Nick Gluckman, owner of Oggie Flooring and South African distributor of WoodCare Denmark, gives us his top tips for looking after wood flooring to ensure longevity.
1. Soap oil-finished wood floors regularly
“Soaping” a floor means mopping your wood floor with a wood soap designed to clean and protect oil-finished surfaces from dirt, stains, and wear and tear. I recommend WOCA Natural Soap, which cleans and leaves behind an invisible layer of soya and coconut fats, which greatly helps to make your oil-finished wood floor more dirt- and wear-resistant, and easier to keep clean.So why is wood soap so important for oil-finished floors? Think of it like caring for your skin. You want a product that cleanses and protects it from getting dry and cracked. Like a moisturising cleanser, wood soap removes the dirt and creates a new microscopic breathable soap film on the wood surface.
2. Clean and protect floors with proper wood-cleaning products
Carefully consider the products you’ll use for your wood floor cleaning, as you can easily end up with unwanted results if you use common household items. The pH value in some household items is very high, which means they could strip the finish, discolour the wood and leave your floor unprotected. I recommend cleaning your wood floors with WOCA Wood Cleaner and various wood soaps, for instance WOCA Natural Soap. These products are specially developed for cleaning and protecting wood floors in the most careful and efficient way.
3. Use two buckets when you clean wood floors
You need to use two buckets to properly clean the floor: one bucket containing the soap solution and a second bucket with clean water to rinse the mop. Change the water in the second bucket as needed. This two-bucket wash method prevents the floor from getting a greyish gleam caused by dirty water.
4. Microfibre mops are not recommended
Microfibre mops are mildly abrasive and will gradually wear down an oil finish on a wood floor. Use a cotton yarn twist mop instead.
5. Don’t use too much soap
Visible footprints on your freshly washed floor? The problem may be an excessive dosage of soap. Clean the floor with clean lukewarm water (without soap) and the footprints will disappear.
6. Don’t use soap flakes
Many people consider soap flakes to be a wonderful cleaning product at home for a variety of things, but this product does not have a beneficial effect on wood floors.
7. Reduce surface tension with a proper wood cleaner
Surface tension is present when a basic treatment or maintenance product does not penetrate into the wood. It is often seen with new and dried-out wood floors. A thorough cleaning with a tailored wood cleaner reduces surface tension, allowing for treatments to be done with great results.
8. Use specific cleaning products on lacquered wood floors
If you decide to clean your lacquered floor with a cleaning solution with a high pH value, this will slowly damage the lacquer in the long run and leave the floor unprotected. Instead, the cleaning must be done with a specially developed soap, such as WOCA Vinyl and Lacquer Soap. This pH-neutral soap efficiently removes dirt and grease from the surface without affecting the actual lacquer finish.
9. Look for easy-to-use products to maintain oil-finished wood floors
Maintaining an oiled floor is now easier than ever, especially when using WOCA Oil Care, which can be applied manually without using a polishing machine. The Oil Care dries extremely fast, allowing the floor to be used with caution after 1 hour. WOCA Oil Care provides the floor with additional hard-wearing properties in the upper pore layer and a beautiful matt appearance.
10. Don’t forget to protect wood-look vinyl and lacquered wood floors
WOCA Vinyl and Lacquer Care leaves a microscopic protective film on the surface and repairs tiny scratches that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The scratches appear as matt areas on the surface in natural light. WOCA Vinyl and Lacquer Care can also reduce some of the severe wear under tables, caused by chairs being moved back and forth, while providing the floor with a fine matt appearance.