardwood floors because they pick up dirt and debris without scratching the floor. Don’t forget to wring out the mop to remove excess water. The mop must be damp and not dripping wet, as the excess liquid can leave streaks behind.
Clean in Small Sections: Start by cleaning from one corner of the room, so you don’t have to step on the cleaned portion again. Keep the bucket behind you to avoid spills or dragging the bucket. Moreover, clean in smaller sections instead of cleaning the floor in one go. It helps you prevent streaks.
Dry the Floor: Dry the cleaned sections with a microfiber cloth or mop to remove excess moisture. It prevents streaks that appear due to watermarks.
Steam Mops (Only for Solid Hardwood Floors): Steam mops are great for streak-free cleaning but only for solid hardwood floors because they can withstand heat and moisture from steam mop. The hot steam cleans the surface and sanitizes it without leaving streaks. Please do not use a steam mop on unsealed hardwood floors, as such floors are vulnerable to moisture.
Tips to Keep your Hardwood Floor Clean and Streak-Free
- Dust your floors with a microfiber mop, soft broom, or light vacuum cleaner (with soft brush attachment) at least once a week.
- Go for a wet mopping session (explained above) 1-2 times a week or whenever the floors are too dirty.
- Do not use extra soap; it won’t clean but will leave heavy streaks behind.
- Keep your mop clean by rinsing it often. The dirt on the mop dries after cleaning and forms streaks.
- Replace the cleaning solution once it gets dirty.
- Use a microfiber cloth to buff out the streaks that appear after cleaning.
- Ask your floor supplier about the polishing frequency and the right polisher. Do not skip the polishing routine.
- Refinish your floor every 3-5 years
- Do not use cleaner with citrus oils, ammonia, bleach, or silicon.
- Don’t soak floors when cleaning.
- Try to wipe up spills and spots immediately to keep floors clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do hardwood floors develop streaks after cleanup?
Streaks can come for various reasons, such as dust particles on floors, the wrong cleaner, the residue left during cleaning, delayed drying or air drying, or stepping on wet floors.
How to clean dark hardwood floors without streaks?
Dark-shade hardwood flooring is more susceptible to streaks and marks. The above method works equally well for dark-colored hardwood floors. Make sure you buy a cleaner made for dark-colored hardwood floors.
How to clean engineered hardwood floors without streaks?
Do not use harsh chemicals, steam mops, or abrasive tools that can damage engineered hardwood floors. Moreover, engineered hardwood floors are less water-resistant than hardwood floors.
You can keep engineered hardwood floors clean by regular mopping with a microfiber mop, soft broom, or light vacuuming. Use the cleaner recommended by the manufacturer for deep cleaning. You can also prepare a homemade cleaner by mixing ¼ cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of water. Add some olive oil to make your floor shine.
The cleaning process is the same for traditional or engineered hardwood floors.