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. Bamboo is best cleaned with a hard-floor vacuum and a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors.
The first step in cleaning a bamboo floor is vacuuming up any dust or debris that could scratch the floor. Always use a vacuum cleaner specifically made for hard floors. Never use a carpet vacuum, because these contain beaters that could damage your bamboo. If you don't have a vacuum for noncarpeted floors, simply clean the floor with a dustpan and broom.
Hardwood Floor Cleaners
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 wood floor cleaners designed specifically for use on bamboo are ideal for regular use but are sometimes difficult to find. Look for them online if you can't find any locally.
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 their 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 immediately. 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 some 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.