How To Clean Sticky Hardwood Floors In Smart Ways

Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular floor types. It’s durable and soft and can upgrade the overall look of the house. Yet, it’s sensitive enough and needs extra treatment not to damage it, especially while cleaning it. 

Woman sitting on a wooden floor reading a book

Every homeowner faces a hard time while trying to remove sticky residue, whether you have tile floors or hardwood. It’s a bit tricky because you can’t use any floor cleaner you keep in your cupboards. There are some factors you need to consider. And we are going to help you. We are about to share with you smart and safe ways to clean sticky hardwood floors.

Causes of sticky wood floors

There isn’t just one cause that makes your wooden floors stick. In fact, there are more. And most of the time, it is something that you are doing wrong. Let’s see which are the causes and how to change them. 

1. Residue  buildup

Residue leftovers from drink spillages usually glue on the floors creating a sticky area. What’s more, in the kitchen, grease from cooking gets into the air and on the floor. Grease combined with other chemicals leads to sticky surfaces

Cleaning spillages from the hardwood floor with a soft cloth

2. Using the wrong cleaning agents

Every type of floor requires a different cleaning product. Plus, it depends on the stain you’re dealing with. Every product might clean the stain. However, it won’t remove sticky residue left behind. When choosing a floor cleaner, get the one that is right for your floor type. The right product will clean your floors without damaging them, plus it will prevent and remove stickiness.

What’s more, it would be rather helpful if you knew the type of stain you’re dealing with each time. If you’re dealing with an acidic stain, you need an alkaline hardwood floor cleaner and vice versa. 

3. Using too much cleaning solution

Using too much of the solution won’t clean your floors better. Instead, you end up with a sticky mess. You should follow the labelled instructions of hardwood floor cleaner to prevent soapy residue left behind and, as a result, sticky floors. A simple way to reduce the amount of cleaning agents you use is to have a dilution station. Most products are ultra-concentrated, and you need to dilute them with clean water. However, it isn’t easy to measure the correct amounts. That’s why you need a dilution station. It mixes water and the product in the correct amounts.

4. Cleaning with dirty water

While mopping, do you clean the whole floor with the same water? If yes, then that’s a huge mistake. The mop picks up dirt and debris and, when you wring it into the bucket, it dumps them into the water, leading to dirtier and stickier floors.

What can you do?  Here are some easy solutions:

  1. While mopping, change the water every time it changes colour, or you see debris floating at the top of the water. 
  2. Get a mop bucket, which keeps the dirty and clean water separate.
  3. Use an automatic scrubber. This tool scrubs the floors and, at the same time, applies the cleaning solution and vacuums the dirty water.
  4. Clean hardwood floors with a microfiber mop. It looks like traditional mops. However, it can hold onto much more dirt and debris without releasing them into the water. 

How to clean sticky hardwood floors

It isn’t very hard to clean sticky floors. Here are a few smart ways to do it.

EXTRA TIP: Before starting the cleaning process, collect all the debris and dirt from the floor using your vacuum cleaner or a soft broom. 

1. Vinegar and warm water

White vinegar on wooden table

Needed materials:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 4.5l warm water
  • A cleaning mop (or a sponge)
  • A soft cloth

Steps to follow:

  1. Mix a cup of vinegar with 4.5l water in a bucket.
  2. Dip your mop in the bucket of water and squeeze it very well.
  3. Mop the sticky residue until the mop glides over it.
  4. If you like, dry the floor with a dry cloth.

2. Ammonia and hot water

Needed materials:

  • A bucket filled with hot water
  • ½ cup of ammonia
  • A mop

Steps to follow:

  1. Pour the ammonia into the bucket with water and dip your mop. 
  2. Squeeze it very well to remove excess water and mop the floors.
  3. You need now to rinse ammonia off the surface. To do so, just follow the steps mentioned in the above cleaning process.

3. Mild soap and lukewarm water

Needed materials:

  • A bucket filled with lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup of mild soap
  • A mop

Steps to follow:

  1. Add the mild soap into the bucket and dip the mop.
  2. Wring it very well and start mopping. 

4. Using a steam mop

A steam mop is a reliable way to get rid of sticky wooden flooring as it uses vaporised water. Plus, it kills harmful microorganisms than traditional mopping doesn’t. Its main downside is that you need to find a suitable steam mop for the type of your floor. Otherwise, it might ruin the floor finish

A happy blonde woman cleaning her hardwood floor with a steam mop

Types of hardwood floors

Depending on the type of your floor, you’ll have to buy and use the proper cleanser. There are 5 main types:

1. Vinyl flooring

Vinyl is one of the most popular types of flooring, and you can find a great range of designs and finishes. It’s very durable, and it resembles ceramic, marble and stone floors. You can use it in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Vinyl flooring is easy to install and inexpensive. Its main drawback is that the colours may fade over time if exposed to direct sunlight.

2. Laminate flooring

Laminate is a multi-layer synthetic floor product. Laminate floors are very cheap and very easy to install. They’re durable enough, and you can find a wide range of floor finishes and designs. You better use laminate flooring in the living room, study room and playroom because of its non-resistance to water and moisture. Laminate cannot be sanded or refinished despite its similarity to real wood flooring; if it’s not laid well, it looks shabby. Finally, you need to know how to clean them without damaging them

Sample of laminate boards

3. Parquet flooring

Parquet is like puzzling. It consists of small pieces of wood laid as flooring and creating different motives. You can lay it in the entire house and create amazing patterns, but it’s best to avoid it in humid rooms like bathrooms. It’s very durable and resistant to high traffic levels, yet it isn’t so durable in direct sunlight. It can fade.  

4. Solid wood flooring

The solid wooden floor is the oldest floor type and the commonest one. It’s the most expensive of all, and it lasts longer. You can refinish it to revamp it, but also to sand it and stain it. You can install it anywhere in the house, but not on your own. You need to let professionals deal with it. 

5. Engineered hardwood flooring

Engineered is the type of flooring that looks and feels like a solid one. Their basic difference is that underneath the solid wood floor is a stabilising layer to add extra versatility. Engineered flooring can be stained to any colour and is suitable for underfloor heating. However, it’s much more expensive than some other typer, like laminate, and it’s very difficult to install. Professional installation is required. 

An orange bucket and a mop. Necessary tools to clean hardwood floors

Say goodbye to sticky floors with the above smart cleaning ways. To prevent future stickiness, determine what has caused it and change it. For example, if you use too much cleaning product, use less from now on. Or you may need to change the cleanser and get one more suitable for your floor type. 

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