Whether in the living room or bedroom, in the dining room or hallway: Wooden floors made of parquet or laminate create a homely atmosphere and, when compared to textile floors, are very easy to clean. What to pay attention to during cleaning and care and how to get rid of unsightly marks without damaging the expensive floor ‒ an overview of top tips for a beautiful wooden floor.
Parquet, laminate and similar: What should you pay attention to when cleaning these?
When it comes to wooden floors, a distinction is made between parquet, floorboards and laminate. Parquet and floorboards are made solely of wood, while laminate, in contrast, is made up of a mixture of materials with fibreboard. These covering types look quite similar, but have very specific properties:
Parquet and floorboards
Parquet is available in different variations, for instance strip parquet, mosaic parquet or herringbone parquet. A floorboard is no different to parquet flooring, but its boards or planks are produced from wood to a regular length and are therefore significantly longer than the pieces of wood in a parquet floor. With both floor coverings, how the surface is treated is crucial: They are either waxed, oiled or varnished. Waxed parquet is treated with wax, whereby the wood is given a matt to high-gloss finish. Oiled parquet is treated with oil, whereby wide joints are better protected against moisture. Varnished parquet reduces the penetration of moisture and dirt, though this does not prevent water from getting into the joints and deep scratches. The parquet is therefore sensitive to moisture. This means that, when cleaning, it is important to ensure that as little moisture as possible remains on the floor. This is known as damp cleaning. Furthermore, wooden floors may swell or shrink, depending on the humidity.
Laminate is usually laid with a wood effect, but is also available with a tile or stone effect. It consists of fibreboard as a base layer, a decorative layer and a clear melamine resin layer on top, referred to as the overlay. The surface is scratch-resistant and is easy to clean. However, the edges are usually sensitive to moisture – especially if the laminate has been laid incorrectly. You should therefore only damp-clean this type of floor covering, as is also the case with parquet, i.e. with minimum moisture.
Dry cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and feather duster
Before wet-wiping, dust and loose dirt, such as pet hair, should be removed from parquet and laminate using a vacuum cleaner, a broom or a feather duster. Otherwise, the wiping water is mixed with the dirt, which causes streaks or even fine scratches on the floor when you wipe it. When vacuuming wooden floors, it is important to use the right nozzle. Many vacuum cleaners have a special hard floor nozzle or an additional parquet nozzle. These are usually equipped with a small brush crown made from natural hair, which protects delicate wooden floors against scratches. You can then start the wet cleaning – whether the traditional way with the mop, a microfibre cloth or using a floor cleaner. When working with a mop or microfibre cloth, it is important to wring it out thoroughly before wiping the floor, so that only a little moisture is left on the wooden floor and this dries up within a few minutes. When choosing a fabric for cleaning, it is preferable to use microfibre: These fibres have a reinforced mechanical action and bind the dirt, even when no detergent is used. With oiled or waxed parquet, a chamois leather or cloths made of viscose or cotton can be used in order to protect the wiped surfaces.
Damp wiping with floor cleaners
Since parquet and laminate are sensitive to moisture, it is important to use as little water as possible when cleaning them. Otherwise, the floor covering may swell and be permanently damaged. Special floor cleaners are suitable for gentle, damp wiping. They leave behind minimal residual moisture, which dries fully in just a few minutes. And the annoying task of rinsing and wringing the mop manually is a thing of the past. Before wiping with a floor cleaner, you should remove dust and coarse dirt from the wooden floors. For models that also have a suction function, there is no need to pre-clean the floors with the vacuum cleaner. You can then start the wet cleaning. The best way to clean is to add a detergent for wooden floors to the fresh water. While wiping, the floor cleaner should be slowly moved back and forth in overlapping strokes. This ensures that the floor is cleaned evenly and that there are no streaks. The wooden surface usually dries within two minutes. If, after this time, you can still see wet areas, we recommend drying this manually with a soft cloth.
Tips for working with floor cleaners
- It is best to work backwards towards the door. This prevents you from stepping on areas that have already been cleaned before they have had a chance to dry.
- If there are residues of old detergent, this may affect the result. When using the floor cleaner for the first time, it may be necessary to treat the floor more intensively. You should therefore wipe the floor without detergent first so that any detergent residues can be loosened completely.
- When changing to other surfaces, for example from laminate or parquet to tiles, you should first thoroughly rinse the rollers or even replace them with a second pair of rollers.
