Most homes need a good new year spruce-up and a pristine floor can make all the difference. Luckily, engineered oak flooring is really easy to look after; it doesn’t harbor dirt and dust and you can give it a really good clean without any specialist equipment.
Having swept or vacuumed – and with mop and bucket at the ready – there are essentially only a couple of points to bear in mind: use the correct detergent and don’t saturate the surface!
It can be tempting to reach for the bottle of universal floor cleaner but, in most cases, this won’t be suitable for engineered oak flooring – or, indeed, for many other natural surfaces. Most household cleaners are far too acidic for wood and will dull the surface. Many well-meaning websites champion the use of traditional home remedies like vinegar and, being acidic, these will also etch the surface. Wax and polishes can also create a sticky coating and attract dirt, potentially creating a slip hazard. Don’t be tempted to use a steam cleaner either, as this will create too much heat and water which could also cause damage. Instead, just stick to a specialist detergent designed for engineered oak flooring; one which has a ‘pH neutral’ formulation, meaning that it will be neither acid nor alkaline. There’s no shortage of great products available.
Flat head mops are best for cleaning engineered oak flooring.
Traditional string mops tend to leave too much water on the surface; this is a problem because wood is very absorbent. If water is allowed to stand on the surface, the wood will swell and then shrink again, causing the floor to gap and warp. To prevent this from happening, always clean your floor with a well-wrung mop; the film of water created should evaporate quickly, rather than pooling on the surface!
So, lots of things to avoid but essentially just three rules to follow, to keep your engineered oak flooring in tip top condition;
- Use a good quality detergent
- Don’t oversaturate the floor when cleaning
- Use a flat head mop
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