How to Clean Old Parquet Floors

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Put together with a level of patience and craftsmanship not often seen today, old parquet floors are absolutely beautiful. Cleaning parquet floors can be a little intimidating, however, since you want to make sure you don't damage the wood. Fortunately, making your floor shine again isn't difficult. With the right cleaning products and a little know-how, you can get your old floors shining again without causing any damage.

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How to Clean Old Parquet Floors

Step 1: Vacuum or Sweep the Floor

You don't want to drag dust and dirt particles across the floor as you clean because this can lead to scratches. To avoid this issue, you should sweep or vacuum the floor before you start mopping.

  1. Sweep the floor using a soft-bristled broom. Take care to pull all the dirt from the corners of the room.
  2. Vacuum the floor if you can. To avoid damaging the floor, use a soft vacuum brush attachment or a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor setting. Do not run the vacuum cleaner in its normal mode as the beater brush could damage the floor.

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Step 2: Mop the Floor

When mopping parquet or other wood floors, use a cleaning solution specifically made for this purpose. Do not listen to the myriad of websites that advise using vinegar and other potentially harsh chemicals on your floor. This is not the best cleaner for parquet floors. There are lots of wood floor cleaners on the market today that are safer for the floor and do a better job of cleaning.

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  1. Visit your local hardware store and purchase a hardwood floor cleaner. Choose one that doesn't require rinsing or buffing after you mop. About 1/2 teaspoon of cleaning solution for every 2 square feet of floor is a good ratio.
  2. Fill a bucket with hot water.
  3. Apply the cleaner to the floor as directed by the manufacturer or apply the cleaner with a spray bottle to make the floor damp but not wet.
  4. Mop the floor with a sponge, microfiber, or another soft mop. Dip your mop in the hot water bucket and wring out thoroughly before letting it touch the floor. You do not want to waterlog the floor, so use as little water as possible to get the job done.
  5. Allow the floor to air dry.
  6. Buff the floor with a cloth diaper or other soft rag if desired. This step isn't necessary, but it will add a bit of polish to the floor.

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Warning

Do not ever, under any circumstances, steam clean parquet or other hardwood flooring.

Step 3: Stay Vigilent

Because hardwood and water don't mix well, clean your parquet flooring as infrequently as you can. This means acting quickly when spills happen and staying on top of some routine maintenance.

  1. Sweep your floors often, especially when you notice dust collecting on them. Frequent sweeping can help you go longer between moppings.
  2. Clean up wet and sticky spills as soon as they happen. To remove sticky spills, you may need to spot treat the area with some hardwood floor cleaner and a little elbow grease. Use a soft sponge or rag so you don't scratch the floors.
  3. Keep your pet's nails trimmed, if applicable, so they don't scratch the floor. Scratches don't look very nice and, more important, can be a gateway into the floor for water or dirt.

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