Cleaning Light Oak Floors
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2010)
Have you ever noticed how beautiful light oak floors can be? There is simply something heart warming about that beautiful honey colored grain that can warm almost everyone's hearts. Cleaning light oak floors though can be a time consuming, and tricky prospect if you don't know what you are doing. In large part, this is due to the fact that the lighter colored woods (such as light oak) will make any perceived imperfection to stick out like a sore thumb. However, cleaning light oak floors doesn't need to be all that difficult. Frankly, all you really need to do is follow these simple guidelines.
- Sweep. When cleaning your wood floors, make sure that you always start off by sweeping them first. While oak is a fairly durable material, it can also be easily susceptible to damage. So when you are sweeping the floor, make sure that you are using a soft bristled broom, and that you are gentle while you are doing it. This will help you to not only get up the larger pieces of dirt and grime, but also keep you from accidentally damaging and scratching the floor.
- Dust mop. At least once a week run a dust mop over your floor. This will do two different things. The first is that it will help get up a lot more of the dirt and grime that can accumulate on the floor than you may be able to get with a broom. The second is that it can help you to lightly buff the floor while you are cleaning.
- Rubbing alcohol. For some stubborn stains, you can use a little bit of rubbing alcohol to remove them. Apply the rubbing alcohol to a soft clean rag (such as an old t-shirt), and then gently rub away at the stained area. Only use enough alcohol to dampen the shirt, but not soak it. The reason for this is that liquids can, and will, damage wood floors if you use too much. When you are rubbing, use a circular motion, and continue to do this until the spot has been removed. If you are hesitant about using rubbing alcohol, then you can use a mixture of a teaspoon of vinegar and 3/4 cup of warm water to get the same general effect.
- Mineral spirits. Mineral spirits can work wonders to get most kinds of stains off of light oak floors. Use them in the same manner that you would with the rubbing alcohol or the vinegar and oil. Unless the manufacturer's directions specifically say otherwise, never pour the spirits directly ont eh wood or you may run the risk of discoloring or further staining the wood.
- Buff the floor regularly. At least once a month, take the opportunity to buff and polish the wood floor. This will help to keep the wood in good condition, while also adding an extra layer of protection against any accidental damage or stains. Make sure that you use the correct type of polish though, since not all floors have the same kind of finish. Depending on if you have a wax, or polyurethane finish you will need to use a different polish. Always take a look at the label and ensure that you are using the correct type of polish, while also following the directions.
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