The timeless nature of hardwood floors makes them an ideal option for any home. They stay classy and can last for decades and this makes them a worthy investment. However, to ensure the durability of your hardwood floor, the step must be taken to properly maintain it, by cleaning it as often as necessary and using the right tools.
If you have soil particles on your hardwood floor, for instance, it is crucial that you don’t allow them to remain on there as foot movement will grind them on the surface, causing the finishing of your floor to wear away and damaging or degrading the flooring.
In such a case, it is a good idea to remove the soil as quickly as possible using a durable floor sweeper to ensure the protection of your floor and to keep it looking great.
When it comes to giving your hardwood floor a deep clean to restore its shine, neither a sweeper nor any of the premium vacuums for hardwood floors can suffice. It is only with the right cleaning device that this can be achieved.
It can be quite challenging finding the ideal tools for cleaning the hardwood floor, more because of its sensitive nature. Nevertheless, there are a few good options to choose from, but the microfiber mop tops the list.
What Is a Mop For Hardwood Floor
A mop for a hardwood is a mop that is designed to clean the hardwood floor thoroughly and safely. Any mop that cleans with microfiber is a preferred option for hardwood.
Though, the microfiber flat mops are popularly regarded as the best microfiber mops for hardwood floors because of their wet and dry cleaning options, as well as their lightweight and swivel head features which make for smooth maneuverability and convenience while cleaning.
Benefits of Using a Mop For Hardwood Floor
Enhances Cleaning Performance
Microfiber mops are more efficient in cleaning out dirt compared to other conventional mops. The arrangement of their material allows them to reach into crevices and surface pores, which other mops can’t, to pick out dirt, crumb, microparticles and even pet hair from surfaces.
Easy to Use
Microfiber mops are generally easy to use, whether you are using a wet or a dry mop. They are typically lightweight and the handle ergonomically designed, making it easy to maneuver them while cleaning.
More so, if you are using a flat mop, it becomes more comfortable as you would hardly need any additional cleaning equipment like a mop bucket and wringer, as just a spray bottle containing plain water or any cleaning solution can help you get the job done.
Saves Time and Reduces Stress
Microfiber mops offer users the advantage of proper time management and energy conservation. The cleaning efficiency of microfiber makes cleaning fast without reducing the results, whereas the ergonomic design of the mops minimizes the stress and effort required for cleaning.
An area that will take a conventional mop 40 to 45 minutes can be thoroughly cleaned out in 20 minutes with a microfiber mop.
Less Water and Chemical Use
Microfiber mops require less water for cleaning compared to the cotton counterparts. More so, only a few of the microfiber mops can tolerate the use of chemicals in cleaning, as these can cause them to deteriorate fast.
These make them a safer option for the hardwood floor because the best protection for floors, and in this particular case, hardwood floors, is to keep harsh chemicals, strong cleaning agents and an excessive amount of water, as far away as possible from them.
However, if you must use cleaning solutions or chemicals to clean your hardwood, maybe to clean out dirt buildup, it is advisable that you use only cleaning solutions that are specifically designed or recommended by hardwood flooring manufacturers, as appropriate for hardwood.
Ensure not to use even the best carpet stain remover on your hardwood since it doesn’t matter if its label describes it as a multipurpose cleaner, because it could contain chemicals that can degrade your hardwood flooring.
The microfiber mop is highly useful in cleaning different kinds of surfaces, safely. Whether it is hardwood, laminate, granite, tile, etc. a microfiber mop can clean out dirt, dust and other particles effectively.
The term microfiber describes the arrangement of material rather than the material itself. Microfiber mops are made out of different materials, with the most common ones being polyester, polyamide, nylon and other similar synthetic materials. It is the combination of these various materials that lends the microfiber mop its many valuable attributes, like its extreme absorption capacity, waterproofing and significant cleaning power.
Type of Stains/Dirt
As already established, microfiber is a versatile cleaning tool. It is useful in tackling all kinds of dirt, debris, crumbs, stains, spills, scuff marks and especially for picking up pet hair and dust in its dry form.
The microfiber mop for hardwood floor is also ideal for cleaning various floor types, like tiles, laminate, granite, etc. safely. It is, however, not a good choice for cleaning carpets.
Types of Hardwood Floor Mops
These types of mops use machine washable microfiber heads, while the mop handle features a centrifugal force which causes its head to spin around fast to remove excess water. The excess water is collected into the mop bucket which also features a spinning rinse basket for rinsing out dirt from the mop head. Using a spin mop for cleaning takes the chore out of floor mopping.
These types of mops are excellent for cleaning up spills due to their high absorption level. However, they are not a good choice for floor cleaning, as they can’t pick up dirt and particles from surfaces.
More so, their cleaning finishing is not good enough, as they leave streaks behind due to their inability to wring out entirely.
These types of mops are made out of durable cotton fibers and are useful for any kind of heavy-duty cleaning. They are a perfect choice for janitorial cleaning services, as they can handle industrial and outdoor cleaning jobs sufficiently. They are also highly absorbent, but their cleaning finishing is not good enough for indoor cleaning.
