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how to clean hardwood floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Other Wood Flooring Maintenance Tips

Many higher-end commercial office spaces and heritage buildings feature hardwood floors. Hardwood floors definitely add a timeless beauty to any office or retail setting, but we know it can feel a bit intimidating when it comes time to clean them. Hardwood floors do need to be given a bit more TLC than standard laminate flooring, but it’s relatively easy for you or a professional cleaner like Mayfair Building Services to get and keep your wood floors looking their best. All that’s needed are gentle cleaning and refinishing products, some know-how and a bit of elbow grease.

In this article, we’ll guide you in the best ways to prevent damage, clean, and erase unsightly marks on the natural wood flooring in your workspace.

how to clean hardwood floors

Prevent Wear and Tear of Hardwood Floors

Protect Your Flooring

Taking the proper steps to protect hardwood floors from daily wear and tear will go a long way to preventing scrapes and scuffs.

  • Task chairs should be outfitted with hardwood casters, specially designed to prevent scratching or scuffing.
  • Task chairs can also be used with plastic protective floor pads or low pile floor mats. If you’ve got some carpeting, look at our helpful post on how to clean and maintain the carpeting around your office.
  • Other pieces of furniture like waiting room chairs and coffee tables should always have felt floor protectors applied to the bottoms of the furniture legs, since they get moved around quite a bit.
  • Over time, clients getting up and pushing the chair back and forth could result in quite a bit of scuffing and scratching on hardwood floors. In that same vein, when moving furniture, you’ll want to pick it up and avoid dragging it whenever possible.
  • Add a welcome mat, a heavy-duty rug and a good solid boot tray/shoe tray by the front door. This will help keep dirt, water and mud off the flooring.

Sweep Daily and Vacuum Weekly

A quick daily sweep and a weekly or bi-weekly vacuum will keep your floors looking fresh and prevent damage from dirt and dust.

  • Before vacuuming or sweeping, go over the flooring with a dry mop or Swiffer-type sweeper. This will attract any hair, dust and dirt.
  • Next, vacuum with a floor brush attachment. For wooden floors, you’ll want to avoid using a powerhead or beater bar, which can scratch the wood.
  • Vacuuming should be done weekly or biweekly, depending on the volume of traffic through your business.

Deep Clean Hardwood Floors as Needed

It’s a good idea to do a deep seasonal clean to remove dirt and oil build-up. This grime can dull the finish and durability of the flooring over time.

  • After you vacuum, use a good wood floor cleaner and saturate a mop (sponge or rag) well. Let the cleaner sink into the fibres.
  • Wring out the mop really well so it only feels slightly damp. This is important because you don’t want to have any standing water left on the floor.
  • Damp-mop, working from the back of the office to the front, making sure to get underneath furniture and in corners.
  • Rinse and wring out as often as needed. Depending on the size of your office, you may need to change your water.
  • If the cleaning product recommends a fresh-water rinse, use a second mop rinsed in clean water.
  • To speed the drying process for your newly clean floors, turn on the air conditioner or ceiling fans.

Removing Marks from Hardwood Floors

Despite our best efforts, wood floors do get marked up from time to time. Because wood is so durable, however, this is an easy fix. The key is to know the finish of your floor to be able to safely remove the mark.

  • If the stain is sitting on the surface, the wood likely has a urethane or polyurethane finish, which is a hard finish that stays on top of the wood.
  • If you’re working in an older building or a heritage building, the original flooring is likely to be oil finished. If the stain has spread through to the wood, you can bet it’s a soft oil finish.

Removing Marks from a Hard Urethane Finish

The best choice for removing marks from modern hardwood flooring is a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions, sandpaper, steel wool or any other gritty material, since these will damage the finish. A good, gentle cleaner is all you really need to remove a surface stain.

Removing Marks from a Soft Oil Finish

This is a bit more complex and can involve some staining, waxing and buffing. If you’re really stuck, call us at Mayfair Building Services for advice or to schedule your floor cleaning service.

Heel Marks- Floor wax and very fine steel wool make short work of those pesky heel marks. Use the steel wool to gently rub in the floor wax, and it will gently scrub away the markings.

Oil-based Stains-Use a soft cloth and gentle dishwashing soap to cut the grease. Rinse the soap with a soft cloth dampened with clear water. This might take a couple of applications. Once the damp spot has dried, you’ll see raised grain. Gently buff the raised grain of the wood and finish up with stain if needed.

Pet stains or Dark Spots- Did the office pet have an accident? Just rub the spot with very fine steel wool and floor wax. If you still see a dark spot, let a small bit of vinegar soak into the wood. This should completely lift the stain. If not, try bleach once the vinegar has completely dried. Finish up by rinsing with a clean damp cloth.

Water Marks- Use your trusty steel wool and floor wax here too. If the stain has saturated the floor, you can very lightly sand the floor using a fine grit paper. Clean the rest of the stain with your fine steel wool and mineral spirits.