- Do not spend too long cleaning one area so that the floor does not get too wet.
- In the case of oiled or waxed wooden floors, you should also avoid spending too long on one area as doing so could remove the oil or wax from the wood.
- Delicate floors, such as untreated cork floors, should be tested for water resistance in an inconspicuous area.
Wiping parquet and laminate with the steam cleaner
Parquet and laminate floors can also be wiped with the steam cleaner. Use the floor nozzle with microfibre cleaning cloth for this and quickly move back and forth with short blasts of steam. In doing so, it is important to only use as much steam as is required to loosen the dirt. Furthermore, the nozzle should not be held over one area for too long so that no puddles are left on the wooden floor. If the steam flow can be regulated on the device, you should select the lowest steam setting. In general, wooden floors should only be cleaned with steam if they have been laid correctly and no moisture can penetrate the joints and the unprotected edges. Otherwise there is a risk that the floor will swell.
It all comes down to the detergent
To ensure that the wooden floor is not just clean, but also well maintained, a detergent that contains a maintenance component in addition to the cleaning component should be used for cleaning. The right equipment for a specific wooden floor depends on how the surface of the wooden floor has been treated: Varnished wooden floors: A cleaner with moisture protection is ideal for the thorough and gentle cleaning, refreshing and care of varnished wooden floors (parquet, cork and laminate). It has an impregnating effect, whereby the floor covering absorbs less moisture. The wood is therefore not only protected against swelling, but also against new dirt. Oiled/waxed wooden floors: A cleaner with a special maintenance component that leaves behind a streak-free, semi-matt gloss and also protects the floor against moisture, is perfect for the cleaning and care of oiled or waxed wooden floors. However, in this case, you should also observe the dosing instructions since, in the case of frequent use of care agents, a sticky coating forms on the wood, which binds dust. You should not use alkaline detergents, such as multi-purpose cleaners, for oiled or waxed wooden floors, since they remove too much care agent from the wood. If there are still streaks on the floor after you wipe it, you may have used too much detergent. Areas that are used less often turn grey first because an excessively thick protective coating binds with the dust here. These areas should be wiped first and only using water. Then use the wipe care to clean the areas that are used more frequently. Tip: If you are unsure which detergent is suitable for your floor, we recommend testing it in an inconspicuous area. Additional information on cleaning and maintaining the respective floor covering are often also included in the cleaning and care instructions from the manufacturer of the floor covering.
SOS: Removing stains from parquet and laminate
Stains on wooden floors can be divided into two categories: Stains on the surface and stains that have already permeated the wood. As soon as liquids such as red wine or juice have been spilled on the floor covering, they should be absorbed using an absorbent cloth. Surface stains, such as food residue or scoring from shoe soles can usually be removed very easily using a slightly damp microfibre cloth. For stubborn stains, the affected area can be treated with a universal cleaner. Alternatively, in addition to universal cleaners, household remedies such as water with washing-up liquid, a neutral soap or a little fabric softener, a dirt eraser or some methylated spirit to remove dyes, for example. Dirty areas should always be wiped in the direction of the wood structure and be wiped afterwards with water. Stains that have permeated the wood are difficult to remove because the wax, oil or varnish often has to be removed first in order to reach the stain. In this case, often, the only remedy is to have the floor cleaned by a specialist company.
Suitable products for parquet and laminate
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Advertisement Parquet flooring is a favourite feature of many a house-proud person. A well-maintained floor can look impressive and add character to a property. However, parquet is also a sensitive material, over which care must be taken in its upkeep. This guide provides useful suggestions as to how to clean parquet floors and keep the home looking smart.
Cleaning parquet flooring is easy with regular maintenance! Vacuuming/sweeping daily or at least a couple of times a week will help prevent the build-up of excess dirt and dust. This will save you time and effort in the long-term when tackling a deep clean.
How to Clean Parquet Flooring
The most efficient way of cleaning parquet flooring is to carry out small but regular cleans, rather than leaving the dirt to build up until the clean becomes a bigger, more intimidating task. Regular vacuuming or sweeping will prevent the build-up of excess dirt, which could become embedded in the flooring, causing stains and, in the case of grit and sand, may damage the surface. It is recommended, however, to use a soft-bristled brush or broom, or a vacuum extension, in order not to scratch the surface when cleaning it. It is also important to test the brush on an inconspicuous area before use.
