Clean Bamboo Floors Now
More and more homeowners are choosing bamboo floors for their homes and other interior spaces. Perhaps you are considering purchasing bamboo flooring and are trying to decide whether it is right for your circumstances and living environment – or perhaps you already have bamboo flooring in your home and want to know the best way to keep it clean and well-maintained, so that your investment will last for years to come.
Bamboo flooring is favored by many over standard hardwood flooring because of its structural advantages and the fact that it is significantly easier to care for and keep clean. Bamboo’s unique properties and manufacturing process means that it gives the warm, rich color and appearance of fine hardwood flooring, but remains easy to maintain.
The surface of bamboo flooring is coated in a substance called urethrane, which is designed to protect the bamboo material from wear and tear. However, if the urethrane coating begins to deteriorate, thanks to abrasion by sand, grit, dirt and other materials, this can leave the raw bamboo surface exposed, which will cause damage that is more difficult and costly to repair. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a broom with fine-fiber bristles nearby and to regularly sweep the bamboo flooring to dislodge debris that may cause abrasion and gradual wear. For a more thorough clean, use a vacuum cleaner periodically to clear debris from the flooring. How often you need to sweep or vacuum will depend on the rate of ‘traffic’ through your house and the location of the bamboo flooring. For example, if the flooring lies next to a threshold, you will find that debris accumulates much faster and that the flooring requires considerably more frequent maintenance.
After running the vacuum, it is a good idea to wash the floor. Bamboo flooring can be exposed to moisture without the risks of swelling, dishing or raised grain that other forms of hardwood flooring are subject to, as the bamboo fibers are largely impervious to moisture. However, you should avoid letting moisture sit on the floor for long periods of time, as this can eventually cause deterioration of the wood.
Use a clear-drying cleaner that does not require rinsing – this might be washing-up liquid mixed with warm, clean water. You should avoid leaving cloudy or streaked residue from the cleaning detergent, as this will build up on top of the bamboo’s clear finish and make the wood appear dull and dirty. Avoid using floor cleaners which contain grease, oil, corrosive or heavily acidic chemicals – always check the label before applying to your floor surface, and follow any instructions carefully to ensure that you do not damage your floor. If you do not want to risk smearing or streaking the floor, there are a number of simple home cleaner recipes you can try, using very basic and inexpensive ingredients. A popular home remedy is a mixture of vinegar and water in a ration of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water: this very mildly acidic mixture is effective in clearing dirt and grime while leaving the floor’s surface and coating in tact. You should always aim to keep your bamboo floor surface dry, as this will minimize areas of dust collection.
One solution for faster and more effective cleaning is to purchase a good quality floor mop with a micro-fiber mop-head. With this, you will be able to damp mop your bamboo flooring and clear off dirt, grit and residue in a matter of minutes. Make sure that the mop head is not saturated by squeezing out excess moisture before applying it to the floor. Avoid leaving puddles on the flooring. These mops use very fine fabrics which absorb and retain materials such as dust and dirt, leaving your floor surface clean and clear. There is no need to wash off detergent or floor cleaner afterward, making this an excellent time-saver.
If you spill something onto the bamboo floor, use a cloth to clean it up. You can fill a spray bottle with the solution of vinegar and water described above, and use it to wipe the area clean. Dry the area with a towel immediately afterward. If you notice any streaks on the flooring as a result of moisture, polish them away using a damp cloth to ensure that they do not stain. Avoid scratching your flooring as much as possible: when moving furniture, lift rather than drag it across the room. You can also put fabric coasters under the feet of furniture that could potentially scratch the floor – this will give your floor a much longer lifespan. It is worth paying attention to shoes and footwear worn on the floor, as some shoes are prone to leaving dirt and scuffs behind. If necessary, cover areas that are heavily used with a rug or mat to protect the floor from build ups of dirt, grease and grit. Make sure that you shake out or vacuum these floor-coverings regularly.
Do not be tempted to apply floor wax to your bamboo’s surface. While it may seem like a good idea if you want to improve the floor’s luster and shine, wax is not recommended for use on bamboo flooring because it can result in problems with adhesion if the floor ever needs to be refinished, even years down the line. Urethrane and other coverings cannot be applied if there is a layer of wax on the bamboo flooring.
Tips on How to Clean Bamboo Floors
Today, many homeowners are investing in the more environmentally friendly, bamboo floorings for various rooms in their home. This type of flooring is not only attractive and durable, but it also has some distinctive advantages over other types of flooring. One of the most significant advantages is in the care and cleaning of this type of flooring.
Unlike other types of flooring, bamboo floors are not made from hardwood. Bamboo is a grass that, unlike a tree product, is not solid. The stalks of these grasses are bonded and then milled to create a product that has a similar appearance to hardwood flooring. It is then coated with a clear urethane that makes for a top coat that is clear and durable. These floors provide the same type of warmth and luxurious feeling as hardwood but their care and maintenance is much easier than a hardwood floor.
Bamboo flooring can be very easy to care for as long as one does regular maintenance. On a daily or weekly basis, depending on the amount of traffic that the floor handles, it should be dust mopped using a good quality dust mop or swept with a fine fiber broom. The super fine materials these products are made of are ideal for picking up dirt, sand other types of grit. In addition, a vacuum with a felt head may provide a more through cleaning of such debris.
When one needs to clean the floor itself, the task is much easier than with other floors. By using a microfiber mop one can add a small amount of vinegar to water and simply damp mop the area. Bamboo floors should not be wet mopped or left wet. One can find many commercial products that are made especially for these types of floors and they can be an ideal choice for cleaning as well. Bamboo floors should not be waxed. One should never use alkaline products or detergent on this flooring. In addition, cleaning items such as steel wool or other types of scouring pads may damage the surface and should be avoided. Light mineral spirits can be used to remove materials such as lipstick, crayon or grease. Light mineral spirits is a solvent that is very mild and used to thin paint and paint products.
To help ensure that one’s floor stays as clean as possible, it can be an excellent idea to put mats near entryways and in areas that experience a lot of high traffic. This can prevent a great deal of dirt and grime from covering the floor. In addition, adding felt pads to one’s furniture legs and other items that are placed on the floor, could be a good way to avoid scratching or denting to the floor.
Bamboo floors can be an excellent addition to one’s home. If they are properly maintained, they will add an elegant look to one’s home and last for many years as well. These floors are an environmentally friendly way to have the feeling of hardwood floors without all the work that such floors entail.