Reusable Cloth Mop Heads
The flat mop uses reusable cloth heads which last for multiple uses, over long periods. These are made of microfiber and can be laundered hundreds of times while still retaining their ability to clean effectively. They clean through manual scrubbing process and also dry off excess liquid from the floor.
These are often steam cleaners. They heat the water used in permeating the dirt and loosening it for the pads, which are either made of microfiber or disposable fiber. Machine mops which are automated are an ideal option if you are cleaning large areas, as they eliminate the use of elbow grease in lifting off dirt and grime from the hardwood floor, giving it a lustrous look.
Different models of the device use different pad materials at the mop head, which is attached to a long handle that only requires some pushing and pulling on the floor while it provides the cleaning power.
Also, some units feature tanks for keeping cleaning solutions which can be sprayed while cleaning. It is, however, crucial to know that these automated systems are only appropriate for use on sealed hardwood floors.
These are designed for one-time use. Just like the reusable cloth mop head, they clean through manual scrubbing and absorb any excess liquid. They can be made out of microfiber, linen and other similar fibers.
They are ideal for quick cleanups in hospitals and any other place where the chances of cross-contamination are high or in industrial settings where you do not want to come in contact with the particles picked up by the mop head.
Mop vs Other Cleaning Tools for Hardwood
Microfiber mops are perfect for cleaning hardwood floors. Their material composition gives them a large surface area necessary for attracting, scraping and holding on to dirt as well as absorbing liquids efficiently.
They are soft and yet tough enough to remove dirt, grime, particles and excess water out of hardwood without causing any damage to the flooring. They can either be used for wet or dry cleaning of the hardwood floor. In their dry form, these mops can remove pet hair from the floor surfaces.
Not all vacuum cleaners are ideal for cleaning hardwood floors and only specially designed ones can do the job safely.
Most of the cheap vacuum cleaners feature hard brush rolls, which are not suitable for hardwood floors. However, despite the cleaning efficiency of the specialized vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors, they can’t deliver the same shine as the floor mop does on the floors.
These are useful for cleaning hardwood floors, though they only do well with the sealed or engineered hardwood. They help to take off the arduous manual process that comes with the use of a floor mop. Like the floor mop, the steam cleaner leaves the hardwood floor looking polished.
Mop For Hardwood Floor On Different Surfaces
The microfiber spin mop is an excellent choice for cleaning the laminate floor because it uses very little water in cleaning compared to the conventional mops. A spin mop works by using a centrifugal force to spin out all the excess water and cleaning solution from the mop head, thus ensuring that the laminate floor is not soaking wet, as this can damage it.
Microfiber mops work well on tiled floors. Whether you opt to use a mop pad or sponge head microfiber mop, it will clean out your tiles effectively. The microfiber spin mops are also useful for tackling tile grout, due to the powerful action of the spinning mop head. This takes away the extra effort required when using a manual mop.
Microfiber mops are not suitable for cleaning carpets. However, if your home has a mix of flooring, for example a situation where some parts of your floor are hardwood, while the others are covered in carpets or area rugs, it will be a good idea to invest in an all-in-one cleaner to enable you clean out the different floor types conveniently and at no extra cost.
Wet dry vacuum cleaners, also known as shop vacs are an excellent option in this case. Their rotating brush which is made out of microfiber and nylon is safe to use on hardwood floors, but just like the steam cleaners, they are only appropriate for sealed or engineered hardwood.
The wet dry vacuum cleaners are equally perfect for cleaning carpet and you can safely use them on your rug areas without soaking up the hardwood underneath. More so, the portable size and slim design of the wet-dry vacuum cleaner makes it the ideal portable mini car cleaner, as it is efficient enough to tackle both the dry and wet messes a car interior can accumulate.
How To Choose the Best Hardwood Mop
When trying to pick out the best floor mop for your hardwood floor there are some factors you will have to consider and they include:
It is crucial that from the outset, you decide how much you are willing to invest in the mop. However, bear in mind that to get the best mop, you have to be ready to part with a reasonable amount of money, because you can’t expect to have the best quality at the lowest price. Nevertheless, there are several useful options with decent features that you can get at affordable prices.
This has to do with the substance the mop head is made from. Typically, they are made out of the cotton fiber, nylon fiber, microfiber, as well as other synthetic fibers.
These various materials play a significant role in how well a mop head can clean, so if you are looking for the best mop material for your hardwood, microfiber should be your choice.
This is a vital factor to consider in picking out the best mop for your hardwood. A portable mop, whether manual or automated, makes for smooth maneuverability and easy cleaning. For example, using a portable steam cleaner for your hardwood floor requires that you only grip the handle and push it around, while the device does the cleaning.
This factor is vital as the hardwood floor does not do well with excess water. Ensure that the mop you pick for it can clean without leaving the floor wet or damp, as this can lead to warping of the material.
This consideration should be key, particularly if you are opting for a machine mop. They mostly feature pads that are not highly absorbent. Hence they do not dry the hardwood as they clean, they only leave less liquid behind.
