Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Cleaning your hardwood floor can be quite a chore, and a confusing one at that. Many types of wood flooring cannot be cleaned with liquids and require special coatings in order to truly shine.

Wood floors are a wonderful asset to your home or business. Not only does it enhance the loveliness of your space, it actually raises its value. Moreover, finished wood flooring is neutral in color and style, so it’s easy to decorate around. It will always blend beautifully with any decorating trend.

Like all floor surfaces, time and use may diminish the beauty of your hardwood floors. Normal traffic patterns can lead to dull floors that appear prematurely aged. The cost of installing a wood floor does not allow owners to neglect regular maintenance.

Restore the natural beauty and elegance of hardwood floors with a professional deep cleaning.

We Specialize In Wood Floor Maintenance 

Wiz Team specializes in wood floor maintenance to enhance your floors appearance and maximize the life span of your natural surface.

Our professional hardwood floor cleaning will remove soil that you just can’t touch with conventional sweeping, mopping or polishing and will restore the luster and beauty of your hardwood floors.

Are you looking to keep your existing floor looking as good as new? Wiz Team, Inc. specializes in cleaning all types of hardwood flooring, and we pride ourselves in offering a high quality hardwood flooring cleaning service!

We use an odorless, dust-free technique to clean and polish your hardwood floor, a process that is effective on most wood floors and does not utilize the typical sanding system, yet effectively removes all dirt, residues of old wax and grease.

This maintenance process is designed to help you avoid the fuss and mess associated with normal sanding and refinishing. This process will not restore areas that have been damaged from water, areas worn from loss of polyurethane or deep scratches, and will, however, restore small scratches, provide durability while being environmentally friendly.

Hardwood Floor Stain Removal Cleaning
Hardwood Floor Stain Removal Cleaning
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
Hardwood Floor Cleaning - Buffing
Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Learn the Top 8 Best Methods to Hardwood Floor Cleaning:

I get a lot of questions about how to clean and maintain a hardwood floor from two groups of people. The first group is lucky.  To begin, they have a new floor finish. This new floor finish will  be either on a new prefinished floor, or a sand-on-site floor, or on a recently resanded and refinished existing wood floor. Mostly what these folks are missing is information on how to maintain that floor finish.

Most hardwood flooring contractors give short shrift to this subject. They usually mention washing the floor with vinegar and water, or oil soap, or they try to sell you some rather expensive cleaning agents supposedly meant only for hardwood floors. They will try to convince you that only their special floor cleaner should be used or the warranty will be voided.  Oh, what coercion !  So my task here is to set you on the right track from the beginning.  In the second part of the article I’ll address the people who have no idea what floor finish they are dealing with. How to improve the longevity of your floor

New Floor Or Newly Refinished Floor Maintainence

First, I’m going to refer to water based cleaners. These are the safest and easiest cleaners to use on a well finished floor.  Well finished means the finish must be either 3 coats of oil modified polyurethane (no lacquer sealers please), or 4 coats of a water based finish (either a  one part oxygen crosslinking formula,  or a two component catalyzed type).  The pre-catalyzed conversion finishes (Swedish finishes) and moisture cured urethanes are also very water resistant.

If the floor is in a kitchen or heavily used area, one more coat than is normal must be applied. A lot of poorly finished floors cannot handle any kind of water based cleaners. Be sure you know that you have one of these 5 finishing systems before you start to clean you floor.  I’ll assume that a prefinished floor has a factory applied conversion finish that is not a wax or oil based. These floors can be damp mopped with water based cleaners,  but not wet mopped! I’ll discuss this later.

The best cleaning agent for a new floor finish is a PH neutral cleaner. Be sure you wait until your new finish has cured.  Oil based polyurethane finish take a month to cure while most water based finishes take 2 weeks to fully cure. Cleaners are available in various PH’s. This is a measure of their alkalinity or acidity. The lower  PH  cleaners (more acidic like vinegar)  will work on dissolving hard water and mineral deposits. So this makes vinegar a good rinsing agent but a poor cleaning agent. It won’t clean grease or dirt.

