Monday, September 10, 2012

Green cleaning – taking care of your hardwood floor naturally

Is there anything more natural or environmentally friendly than a wooden floor? By stripping away the surface dirt and grime with Floor Sanding and Polishing, you can reveal the inner beauty of your hardwood floors. And they’re sustainable too – look after your wooden floors properly and they’ll probably outlast you! Just look at the quirky floor boards you find in buildings that are hundreds of years old. They may be a little uneven here and there, but with a bit of TLC they’ve managed to survive wars, floods, famine and everything that man and nature can throw at them.

So without doubt, hardwood flooring is a natural choice. But if you really want to fly the environmentally friendly flag high, choosing ‘green’ cleaning techniques can ensure that your hardwood floor stays looking beautiful without having an impact on the environment.

What are ‘green’ cleaners?

Green cleaners are products that do not use man-made or harsh chemicals. Not only are they kinder to the environment, but they’re kinder to you, too. The excessive use of domestic cleaning products has been shown to increase allergic reactions in both children and adults, and some cleaning products can be positively dangerous if mixed incorrectly. The fumes that chemical cleaners give off can cause headaches and nausea, while contact with the skin can cause dermatitis and other conditions. Those suffering from breathing difficulties such as asthma can also be hypersensitive to the effects of the fumes, even some time after the cleaner has been used.

Harsh chemical cleaners can also affect your pets, causing skin irritation and breathing difficulties in dogs and cats just as it does in humans. So the use of green cleaners is something that we should all be considering as a sensible alternative to harsh bleaches and chemicals.

What kind of surface do you have?

There are two primary types of finish for wooden flooring – surface-finished or penetrating-finish floors. Surface-finish floors are those that have a glossy or highly polished look and are often varnished. Effectively, the surface of the wood is sealed using an impenetrable layer of varnish. Penetrating-finish floors are those where the finish has penetrated into the wood, such as oil or wax. With these finishes you can often feel the texture of the wood grain through the surface finish. What kind of surface you have will dictate how you look after your floor.

Dust that broom…

But whether you have surface-finished or penetrating-finish floors, the real beauty of any wooden flooring is how easy it is to look after. Daily maintenance is simple – a quick brush over with a soft broom is all it takes to gather up all the dust from the surface and make your floor look radiant again. Using a soft broom is important to avoid scratching the surface, and is probably the ‘greenest’ way you can clean any wooden floor.

But for that once a week clean-down, choosing a citrus-based natural cleaner that is designed specifically for your type of flooring is the most natural way to keep your floor looking beautiful. There are specially made natural floor cleaners on the market that you can use that won’t dull the surface of your wood. For emergencies, scuff marks can be rubbed out using a sprinkle of baking soda on a damp sponge.

Prevention is better than cure…

As always, prevention is better than cure, so to keep your wooden floors looking their best without the need for constant cleaning, make sure you place doormats in high-traffic areas and keep wet, dirty or muddy shoes outside! There is really no need to use harsh chemical cleaners on wooden floors, so try going green and if you want to know more then talk to your local wooden flooring experts who will be able to recommend green cleaners that won’t damage the planet, or your wallet!

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