If you have hardwood floors, you may find you need to polish them from time to time in order to restore the shine. From shoes banging across them to children scooting their riding toys from one end to the other, floors in general take a beating on a daily basis. Even though wood floors are appreciated for being tough, their finishes are still apt to get scratched and scuffed. Here’s what you can do about it if you want your hardwood floors to shine.
Try Polishing Before Refinishing
If your hardwood floors are very banged up, you may feel like you need to refinish them before you polish but it’s a good idea to try polishing them first to see if you can avoid refinishing. Refinishing involves sanding the wood on the flooring down and then applying a new surface finish. It is costly and takes a lot of time too so polishing is definitely cheaper and easier as well. Plus, refinishing should only be done every decade or two and your polish will fade much more often than that.
Is Polishing Right for Your Wood Flooring?
The type of wood flooring you have and the kind of finish it has will determine whether or not you should polish it. Floors that have surfaces that are protected by a waterproof barrier like urethane will greatly benefit from an application of polish where wood floors with unsealed wood require wax rather than polish. It is imperative to know if your floor is a good candidate for polish before you apply it.
If you’re unsure, scrape a tiny bit off an obscure part of the wood and examine it. If your wood has a smudged effect on it but no shiny surface, your wood requires wax and not polish. A clear material on the sample is consistent with a sealed floor that will do well when polished.
Polishing Your Hardwood Floors
When you combine the right method with a specially formulated cleaner, polishing your wood floor can work wonders. It will not only add shine but will go a step further to even out any imperfections and add life and luster to your floor.
Purchase Supplies. A flat-head mop and a microfiber cleaning pad is all you need to apply commercial wood floor polish which is available in high or low gloss options in order to reach the look you are looking for.
Clean. Remove as much furniture and clutter from the room. Clean your floor by vacuuming or sweeping to get dust and dirt up.
Mop. Mop your clean wood, floor with a high-quality wood floor cleaner or solution mixed with a small amount of dish soap and a gallon of warm water. Once you have lifted the dirt off it, use a water-dampened mop to get the residue off then dry with a soft, clean towel.
Polish. Now it’s time to polish your wood floors to make it shine. Begin in a corner in the back of the room and mop a path so that you’ll end up mopping yourself out of the room since you won’t want to walk on the floor. Squirt the solution out in an S shape. Use your flat-surface top and work the solution back and forth so that only thin layers are applied and worked on. Once dry, apply another coat and continue until you are satisfied with the results being sure to work in small area patches.
Let the Floor Rest. It is best to wait at least one day before restoring the room to its normal state. If you need to put the furniture back in before then, you can but try to wait one hour before doing so.
Maintain Your Wood Floors. To keep your floors shining, you can place protective pads to the bottom legs of the furniture and also by placing rugs on the surface. Stick to a regular cleaning routine such as weekly vacuuming and a monthly deep clean. Avoid harsh cleaning solutions such as ammonia or vinegar based one and opt, instead, for an all-natural cleaner.
So there you have it – the simplest formula for taking up your wood flooring. Best of luck with your project.