A high PH cleaner ( more alkaline like soaps and harsh detergents) are really good at dissolving grease and dirt, but this higher PH will, in time, dull the floor finish. They will harm  your skin also.  Cleaners that are PH neutral are available at most cleaning supply houses but they are formulated for washing vinyl floors that have been waxed with an acrylic polish without harming the wax. That’s how mild those cleaners are.  The Cleaning Center at www.cleanreport.com carries a product that is specially formulated for wood finishes.

Wood Wash is one of these. It’s safe to use on new floor finishes and is biodegradable. It comes in a concentrated formula and you can make a gallon of floor cleaner for about 70 cents. I like to use distilled water for dilution because it avoids any hard water streaks and brings my cost to only $2.50 per gallon of cleaner. I like to vaccuum my floors thoroughly first,then I get down on my hands and knees and spray the cleaner on an area that’s easy to reach. I use one rag to clean the floor, and keep a drier rag handy to buff the floor dry. I get a super clean streakless floor that way, and the gallon of cleaner lasts a long time.

You can also mop this solution on a well finished floor. Damp mopping is a method where by you wet the mop slighly ( dip it in the bucket and wring out almost dry). Go over the floor twice, once to disolve the dirt and after rinsing the mop and ringing it, give it one more mop pass to remove the guck. If you have a prefinished floor it would be a good idea to buff the floor dry with a towel or buffer.

That brings us to one important issue.  What special considerations should one make when cleaning prefinised floors? The first two cleaning methods I described so far are OK for a prefinised floor that has a conversion film finish on it. This is a finish that is quite resistant to water, but because the wood has not been coated on site, any further wet mopping will send water down between the boards and damage the wood. Some contractors will install a prefinised floor, and then apply one or two more coats of a cross linking finish, to seal up these seams. This would be the rare case, so unless you know that this has been done, never wet mop your prefinished floor. Just damp mop and buff dry.

The wet moping method uses the same solution but wringing the mop out only a little. Again wet the floor first, and scrub the dirt off with a non abrasive white pad (and in this case a large area can be done).  Wring the mop dry and remove the dirty liquid from the floor, then rinse the mop in clear water and rinse the floor once.  You can, if you want, buff the floor dry with clean terry cloth rags. Wet mopping need only be done once a month or less, and only when the floor is really dirty. This would mostly apply to a kitchen floor or other heavily-used areas.

Lets stay with the first group that has new floors or newly refinished floors. The next most commonly asked question is what do I do when the floor gets scratched ?  All film finished wood floors, no matter how tough the finish is, will, in time get scratched. So now there are two ways to go. The first is to ignore all but the deepest of scratches and plan on recoating the floor every so often. This is what I do on my floors.

On the deep scratches, I will however, fill them  with floor finish applied with an artists brush. A couple of coats will be needed to fill up the scratches that have gone down to the bare wood. Use the floor finish according to directions even with these minor touch ups. A kitchen floor needs to be recoated every 2-4 years and the rest of the house every 5-10 years. A flooring contractor can do this for as little as 60 cents per sq. ft. In every case the old finish needs to be prepared by scuffing (a light sanding of the finish, not the wood) and  good cleaning to remove all the fine dust that the scuffing made. I use lint free rags wetted with paint thinner. Be sure to let the paint thinner dry off before brushing on the new finish.

The very nature of these durable crosslinked floor finishes make them very difficult to blend in a small touch up. Don’t be tempted to paint a fresh coat of floor finish where the surface has not been scuffed-sanded and cleaned. The finish will certainly not stick. You may find that you have to recoat a whole board that has been scratched, or a whole area of the floor from wall to wall. Before you go out to purchase a prefinished floor, see if they sell or provide free, a matching touch-up kit, with this rather expensive floor. Don’t be too disapointed if the finish in the touch- up kit doesn’t match the floor. Most factory applied conversion finishes are almost impossible to imitate with a site applied finish. In a few weeks of wear and tear, these will be less noticeable. After all it’s only a floor.

The trick is to recoat the whole floor when it still looks good. You must be sure nobody has used anything on the floor other than the PH neutral cleaner that I suggested. A lot of professional house cleaners will apply various liquids on hardwood floors in an attempt to impress you. If any of those treatments in the 10 year period have been waxes, oils or silicone polishes, you are sunk. You can never be sure of removing all of these contaminents, and a recoatng with a modern film finish will either never dry properly or never stick on top the origional coating. Alas, you must then resand and refinish the floor all over again, or join the waxing crowd.

