Last Updated on July 5, 2023
When it comes to hardwood floors, matte finish has become increasingly popular in recent years. Unlike glossy finishes that have a reflective shine, matte finish offers a more subtle and understated look, enhancing the natural beauty of the wood grain. However, just like any other type of flooring, matte finish hardwood floors require proper cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of cleaning matte finish hardwood floors, providing you with valuable tips and techniques to ensure a sparkling and long-lasting finish.
Understanding Matte Finish Hardwood Floors
Definition and characteristics of matte finish
Matte finish refers to a type of topcoat that provides a low sheen or dull appearance to hardwood floors. Unlike glossy finishes that reflect light, matte finishes absorb light, giving the floor a more natural and muted look. Matte finish is often preferred for its ability to hide scratches, scuffs, and imperfections, making it an excellent choice for high-traffic areas.
Advantages and disadvantages of matte finish
One of the main advantages of matte finish is its ability to maintain a cleaner appearance, as it doesn’t show smudges, footprints, or dust as prominently as glossy finishes. Matte finishes also offer better traction, making them less slippery than their glossy counterparts. However, it’s essential to note that matte finishes may require more frequent cleaning, as they can show water spots or stains more easily.
Factors to consider before cleaning
Before diving into the cleaning process, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, it’s important to determine the specific type of finish applied to your hardwood floors, as different finishes may have specific cleaning requirements. Additionally, always check the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult with a flooring professional to ensure you’re using appropriate cleaning methods and products that won’t damage the matte finish.
Preparing for Cleaning
Gathering the necessary cleaning supplies
To clean matte finish hardwood floors effectively, you’ll need the right tools. Gather a broom or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, a microfiber mop or a soft cloth, a bucket, and a pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner specifically designed for matte finishes. Avoid using harsh chemicals, wax-based cleaners, or oil-based products, as they can leave residue or damage the finish.
Removing furniture and obstacles
Before you start cleaning, make sure to clear the area by removing furniture, rugs, or any other obstacles that may hinder your cleaning process. This will allow you to have unrestricted access to the entire floor surface and ensure a thorough cleaning.
Preparing the floor surface
Next, take a few moments to prepare the floor surface. Begin by gently sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. Pay extra attention to corners, edges, and hard-to-reach areas. This step will prevent the dirt from being spread around or scratching the floor during the cleaning process.
Step-by-Step Cleaning Process
Sweeping or vacuuming the floor
Start the cleaning process by sweeping or vacuuming the floor using a soft brush attachment. This step will eliminate loose particles and debris that can potentially scratch the floor during mopping.
Damp mopping using a suitable cleaning solution
Once the floor is free of loose dirt, it’s time to mop. Fill a bucket with warm water and add the recommended amount of pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner suitable for matte finishes. Dip the microfiber mop or a soft cloth into the cleaning solution, ensuring it is damp rather than soaking wet. Excess water can seep into the wood and cause damage to the finish.
Avoiding excessive water and harsh chemicals
When mopping the floor, remember that less is more. Avoid saturating the mop or using excessive water on the floor. Excess moisture can penetrate the wood and cause swelling or warping. Additionally, steer clear of using harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or vinegar-based solutions, as they can strip away the protective coating or leave residue on the matte finish.
Using microfiber mops or soft cloths for gentle cleaning
To clean matte finish hardwood floors effectively, opt for microfiber mops or soft cloths. These materials are gentle on the floor’s surface and won’t scratch or leave streaks. Start mopping from one side of the room and work your way towards the exit, using smooth and even strokes. Be sure to overlap each stroke slightly to ensure thorough coverage.
Paying extra attention to high-traffic areas and stains
High-traffic areas tend to accumulate more dirt and grime, so pay extra attention to these spots while mopping. Spend more time cleaning areas near entryways, hallways, or frequently used pathways. If you come across stubborn stains or spills, tackle them gently using a slightly dampened cloth and the recommended cleaning solution for spot cleaning.
Drying the floor thoroughly
After mopping, it’s crucial to dry the floor thoroughly to prevent water damage and streaks. Use a clean, dry microfiber mop or a soft cloth to remove any remaining moisture from the surface. Pay special attention to areas where water may have accumulated, such as around baseboards or in corners. Allow the floor to air dry completely before walking on it or placing furniture back in place.
Additional Tips for Maintaining Matte Finish Hardwood Floors
Using furniture pads or rugs to protect the floor surface
To prevent scratches, scuffs, and indentations on your matte finish hardwood floors, place furniture pads under chair legs, tables, or any heavy objects. Additionally, consider using area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to minimize wear and tear on the floor’s surface.
Regularly dusting and spot cleaning to prevent buildup
Dust and dirt can accumulate over time, dulling the appearance of your matte finish hardwood floors. To prevent this, make it a habit to dust the floors regularly using a microfiber mop or a soft cloth. Spot clean any spills or stains immediately to prevent them from settling and becoming more challenging to remove.
