Hardwood floors look strikingly beautiful when they are first installed in home. Unfortunately, they tend to lose their gloss and polish over time. The hardwood floors will get dirty and dusty, causing them to lose their original appearance. You will need to apply regular maintenance to restore the shine to your engineered hardwood flooring.
Cleaning hardwood floors should be done as part of your home maintenance routine. However, you need to be careful when cleaning hardwood floors. Using the wrong cleaning methods may fade the once-attractive shine on top of the floors. Abrasive cleaners are the worst for this. This is precisely why you need to know the right cleaning techniques to bring back the shine to your hardwood floors.
Here is a guide on how to add the shine to your hard wood floors again:
To do a proper polish on your hardwood floor, you will need a flat-head mop. The mop should preferably have a microfiber cleaning pad as well as a commercial wood floor polish. There are a variety of maps on the market, from low-gloss to high-gloss. With this aspect, you certainly have some looks and aesthetics to play around with depending on your interior décor preferences.
Hardwood Floors and Sealants
Hardwood floors are typically covered with a sealant. Know which agent has been used. Polyurethane, paste wax, and others are common. An unsealed hardwood floor is easy to recognize. Place a drop of water on it. If it absorbs quickly and causes spotting on the floor, your hardwood is unfinished.
A waterproof surface – such as urethane – benefits a great deal from having a polish applied. There are also penetrating finishes, however, like tung oil. If it’s like this or unsealed wood, a waxing’s better than a polish.
You can’t apply a sealant over an existing sealant. In almost every case, it will make hardwood appear worse. To restore the type of shine most homeowners want, you will have to strip and reseal the floors. To strip the floor, do not use chlorine bleach, ammonia, undiluted vinegar, or anything that hasn’t been recommended from the wood floor manufacturer.
Clean and Polish the Floors
Before you polish the hardwood floors, do a quick sweep of the targeted area. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish simply by sweeping the floor. A thorough sweep will pick up all the dirt, hair, dust, and grit that could be covering an otherwise perfectly beautiful shine.
Once your floor is ready for polishing, start in a corner. Pour a small S-shaped amount of polish onto the floor. Work the solution back-and-forth using a flat mop. Always work in the direction of the grain. Smooth out any air bubbles along the way.
Though we strongly advise to use commercial wood polishers for your hardwood floor, many homemade recipes exist online. One of the most popular is to combine together two cups of warm water, 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil, a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Many swear by all-natural hardwood floor polishers like this, however, when it comes to not ruining your floors, a commercial product specifically made to polish hardwood is usually above homemade alternatives.
Work in Small Areas
When adding shine to hardwood floors through polishing, work in small areas. Portion the floor into 3-to-5 feet areas. This will help control how much polish you lay out and help in the polishing process. You want to coat these areas in full. Keep in mind thin layers will dry far quicker than thicker layers. That’s alright so long as it achieves the look you’re searching for.
After you’ve coated the floor in polish, give it some time to dry. Wait a full 24 hours before any furniture is moved back in. In terms of walking on it, try waiting 1-2 hours before you re-enter. This should give enough time for everything to fully dry.
How Often to Polish
How often one re-shines their hardwood depends on several factors. Most floor experts recommend doing so once every 4-6 months. In any given 12-month period, do not exceed polishing 4 times. This will be too much for most hardwood floors to take and will speed up any deterioration.
No matter what one may tell you, know that no hardwood floor is going to keep its shine in perpetuity. It will eventually need a touch-up. It’s an inevitability. That said, quality hardwood flooring can be refinished a number of times without causing damage.
How to add shine to hardwood ends with understanding how to maintain it. Put rugs at entranceways to catch any dirt and debris from tracking inside. Vacuum or sweep weekly. Avoid using cleaning solutions containing ammonia or diluted vinegar. They will dull your floor, eliminating your hard work slowly over time. Try more natural cleaners that are less abrasive.
If you have pets or have walked across your hardwood regularly with outdoor shoes, you may have noticed some scratches. These can often be covered by a simple polish that fills in these dull, tired areas while adding some protection against future scratches. A category of product one may want to look for, specifically for this purpose, is what’s called a ‘revitalizer’ which is applied similar to a polish. The result is a floor that’s shiny and smooth!