Waxing is not such an arduous task anymore, and the newer water based acrylic waxes are simply applied, left to dry and don’t need to be buffed. The best place to use this water based wax, is a sand-on-site floor that is subject to lots of scratching. For some, the way to go is to use a high solids acrilyc wax. Top Gloss is available through the Cleaning Center at www.cleanreport.com. This is applied to a clean, well-finished wood surface and left to dry. It will give you that high shine you see on commercial floors. You will have to strip this wax off with a Mop Stripper and rewax, but this is only a once or twice a year  project.

Just remember once you use this wax it may be impossibe to remove it all. Someday you may want to recoat the floor with a modern film finish, like polyurethane. You will have to sand the floor to the bare wood and completely refinish it. With a well maintained acrlyc waxed floor you may not have to for twenty years or so. I wouldn’t suggest using this water based waxing and stripping system on a prefinished floor, there  are just to many seams exposed to the water. But, a prefinished floor that has been re-coated at least twice on site will be quite water resistant.

The Wiz Team is a full service carpet cleaning and restoration service. We service Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette Glenview, Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palantine, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Mundelein, and more. Contact us today for your cleaning and restoration needs.

Every year, we look forward to the warm summer months. July and August bring trips to the beach, mountain hikes, sudden storms, and days spent by the pool. We take care to protect our skin from the summer heat, but you might be surprised how high temperatures and sunlight are affecting your hardwood floors, too.

Your hardwood planks are highly durable, but it’s still important to care and protect them with regular maintenance. Make sure summer is kind to your beautiful home with these smart, simple tips for protecting your hardwood floors during summer.

The Doormat Difference

Remember during the winter season, when you made sure that everyone wiped their shoes on the doormat so no snow, ice, or dirt got tracked inside? Those doormats will come in handy during the summertime as well. (Bonus points if your doormat is a DIY project!) If you are on the coast or coming back from the beach, be extra careful about tracking sand into your home. Those sand particles can have a sandpaper effect on your hardwood floors.

Wiz Clean is engineered to withstand scratching and stains with a 50-year warranty to give you the ultimate peace of mind. Combine ArmorMax hardwood with strategically placed doormats at every entrance, and you can nip those scratches before they ever occur.

Shade over Sunlight

When we forget to apply ample sunscreen during the summer months, we feel the burn. Those same UV rays are no friend to our pristine hardwood floors. Discoloration is the last thing we want for our Brazilian cherry or mahogany planks, but that’s exactly what can happen from direct sunlight. Wood floors will also age faster from overexposure. Hardwood floors love the shade just like we do, so make sure to use curtains and blinds in these rooms.

       Design Tip: Add curtains or drapery with vibrant colors and patterns to keep rooms feeling summery and lively, even when keeping the sun out.

The Right Way to Clean

It’s not summer without backyard cookouts, BBQs, and block parties. Hosting means cleaning, and some people have the misconception that the right way to clean hardwood floors includes polish and wax. In reality, vacuuming with a floor attachment is the best way to care for your hardwood. You actually want to avoid using wax, oil-based cleaners, and acidic floor cleaners. For an extra clean finish and removing food stains, use an all-natural, organic, hardwood-specific cleaner.

Keep Humidity at Bay

Here’s a summer tip for hardwood floors that you may have never considered: use a dehumidifier. Nobody enjoys the high humidity levels during the summer, and that includes our hardwood surfaces. A dehumidifier will vastly decrease the possibility of your planks warping or cracking. The benefits far outweigh the cost, and you can continue using the humidifier function during the cold winter months.

Use these summer tips to enjoy a worry-free summer while maintaining the beauty of your home’s hardwood flooring. Remember to give your hardwood flooring the care it deserves. If you do, your wood floors will serve your home dutifully and beautifully for years to come.

The Wiz Team is a full service carpet cleaning and restoration service. We service Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette Glenview, Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palantine, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Mundelein, and more. Contact us today for your cleaning and restoration needs.