Avoiding wax-based or oil-based cleaners
While it may be tempting to use wax-based or oil-based cleaners to add shine to your matte finish hardwood floors, these products can actually create a sticky residue or alter the appearance of the matte finish. Stick to pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaners specifically formulated for matte finishes to maintain the floor’s natural beauty.
Using recommended cleaning products and techniques
Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or consult with a flooring professional to ensure you’re using the appropriate cleaning products and techniques for your specific matte finish hardwood floors. Different finishes may have unique requirements, so it’s essential to follow the recommended guidelines to preserve the integrity of the floor.
Taking preventive measures against scratches and scuffs
Prevention is key when it comes to maintaining matte finish hardwood floors. Place doormats at entrances to trap dirt and debris from shoes. Encourage family members and guests to remove their shoes when entering the house. Avoid dragging heavy furniture across the floor and consider using protective pads underneath furniture legs.
Dealing with Stubborn Stains or Spills
Identifying different types of stains
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, stubborn stains or spills may occur on matte finish hardwood floors. It’s important to identify the type of stain before attempting to remove it. Common stains include food or beverage spills, pet accidents, ink or marker marks, or scuff marks from shoes. Understanding the nature of the stain will help determine the most effective cleaning method.
Applying appropriate stain removal techniques
For food or beverage spills, gently blot the area with a slightly damp cloth and a mild pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this can spread the stain or damage the finish. For pet accidents, clean up the mess promptly and use a specialized enzymatic cleaner designed for hardwood floors to neutralize odors. Ink or marker marks can be treated with rubbing alcohol or an ink stain remover, applied carefully to avoid spreading the stain. Scuff marks can often be removed with a soft eraser or a cloth dampened with warm water.
Seeking professional help if necessary
If you encounter a particularly stubborn or persistent stain that you’re unable to remove, it may be best to seek professional help. Flooring professionals have the expertise and specialized tools to tackle tough stains without causing further damage to the matte finish. They can provide targeted solutions and advice to restore the beauty of your hardwood floors.
Long-Term Care and Maintenance
Establishing a regular cleaning schedule
Consistency is key when it comes to the long-term care of matte finish hardwood floors. Establish a regular cleaning schedule to ensure that dust, dirt, and grime are promptly removed before they have a chance to build up. Depending on the level of foot traffic, a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning routine should suffice for most households.
Periodic deep cleaning and refinishing options
In addition to regular cleaning, consider scheduling periodic deep cleaning sessions for your matte finish hardwood floors. Deep cleaning involves more thorough methods, such as using a hardwood floor cleaner machine or hiring professional floor cleaners. Deep cleaning helps remove embedded dirt and rejuvenates the floor’s appearance. Additionally, depending on the wear and tear on your floors, you may need to consider refinishing options to restore the matte finish. Consult with a flooring professional to determine the appropriate timing and process for refinishing.
Monitoring humidity levels and using humidifiers or dehumidifiers
Maintaining the right humidity levels is essential for the health and longevity of hardwood floors. Excessively high or low humidity levels can cause the wood to expand or contract, leading to warping or gaps. Invest in a hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels in your home. If necessary, use humidifiers in dry climates or winter months to add moisture to the air, and dehumidifiers in humid environments to reduce moisture levels. Keeping the humidity within the recommended range will help preserve the integrity of your matte finish hardwood floors.
Considering professional maintenance services
If you want to ensure the optimal care and maintenance of your matte finish hardwood floors, consider engaging professional maintenance services. These services often include routine inspections, deep cleaning, refinishing, and specialized treatments to protect and enhance the appearance of your floors. Professional maintenance services can provide peace of mind and extend the lifespan of your hardwood floors.
Cleaning matte finish hardwood floors requires a combination of proper techniques, suitable cleaning products, and regular maintenance. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can keep your matte finish hardwood floors looking beautiful and pristine for years to come. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use any type of cleaner on my matte finish hardwood floors?
How often should I clean my matte finish hardwood floors?
How do I prevent scratches on my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I use steam cleaners on matte finish hardwood floors?
How do I remove stubborn stains from my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I use vinegar to clean matte finish hardwood floors?
How do I maintain the shine of my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I use a regular broom to sweep my matte finish hardwood floors?
Should I use rugs or mats on my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I refinish my matte finish hardwood floors?
How do I maintain the humidity levels for my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I use a regular mop with a matte finish hardwood floor?
What should I do if I accidentally spill water on my matte finish hardwood floors?
Can I use rugs with rubber backing on my matte finish hardwood floors?
Is it necessary to hire professional maintenance services for matte finish hardwood floors?
About The Author
Orochi Konya is a student of the web. He has been dabbling in it since he was young, and has become an expert in his own right. He loves all things digital, from making websites to programming to social media. In his spare time, Orochi enjoys indulging in his other passion: music. He loves listening to all kinds of music and often spends hours creating playlists on Spotify. He also enjoys drawing manga and watching anime in his free time. Orochi is a friendly pop-culture guru who is always happy to chat about the latest trends in both Japan and the U.S.