Hardwood floors are often a homeowner's pride and joy. To keep them clean, there are a few cleaning products that you probably have in your home already that you can use safely on your wood floors. Use different products to best suit the condition of your floor and the type of cleaning you are doing.
A vacuum cleaner, soft bristled broom or dust mop are ideal to use every day on your hardware floor. It will keep the dust at bay without dampening your wood on a daily basis. Also, regular dusting or vacuuming will help prevent the wood from scratching, which happens as sand or dirt is moved across the surface when you walk across the floor.
Use a dry towel to quickly blot up any spills. If the spill is something that could stain, attract insects or leave some kind of residue behind, slightly dampen a second towel with water to blot and wipe the rest of the spill until the area is clean. Take another dry towel and buff the wood to get it as dry as possible.
Fortunately, most hardwood floors are have a water-resistant finish. Therefore, if after sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming your floors they still seem to be dirty and grimy, you can clean your floors a bit more thoroughly. MSNBC advises against using vinegar because of its acidity, so instead choose a pH-balanced wood floor cleaner, such as Bona Kemi. Murphy's Oil Soap, Zep Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner are examples of other cleaners that work well on most wood floors. Follow the dilution recommendations on the label and use a rag and squeeze out as much of the excess cleaning solution so you are applying very little moisture to your floors. Wipe your floors clean with the rag, and after washing a small section, such as a 3 foot by 3 foot area, buff it dry with a towel before moving on to the next section. Alternatively, Good Housekeeping Magazine recommends cleaning wood floors with Bona All-in-One Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner, which is both easy to use and won't get your floors too wet.
After a Flood
If you have had a flood, after scooping and cleaning out as much of the mud and debris as possible, but before the wood dries, clean your wood floors with water and a household cleaner that is also a disinfectant. Mix according to the label directions. Scrub your floors with a stiff brush. Be liberal with the cleaning solution and get your floor as clean as possible. Don't worry about damaging your floor with moisture since it's already wet. Repeat the cleaning process as necessary. Dry the floor as much as possible with towels when you're finished. If there is mildew or mold present after cleaning, mix 6 tbsp. of washing soda or trisodium phosphate for every gallon of water and apply with a stiff brush to clean off the mold and mildew. Rinse with clean rags or a mop and clean water when finished. Extremely damaged floors will need to be replaced. Subfloors that have separated will also need replacement.