Wood floors look great, but they don’t have to be as high maintenance as many of us think. The folks at Wiz Clean have been at it again, this time investigating the best and easiest ways to clean wood floors.

Wipe Out Dust Bunnies — Without Vacuuming

Go no farther than the laundry room. Used dryer sheets are like magnets to dust! Use them to wipe the corners and baseboards. Be sure to use the sheets after their spin in the dryer — fresh sheets have softener in them and you don’t want that on your floors.

Deep Cleaning: Wax, Paint, Scuff Marks

Wax: Take a bag of ice and cover the wax for about 30 seconds. This hardens the wax and makes it brittle. Then take a blunt-edged putty knife and chip the wax off.

Dried Paint: Soak a rag in alcohol and wipe the paint — it should loosen the splatter marks. Then use a putty knife (or spatula) to scrape off the paint

Scuff Marks: If you’re wearing socks, rub the streaks with your toe. This almost always makes the lines disappear. If that doesn’t work, apply a finish-friendly cleanser with a soft cloth, then buff.

Weekly Vacuum Once-Over

Be careful — upright vacuums all have rotating brushes, which can scratch floors. Newer models give you the option of disabling those brushes, but older ones don’t. If you can’t turn off the brushes, use a Swiffer or a broom.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning

Polyurethane finish: When using a floor-cleaning product, spray it on a reusable microfiber cloth and work the rag across a small section of the floor. (Or you could use a microfiber mop and save your knees!) Dry with a clean cloth, then move onto the next spot. Don’t wet the entire area at once because that could damage the wood.

The Wiz Team is a full service carpet cleaning and restoration service. We service Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette Glenview, Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palantine, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Mundelein, and more. Contact us today for your cleaning and restoration needs.

Misconceptions about hardwood floor cleaning are rampant on the internet. There are many people on Pinterest and home advice forums claiming vinegar and water are best for cleaning your hardwood floors or steam mops have made their hardwood floors look beautiful again. While these methods may appear to work for now, they can cause damage over time. We want to clear up these misconceptions and give you the facts from the long-term perspectives of flooring experts.

Myth 1: Vinegar and water should be used to clean hardwood floors

Fact: No. Vinegar and water seems like a great natural and easy floor cleaner since most people already have these products in their kitchen. But the vinegar can actually dull or damage your hardwood floor.  Instead use a product recommended by your manufacturer. Links to the hardwood care and maintenance sites for some common hardwood manufacturers can be found at the end of the post.

Myth 2: Damp mopping is the best way to clean wood floors

Fact: No. Water and wood do not mix. That soaking wet mop is putting too much water on the floors. Wet mopping can void your warranty and causes warping, de-lamination and joint-line separation. To prevent these problems, use a spray like the hardwood floor cleaner spray to lightly mist the floor and then use a dry mop.

Myth 3: Steam cleaners can be used on my hardwood floors

Fact: No. The mantra “wood and water do not mix” holds true here too. We have all seen the hawkers at home shows and infomercials on TV claiming that steam cleaners are great for sanitizing and cleaning your wood floors. But many hardwood flooring manufacturers list steam cleaners as a don’t in their hardwood cleaning advice and will void the warranty if you use a steam cleaner. Repeatedly using a steam cleaner can result in peeling, whitening or cloudy finish. If you want to keep your manufacturers warranty and a pristine finish on your floor, keep that steam cleaner away from your hardwood floors.

Myth 4: Vacuums with a beater bar can be used for hardwood floor cleaning

Fact: No. Vacuuming is recommended by most hardwood floor manufacturers – WITHOUT a beater bar. The rough bristles of the beater bar can permanently scratch your floor. Get a hardwood floor attachment to make your vacuum safer for to use on your hardwood.

Myth 5: I can use any cleaner on my floor including ammonia or oil-based cleaners.

Fact: No. Ammonia is a basic cleaner with a PH of 11 and can ruin the colour of your floor. Oil-based cleaners can leave a milky-residue on the hardwood. Stick with manufacturer approved cleaners to avoid any these ingredients.

Hardwood Care and Maintenance Info from the Manufacturers

The best way to keep your floors looking good and under warranty is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. All of our customers receive a copy of care and maintenance info in the mail after their job is completed.