Whereas, the reusable and disposable mop heads dry off excess liquid as they work. Their drying effectiveness is dependent on the strength level of the cleaning strokes.
This is a function of the combination of material and machine, whether they are manual or automated. Some mops are ideal for general “run over” cleaning, while others are useful for spot cleaning.
Therefore, since it is not given that every type of mop will clean your hardwood with the same level of efficiency, it is essential that you decide your cleaning needs and look for the mop that satisfies them.
Floor cleaning is already tasking and having to push around a bulky device while cleaning makes it more overwhelming. A lightweight tool makes it easy to clean your hardwood floor whenever it is necessary, even if it is for quick cleanups.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Just as it is with any other product or appliance, you should not expect to get the best mop for your hardwood at the lowest price. However, you can still get excellent options that offer useful and decent feature at fairly reasonable prices. Moreover, your needs play a significant role on the choice you end up making.
As a specialized mop might turn out to be a costly and unjustified investment if it is not practical enough for simple day-to-day use. So long as the mop you buy has the features that can address your cleaning needs, you have the best floor mop.
How To Use Mop For Hardwood Floor
The following are steps for wet-cleaning your hardwood floor:
Step 1 – Wrink Out Excess Water
Insert the entire mop pad into a bucket of water and wring out excess water by hand. Alternatively, you can hold the mop pad under sink faucet until it is saturated with water, then you roll it up and wring out excess water using your hand while ensuring that you wring out as much water as possible to enhance the mop’s cleaning capacity.
Step 2 – Ensure the Handle is Firmly Attached
Place the mop pad on the swivel which is resting on the floor, then attach the handle to the mop pad. Ensure it is firmly fitted.
Step 3 – Start Cleaning
Move the mop from side to side on the floor, ensuring that the cleaning pad is placed along the perimeter wall to clean out the edges of the wall. As you do this, keep moving backward, and continue mopping the rest of the floor in the conventional “figure eight” motion to ensure that debris and dirt are not left behind.
How To Clean Your Hardwood Floors
Your hardwood floor could be either old or new or a combination of both in different parts of your home. An old wood floor is usually worn and discolored in places as well as dented in other regions, while a new wood floor is typically lustrous.
Though the same mop can be used on both surfaces, the cleaning method will vary. The old wood will require multiple passes with the mop before its shine can be restored, while a single pass will polish the new wood perfectly.
Even when refurbished, old wood does not become as pristine as it used to be. Thus, its cleaning will require more time and effort compared to the new wood. Therefore, it is best to go for a comfortable and practical mop that suits the needs of the hardwood floor.
Do You Need to Vacuum
Before you begin to mop your hardwood floor, the first step would be to either sweep or vacuum the floor to remove larger pieces of dirt and debris which the mop cannot effectively pick up.
You can sweep the hardwood floor with a soft-bristled broom or an adjustable height vacuum, like the shark vacuum, which also features an on/off brush roll switch, making it safe for the hardwood floor.
How Often Should You Clean Your Hardwood Floors
It is ideal that the hardwood floors are cleaned as often as necessary because they last longer and do not need refurbishing as often when they are properly maintained.
However, if you cannot afford to clean your hardwood floor on demand, at least, always ensure that particles and dirt that can damage or degrade the floor are swept or vacuumed out often until you can give it a proper clean using a wet mop to remove stains and grime.
How to Wash and Maintain Hardwood Mop
The following are tips for washing and maintaining your microfiber mop heads:
- Wash microfiber in hot water mixed with mild detergent.
- Use a soft-bristled brush, if necessary, to remove stuck particles.
- Rinse thoroughly and air dry
- Wash in hot or warm water, mixed with mild detergent.
- Wash microfiber with only microfiber; if you want to mix loads, do not load cotton or other linting materials with microfiber, as microfiber will grab on to them as it would do with dirt.
- Do not use fabric softener to avoid clogging the open spaces the microfiber uses for cleaning, thus making it ineffective.
Quick Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips
- Air dry microfiber.
- If you must use a dryer, do so under low or no heat.
- Dry microfiber with only microfiber, to avoid linting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mop vs pet hair
Microfiber mop head is useful for picking up pet hair from surfaces when used dry.
How often do the mop heads need to be washed?
It is ideal to wash the mop head after each use, but if it isn’t dirty, it can just be air dried.
Are spin mops better than sponge or string mops?
It is a popular opinion among users that the spin mop is a better option; obviously because of its unique cleaning mechanism, which makes floor mopping an easy task.
How often should I change the water as I mop?
It is advisable to replace the cleaning water with a fresh one once it becomes dirty. More so, where you begin your cleaning from will also affect how often you change the water.
For example; if you start cleaning from the bathroom, you might want to change the water before cleaning your kitchen.
Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floor, which is necessary to ensure its durability is made easy if you are using the right kind of mop.
A variety of mops are available as well as affordable to enable you to take care of your hardwood flooring investment. However, your budget, and mostly, your cleaning needs will decide the choice you make eventually.
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