Bamboo floors are a favorite alternative to hardwood flooring, providing the same beauty and durability without the environmental concerns caused by hardwood harvesting. While bamboo floors are more forgiving than hardwood when it comes to humidity, too much water can still cause damage to the bamboo. Because of this, bamboo floor owners must take care when choosing cleaning products. The best way to clean bamboo floors is with a hard-floor vacuum and a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors.
Cleaning bamboo floors without streaks starts with vacuuming up any dust or debris that could scratch the floor. Always use a vacuum cleaner made for hardwood floors. Never use a carpet vacuum, because these contain beaters that could damage your bamboo. If you don't have a vacuum for non-carpeted floors, simply clean the floor with a broom and dustpan.
Some carpet vacuums have a hard-floor setting that allows you to turn the brush roller off when cleaning wood floors. Check the settings and the owner's manual for your vacuum to check for this option.
Hardwood and Bamboo Floor Cleaner
Most cleaners designed for use on hardwood floors are also safe for bamboo. No-wax floor cleaners work best, because they add luster to the floor without creating a waxy buildup. Hardwood floor cleaners with essential oils can add a bit of shine and a healthy look to bamboo floors as well, especially in areas with low humidity. Specialty bamboo floor cleaner designed specifically for use on bamboo are ideal for regular use but are sometimes difficult to find.
Always wring out your mop thoroughly. A damp mop works well, but a wet mop is bad for bamboo as the moisture can cause damage. Avoid using a steam mop on bamboo floors, as the steam and moisture can warp, discolor or otherwise damage the flooring.
Cleaners for Floor-Cleaning Pads
Floor-cleaning pads and mops, such as the Swiffer Wet-Jet and the Bona Hardwood Floor Mop, are safe for bamboo floors if you buy solution refills designed for hardwood. When choosing such cleaning products, look for models that spray solution in small amounts or in a wide spray instead of simply spraying a puddle of the cleaning solution in front of the mop pad.
Stains and Scuffs
To prevent stains, wipe up spills with a soft cloth. Always dab at sticky spills rather than rubbing so you don't spread the stain and make it bigger. Scuff marks are best removed with a rag dipped in wood floor cleaner combined with a bit of elbow grease. If you notice a water stain on your floor, place mayonnaise on it and let it sit for 15 minutes before wiping it up. If that fails to fix the stain, the floor may need to be refinished.
What Not to Use
What you don't use on your bamboo floor is as important as what you do. Never use ammonia, detergents, oil soaps or waxy cleaners on your bamboo. Avoid abrasive cleaners and acidic ones like vinegar, as well. Protect bamboo floors in kitchens and bathrooms with a rug. Make sure the rug doesn't have a rubber back, however. Choose a rug that will absorb moisture but not trap it between the rug and the floor.