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How To Clean Pre-Finished Hardwood Floors

2023-09-13, Laura Nieto


Pre-finished hardwood and bamboo floors have gained immense popularity thanks to their convenience, durability, and beauty. These floors boast an impressive finish right out of the box, and the looks and longevity of this finish largely depend on regular and proper maintenance. In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of how to clean pre-finished hardwood floors.

Click here to see all CALI Flooring Care & Maintenance Guides >

Understanding Pre-finished Hardwood Floors

Pre-finished hardwood floors come with a factory-applied finish, making them quicker to install and free from the need for any sanding or refinishing in the future. In the case of CALI Hardwoods and CALI Bamboo collections, planks are shielded by at least 10 coats of protective finish including aluminum oxide which helps with scratch resistance, sheen and durability.That finish is also covered by the floors’ 50-year residential warranty. This gives them better resilience than unfinished flooring. However, it's important to note that this specialized finish requires particular cleaning techniques to extend its shine and lifespan.

Essential Floor Cleaning Tools and Supplies
• Before cleaning, make sure you have the right tools and products:

• Soft-bristle broom

• pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner, such as Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Cleaner

• Soft cloths

• Microfiber mop (when needed)

• Vacuum (without the beater bar setting)

• Avoid steam mops and wet-mops. Excessive moisture can harm the finish.

Regular Flooring Maintenance Routine

The integrity and luster of pre-finished hardwood floors can be significantly affected by moisture. It’s therefore very important to avoid excessive water while cleaning. Steam mops should never be used when cleaning a pre-finished hardwood floor. Consistent, gentle cleaning is the key to maintaining these floors. By undertaking a regular cleaning routine, be it daily or weekly, you can help prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.

Start by sweeping the floor using a soft-bristle broom. For a deeper clean, consider using a vacuum, but ensure it's equipped with a hardwood floor attachment to avoid scratches. Ensure the beater bar setting is off.

Mistakes to Avoid

• Over-wetting the floor during cleaning

• Using harsh or inappropriate cleaning products or tools

• Sliding heavy furniture instead of lifting

• Using a beater bar setting on the vacuum

Step-by-Step Floor Cleaning Processes

• Clear the Area: Ensure all furniture and obstacles are safely moved out of the cleaning path.

• Dry Cleaning: Before introducing any moisture, it's important to get rid of surface dirt and dust. This can be achieved with a broom or vacuum.

• Damp Mopping: If there are spots or areas that require a bit more attention, use a mop that's only very slightly dampened. The floor should dry almost instantaneously.

• Spray Cleaning: For everyday cleaning,CALI recommends lightly spraying the area you wish to clean with a non-abrasive product like Bona Pro Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Wipe the sprayed area promptly with a soft cloth or dry mop in order to avoid dried residue.

• Dealing with Stubborn Stains: For tougher spots, make sure you use a recommended cleaner suitable for prefinished hardwood. For dried glue, products like Bostik Ultimate Adhesive Remover or Titebond Adhesive Remover wipes come in handy.
See more floor care and cleaning products >

• Preventing Water Damage: Never leave any standing water on the floor. After cleaning, ensure the floor is completely dry.

Preventative Care

Here’s how to protect the floor's finish on a day-to-day basis:

• Be mindful of heavy furniture, and use felt tips or soft rubber casters to cushion furniture legs.

• Trim pet nails to minimize scratching.

• Avoid walking with cleats or similar sports shoes.

• Ensure furniture legs have non-staining floor protectors.

• Avoid direct sunlight; consider using curtains and periodically rearrange rugs and furniture to ensure even floor color change.

• Do not use abrasive chemicals, wax treatments, or any cleaning products not designed for pre-finished hardwood.

Cleaning and maintaining pre-finished hardwood floors requires a bit of diligence and the right techniques. By following the proper steps and using the recommended products you can ensure your floor remains as dazzling as the day it was installed. Remember, proper cleaning doesn't just enhance aesthetics—it prolongs the floor's lifespan and ensures your investment stands the test of time.

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