Sleep expert, professional interior and luxury sheet sets designer Jennifer Adams is back to answer your questions and provide some helpful advice! Today we consider whether vinegar is a good cleaning agent to use with hardwood flooring:
Why Do My Floors Look Dull? I Try to Be Very Intentional About Cleaning Them!
I really appreciate you reaching out to ask about best approaches for cleaning your hardwood floors. I’m so sorry to hear that the finish on your floors looks to have become dulled, I know how frustrating that can be! Depending on exactly which type of finish you have on your flooring, it’s indeed possible that the vinegar or some other acidic cleaner you’ve used could have led to some dulling of the finish. I will also tell you from experience that there’s a chance your finish hasn’t really been dulled. It’s possible that there’s just some dried, leftover cleaning product on the surface of your flooring that’s making it look dull. I’d recommend you try cleaning a patch of your floor with just a mop and some warm water, just to see if that helps.
Check with the Manufacturer
Hopefully you kept all the paperwork from when you had your floors installed, and have been following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to the T. If you’ve been doing that and the finish has still become dull, you should take it up with the manufacturer or installer, especially if your floors are still under warranty. Even if your warranty no longer applies, it would still be a good idea to ask the manufacturer for suggestions about what might bring back the shine. If all else fails, you may just need to have your flooring refinished or replaced.
Good Tips for Cleaning Hardwood
The key to cleaning any hardwood floor is to try and be as gentle as possible. For starters, you need to regularly be removing dust and grit. To that end, I’d recommend a vacuum over a broom. Sweeping tends to rearrange and redistribute dirt and dust more than it actually removes it. For some deeper cleaning or spot cleaning after you vacuum, I don’t recommend using regular soap or detergent products. Rather, use a non-acidic, CO2-based spray cleanser that’s designed for hardwood floors, and go over your floors with a padded microfiber cloth mop that’s just slightly dampened.
Don’t Use Any More Water Than Necessary
If you’re not sure about your finish, it’s generally safe to just go with a cloth that’s barely damp. If possible, it’s always advisable to test in an inconspicuous corner first. Never – and I mean NEVER – pour water or any other fluids on a hardwood floor. The fluids can easily seep into the wood, potentially causing warping, staining, or other significant damage to your flooring.
A Few Final Thoughts
I hope you’ll find these tips to be helpful. I’d love to hear about anything else that works well for you. My two great passions are home décor/maintenance and sleep science. And speaking of the latter, if you’d like to experience some fresh bedding that perfectly balances style, softness, and comfort, I hope you’ll take a moment to peruse our Luxury Bedding Collections at Jennifer Adams!