Prevention is Better Than Cure When Cleaning Parquet
AdvertisementAnother, perhaps less desirable, preventative measure would be to lay rugs down, in order to reduce the surface area of the flooring that is open to the collection of dirt.
How to Clean Parquet Flooring: A Step-by-Step Guide
But how to clean parquet floor when the dirt is more ingrained, or when that periodical deeper clean is needed? The following steps will help you get your floor clean again: The Poll Where do you buy your dishwasher tablets? 0 Votes
- Begin with a thorough sweep or vacuum of the flooring, to remove all surface dirt, as described above. If preferred, specialist tissues, specifically designed for collecting dirt from parquet flooring, are available to purchase. Remember to read the instructions on the label before using any new cleaning product, and to test it in a small inconspicuous area first.
- For the cleaning stage, warm water alone is often sufficient to give the surface a fresh, clean look. Check first, however, whether or not the flooring is sealed. If so, you can use a little more water in order to mop the surface. If not, water should be used more sparingly, in order to avoid the wood suffering either from water stains or from swelling. Dampen a cloth and wring it out thoroughly before applying it to the surface.
- Water alone may not be sufficient if grease and grime stains prove more stubborn. In those cases, vinegar may be the answer. Add half a cup of white vinegar to around four to five litres of warm water and apply it to the affected area. The vinegar will help to loosen those more persistent marks.
- If stains persist, consider buying a specialist parquet flooring cleaner. Many have the additional benefit of including nutrients and additives which will leave the flooring looking fresher. Again, make sure to read the directions on the label and test it in a small area first to make sure that it is suitable for your floor.
- For either the vinegar or the cleaning product, remember to apply only to a small area at first, in order to ensure no major damage, should the flooring react badly to the cleaning solution.
- In all the above cases, use cloth to dry the flooring afterwards, in order to remove excess water and avoid the danger of water stains.
- Should water stains appear, place material such as a napkin or an old t-shirt over the mark, and use an iron or a hairdryer to dry the ingrained moisture. Take care when using hot appliances to avoid injury.
If In Doubt
If unsure at any next stage about the best next step, contact an expert for advice. This is particularly true if considering a deeper treatment, such as buffing, sanding, or waxing. Originally published
In this article recommended products for cleaning oiled parquet:
Invalid table id. Unlike conventional floor coverings, with parquet the correct cleaning and care is extremely important. With the right care measures and cleaning adapted to the requirements of the parquet, the floor will remain fresh, clean and always well maintained. Cleaning and maintenance of parquet is not difficult if some rules are followed. Wood reacts sensitively to moisture, so when cleaning parquet, care must be taken to ensure that the floor does not get completely wet. The cleaning utensils also play a role, so that the parquet can be maintained without causing damage. With good equipment, cleaning is relatively effortless.
Recommended product for cleaning sealed parquet:
Basically, when cleaning parquet, a distinction is first made between sealed or oiled parquet. The second consideration: Do the wooden floorboards need to be cleaned thoroughly or is it sufficient to remove dust and crumbs? Now and then, more extensive measures are necessary if the parquet is to be maintained and treated well.
Parquet and vacuum cleaner: Is the vacuum cleaner allowed to clean the parquet?
Parquet floors may be vacuumed if the vacuum cleaner has a special hard floor nozzle. This ensures that the parquet floor is not damaged. You should be careful when handling the vacuum cleaner – especially if it is a floor vacuum cleaner. With handheld vacuum cleaners, only the nozzle comes into contact with the floor. It is also advisable to use a small cordless vacuum cleaner, recommended for example in households with children, if crumbs fall to the floor frequently. Otherwise, a soft mop is sufficient for removing dust and crumbs, with which crumbs and dust lint can be quickly removed. The use of a steam cleaner is only recommended in rare cases.