Professional hardwood floor cleaning, deep office cleaning, pressure washing and more —at Mayfair Building Services, we do it all. Whether you need daily, weekly or monthly office or industrial maintenance and cleaning, our team is expertly trained to handle any mess you can throw our way. Contact us at our Burnaby, BC office via email or by phone at (604) 439-0312 to schedule an initial consultation and join our growing list of happy clients.

tips for cleaning tile and grout

Cleaning Tile Floors

Best Way to Clean Tile Floors: Tile & Grout Cleaning Tips

Tile floors can create a higher end look while standing up well to the wear and tear of daily traffic. Unlike carpet, they are easier to clean and much simpler to keep free of dust, germs and allergens. And unlike with laminate flooring, you don’t have to worry about any moisture seeping into the sub core, which can cause warping or discolouration.

No matter what type of flooring is in your workplace, we can help. As professional cleaners, we clean all vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile, hardwood, concrete and engineered hardwood flooring – so you don’t have to worry about the right method or right materials.tips for cleaning tile and grout

Tips for Cleaning Tile Flooring

Cleaning tile floors can be done quickly and easily with all-purpose cleaner or mild dish soap. If you’ve been finding that your tile is holding on to stubborn stains and stuck on debris, that surface debris could be damaging the surface coating of the tiles themselves. If this is the case, it’s important to ensure that dry and wet cleaning of tile flooring is on the cleaning roster for your commercial space.

Sweep or vacuum your floors 3-4 times per week, especially in high traffic areas like the entryway or staff kitchen. This keeps the floors clean and helps prevent stuck-on-staining that can be tough to remove, leading to dingy-looking floors. Mop the floor at least once a week as well.

The cleaning process for each type of tile varies, so it’s important to note what type of tiles you have in your space, well before you bring out the mop.

How to Clean Your Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tile floors do best when cleaned with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. You can also use your favourite all-purpose cleaner, or even a bit of white vinegar to help dissolve staining on the tiles or grout.

Step 1: Move any furniture and rugs off the floor and carefully sweep each section of the floor with a broom. You can vacuum with a soft brush attachment afterwards, to pick up anything that may have been left behind.

Step 2: Grab two buckets (one for rinsing and one for the cleaner). Have you ever seen someone use the same mop and bucket and spread dirty water around over and over? It doesn’t get anything cleaner and it doesn’t remove germs or bacteria. For the best results and a reliable clean, make sure you use two buckets and refill your cleaning bucket when the water starts to look muddy or grey.

Step 3: Choose your cleaner. Ceramic tiles can withstand the acidity of white vinegar, which is quite useful for stain removal when mixed with warm water.

To make a great stain remover, try this solution:

In a clean spray bottle, mix 2.5 Tbsp of mild dish soap with 1 C of white vinegar. Fill a bucket with warm water.

With your spray bottle, spray the stains with the mixture of vinegar and dish soap. Let it sit for just a minute and then use your clean, damp mop to scrub the tile. For dirty grout, you may want to use a stiff brush to really get into the crevices.

Step 4: If using regular all-purpose cleaner, simply let the cleaner sit for 2 minutes and then use your damp, clean mop to scrub the floors. If you have a textured floor, a string mop will work best. For a smooth floor, a sponge mop or mop with a microfibre pad will be more effective.

Step 5: Rinse your clean mop and make another pass over the floor, working section by section. Here it’s important to note that no matter how good your cleaner is, it can sometimes leave a filmy residue behind. After you’ve mopped each section, take the time to dry and buff the tiles with a soft cloth. Drying the tiles will help bring out their natural sheen and help them stay cleaner longer.

Step 6: Rinse out both buckets and let your mop dry thoroughly. You’re done!

How to Steam Clean Tile Floors

Tile flooring can be easily steam cleaned for in-between maintenance.

For smaller spaces, you might be able to get away with a steam mop designed for home use, but it shouldn’t be used in place of a mop if you have a very dirty, stained tile floor.

To use a steam mop on tile flooring, follow these steps:

Step 1: Move furniture and any floor coverings off the floor.

Step 2: Sweep or vacuum with a soft-brush attachment. Steam mops do their best work when the floor has no debris left behind.

Step 3: Keep several clean mop pads on hand to avoid having any dirt or debris smeared around as you steam mop.

Step 4: Keep the steam mop moving as you wash, taking care not to let it idle on any one spot. If you need to leave the room, make sure to turn off the mop, just for safety’s sake.

Step 5: For a more thorough cleaning, make multiple passes across the floor, working section by section.

Step 6: When you’re done, pop the steam mop pads into the wash. Generally, they are just washed with other white and light-coloured items. Hang them to dry to prevent any shrinkage, and they’ll be ready to go for next time.

*Tile floors can be incredibly slick when wet, so always be sure to put a wet floor sign down or block access to any wet flooring.

The routine maintenance of your office flooring is relatively simple, but you might quickly find that it makes more sense to bring in a professional, with commercial quality equipment. This way, you no longer have to worry about scrubbing grout and removing pesky stains from tile flooring, or getting the carpets perfectly clean and sanitized. Our certified cleaning professionals can create a commercial cleaning plan and schedule that perfectly suits your needs and leaves your workspace sparkling. Contact Mayfair and our expert cleaning team today to discover how we can help.