How to Clean Bamboo Floors

How to Clean Bamboo FloorIn general, cleaning a bamboo floor is no different than cleaning any other type of hardwood floor. Still, it never hurts to brush up on the basics of taking care of bamboo flooring. Whether one room in your home has bamboo flooring or if it's used throughout your home, you're going to want to keep it looking like new for as long as possible. Fortunately, that's as simple as being diligent about vacuuming and/or sweeping it and occasionally giving it a thorough cleaning.

Bamboo Flooring Basics

Modern bamboo flooring has a scratch-resistant urethane coating that eliminates the need for waxing. In fact, waxing a bamboo floor will just make a huge mess that you will have to clean up later. The coating is more than enough to keep the floor shiny and to protect the underlying bamboo. Of course, that doesn't mean you can be rough with your bamboo floors. Ideally, have people remove their shoes before coming into your home. In addition to scuffs, certain shoes - high heels, in particular - may dent or scratch bamboo flooring.

Basic Care Instructions for Bamboo Floors

The primary objective in caring for bamboo floors is to keep dirt, dust, hair, grit and other debris off them as much as possible. If it's not cleared away regularly, such debris can work its way into the protective coating and cause permanent damage. Over time, light scratches from tiny pieces of debris can leave your bamboo floors looking faded and dingy, and no amount of cleaning will fix it.

Use floor mats at entrances and exits to help trap debris from outside and elsewhere in the home. This will significantly reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do.

General Cleaning Tips for Bamboo Floors

The frequency with which you have to vacuum or sweep your bamboo floors depends on the amount of traffic that passes through the room on an average day. In general, however, at least one thorough sweeping or vacuuming per week is in order. In most homes, though, people have to vacuum or sweep their bamboo floors a few times per week. It may even be necessary to do it daily.

If you use a broom, use one with soft bristles to avoid scratching the surface of your bamboo floors. If you use a vacuum cleaner, don't use the beater bar or agitator head. Both can cause damage. Rather, use a soft bristle brush attachment.

Deep Cleaning Bamboo Floors

You can generally get away with simply sweeping or vacuuming your bamboo floors on a regular basis to keep them looking spic and span. Every now and then, though, a more thorough cleaning may be required. It may be necessary to use at least a tiny bit of moisture and some sort of cleaning solution to clear away grime and other debris.

The first thing to understand is that bamboo floors shouldn't be exposed to excessive amounts of moisture. While bamboo isn't quite as susceptible to water damage as other hardwoods, it can still warp and incur other permanent damage if water is allowed to pool or puddle on the surface. Therefore, whether you're using plain water, a homemade solution or a commercial solution, wring the sponge, cloth or mop a lot before wiping it across the floor. It should just be ever so slightly damp. It's better to have to rub a little more and use less water than to run a wet sponge or mop across the surface.

When cleaning a bamboo floor, hot water is usually all that's needed. However, many commercial products are available; Bona Pro Hardwood Cleaner is a good choice. Before using any commercial product, test it on an inconspicuous part of the floor to ensure it won't cause any damage.

Things to Avoid when Cleaning Bamboo Floors

Avoid the following when cleaning bamboo floors:

  • Ammonia or ammonia-based cleaners - They are too harsh and care wear down the protective outer layer.
  • Oil soap
  • Bleach
  • Plain vinegar - Dilute it with water if you are going to use it.
  • Abrasive cleaning soaps
  • Wax-based polishes
  • Steel wool - Only use soft-bristle brooms and soft-bristle brush vacuum attachments. Steel wool, in particular, will scratch the protective outer layer and make the floor look dull and dingy.

Final Notes Regarding Cleaning Bamboo Floors

Cleaning bamboo floors is easy. As long as it's done on a regular basis, you shouldn't have to worry about a thing. Just make sure to keep the floors from coming into contact with water and other liquids. When spills happen - and they will - wipe them up promptly. Prior to using any new products on your bamboo floor, read the labels carefully and test the product on an out-of-the-way section of your floor. Otherwise, just sweep, vacuum and occasionally mop your floors to keep them looking terrific.

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