If you're lucky enough to have Blackbutt timber flooring then you'll understand the need to look after and maintain it. Fortunately it's a hardwearing material and can withstand a variety of treatments to help protect it, from staining to painting. Timber floors can be expensive, but make for one of the main focal points of any room, especially when paired with a gorgeous Persian rug. For new timber floor owners this little guide will give you some simple tips for cleaning and maintaining your floor, without the need for damaging, harsh chemicals.
Mop and Wipe
Wood is a natural material and as such, is porous and likes to drink up water. With flooring this can pose a major problem, especially if you are unable to control the flow of water due to a leaky pipe or rain damage. Flooring will absorb the water like a sponge and expand, which can cause warping, staining and buckling of the floorboards, which will then need to be replaced. Therefore when cleaning your timber you need to ensure that you use the least amount of liquid as possible. Investing in a good quality bucket that allows you to wring out your mop, will help you to clean effectively without saturating the wood. Hot water itself is fine and perfect for getting rid of dust and crumbs, however if you want more cleaning power try adding half a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Be warned though that the mop must only be slightly damp before mopping.
With the Grain
Timber floors are not completely flat. Instead they have natural undulations, which can trap dust and debris, even at a microscopic level. This can be an issue for some people, especially if you have allergies, as pollen and dust can remain embedded for weeks. To remove this, try to hoover the floor whenever possible first, this will reduce the need for water but also the suction will remove the larger particles. When you then proceed on to mopping the floor, ensure you work with the grain. Running across it will not lift the dirt up; however moving with the grain will allow you to effectively sweep it up without resistance.
Suck it Up
When vacuuming your flooring you want to avoid causing any scrapes or indentations. Try using an upholstery attachment, as this will remove the beater bar that can cause aesthetic damage.