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ASK KEN - EP. 22:

Should I still be mopping hardwood floors? If not, what's the best way to clean them?

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Ken's Quick Answer:

"Less is more. Forget mops, soapy cleaners, vinegar, and more. Stick to a microfiber mop with the cleaner that the manufacturer specifies."

Ken's In-Depth Answer:

"In the video above, you’ll see that I recently had a tough conversation with my mop. To summarize: “You, your tin bucket, your soapy cleaners… you’re through. You just don’t have any place anymore in cleaning today’s wood floors.”
Yes, in the old days, the mop and bucket was commonly used. But this is outdated: water and wood don’t mix. It causes wood to swell.
The old-fashioned soapy cleaners are also guilty of leaving residue on wood surfaces. Those aren’t any good either. Forget Pine-Sol, forget Murphy’s Oil Soap. And if you’re trying to go in the other direction and clean wood floors with a mixture of water and vinegar, that’s not a great idea either because vinegar is an acid. It will eventually compromise the wear layer or the finish of the floor.
Humidity and temperature are the archenemies of wood. That means you should avoid steam-cleaning devices that you see on TV. If water is bad for wood floors, then steam is just going to cook your floor! It’s not a good idea.
The best thing to do today is to use a microfiber mop with the cleaner that the manufacturer specifies. Or, if you’re going to buy something off the shelf, try the Swiffer system that’s made especially for wood floors.
When it comes to cleaning wood floors, less is more. Minimum moisture, microfiber mop, forget the bucket, forget the soapy cleaner, and forget the vinegar. I hate to say it, but forget the mop too.

If you have any questions about cleaning your hardwood floors, don't hesitate to give us a call at 401-214-0285 or visit our showroom. We serve customers throughout Rhode Island and southeastern New England, including Newport, Middletown, Jamestown, Portsmouth, Bristol and more.

Ken Fain smiling and wearing a green and yellow collared shirt

About Ken: Ken Fain is the co-owner of Island Carpet in Middletown, RI and a floorcovering veteran of more than 40 years. His popular 'Ask Ken' video series answers common flooring questions on a variety of topics. It has reached more than 100,000 viewers on both YouTube and Facebook.


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