Cleaning sealed parquet: This is how the sealed wooden floor becomes fresh and clean again
In addition to dry cleaning, wet cleaning is a further component of parquet cleaning. Sealed parquet is more sensitive to water than oiled parquet. The professional advice is that a sealed parquet floor must not be exposed to too much water. Water can creep under the parquet sealing. The wood can swell in the worst case. Grey veils can form at the joints of the parquet, other unsightly discolourations are also possible. If you want to clean hardwood flooring damp, you should pay attention to the note “damp fogging“. This means that the mop or cloth must be wrung out thoroughly and only slightly damp. Under no circumstances should puddles form on the parquet floor. The mop contains the right amount of moisture if the floor dries again immediately. Water without additives is suitable, but you can also use a suitable parquet cleaner for cleaning the parquet. Important: The best choice is a parquet cleaner recommended by the parquet manufacturer. Please do not experiment yourself! Certain cleaning agents are even extremely harmful. Vinegar cleaner may be used e.g. never, it can lead to discoloration which cannot be removed. If there is particularly heavy soiling, use an intensive cleaner to clean the parquet. Here too, the manufacturer’s instructions must be observed. The room should be well ventilated during and after cleaning. Sometimes liquids can be spilled. Be it from carelessness while watering flowers or through a fallen glass. In this case, water and other liquids should be absorbed as soon as possible. This way nothing can penetrate the parquet. Clean the parquet properly with a mop
Clean oiled parquet: Tips for careful cleaning
Even oiled parquet should not get really wet, but in principle a little more water is allowed when cleaning parquet. The ideal cleaning agent is a special wood floor soap. Follow the instructions on the packaging. The wooden floor soap may foam when cleaning the floor, damage or grey haze does not occur when using the soap. The components of the wood floor soap have positive effects for oiled parquet. The soap contains not only cleansing substances, but also caring oils and waxes. In this way, the floorboard floor receives the right care with every cleaning process. If there are only a few traces to be removed, a slightly damp mop without detergent is sufficient, but cleaning should not be carried out over a long period of time exclusively with water. Good ventilation is also important for oiled parquet. After damp cleaning, the parquet floor must dry before it is walked on again so that no footprints remain.
Caring for sealed parquet: How to preserve the beauty of the parquet
Sealed parquet remains permanently beautiful with the right care measures. It is advisable to lay the parquet immediately after the floor if a special initial maintenance is used. This measure should also be applied after the laying flooring. The parquet manufacturer recommends products that are suitable for parquet maintenance. Special products are also useful for ongoing cleaning and care. There are two possibilities here:
- You can use a combined wipe care, in which case the care product is already integrated.
- Alternatively, if only a cleaning agent is used, a parquet care product should be applied approximately every four to six months.
In rooms with heavy use, for example in commercially used rooms, special care is required more often.
Maintain oiled parquet: The requirements of an oiled parquet floor
If you want to maintain oiled parquet, you can opt for a wood floor soap right away. The oils and waxes it contains are sufficient for normal care. In addition, the floor may be treated with a special maintenance oil. It makes sense to apply a maintenance oil about once or twice a year when caring for your parquet floor. If the ongoing maintenance cleaning should only be carried out with a conventional parquet cleaner, the maintenance measure with maintenance oil is necessary more often. A cotton mop is very well suited for applying the care oil.
Cleaning heavily soiled parquet
If the parquet floor is extremely dirty, a specialist company is the right place to go. You can rent polishing machines or hire the expert who will clean the wooden floor with the appropriate equipment and intensive cleaning agents and bring it back to life.
When does one have to re-oil parquet?
The purpose of re-oiling is to maintain the resistance of the parquet. The “untreated” character is shown to its best advantage, but the parquet needs the right care with re-oiling. Re-oiling is recommended about once a year. For a very lightly used floor, treatment every two years is sufficient. Floors that are subject to heavy use should be oiled more often. In public buildings, this can even happen once a week. Before re-oiling, the floor must be thoroughly cleaned (remove all removable objects such as carpets or floor protection mats etc.). The floor can be wiped with a damp cloth. For heavy soiling, but also simply as care, you can use a special wood soap. After cleaning, the floor must dry well for at least five hours. Only then is the care oil applied. For re-oiling, the oil is also available in spray form. The applied oil must be well absorbed, then the floor is polished. No remains of the oil should remain on the ground. A good wood care oil ensures that the wood is antistatic and resistant to dirt. The floor is given a matt, silky shimmer.
Further products & Bestseller on the subject of “parquet cleaners
- In this article recommended products for cleaning oiled parquet:
- Recommended product for cleaning sealed parquet:
- Parquet and vacuum cleaner: Is the vacuum cleaner allowed to clean the parquet?
- Cleaning sealed parquet: This is how the sealed wooden floor becomes fresh and clean again
- Clean oiled parquet: Tips for careful cleaning
- Caring for sealed parquet: How to preserve the beauty of the parquet
- Maintain oiled parquet: The requirements of an oiled parquet floor
- Cleaning heavily soiled parquet
- When does one have to re-oil parquet?
- Further products & Bestseller on the subject of “parquet cleaners
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