It's one of life's greatest frustrations – a clean and sparkling timber floor suddenly covered in mud and dirt. For you, it doesn't matter whether it was bought in by the dog or the kids, you just want it cleaned up as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, timber flooring is a lot easier to clean than carpet where you would have to employ a professional to get it looking as good as new.
So, if you're faced with a muddy or dirty timber floor, what do you next?
Don't panic – reach for the vacuum
Although you might want to mop the mud or dirt off straight away, it's best to actually vacuum the floor itself first. This is because there could be loose dirt that could scratch the timber floor if you were to mop first.
Instead, vacuum the surface thoroughly – leaving only the hard dry mud and dirt. Now, it's time for the mop!
Mop with confidence
The key to cleaning timber flooring successfully is to use an almost dry, anti-static dust control mop. With half a bucket of cold water, add a half cap of white vinegar or methylated spirits and mix well.
Once you've dipped the mop in the solution, wring it out and begin washing the floor. This type of mop works well with mud and dirt as it picks up the grit – not just moving it from one location to another.
Mop with even strokes to ensure a smooth and even finish. Every time you clean off some mud or dirt, rinse it out in the solution to keep everything as clean and fresh as possible. Ideally, the mud and dirt should lift off easily, but it might take a few efforts and a bit of elbow grease.
When your timber floor is clean, leave it to dry naturally as this avoids any streaks or potential damage.
How to avoid muddy and dirty timber floors
This is certainly easier said than done – especially with children and pets around the house. One of the solutions is to place dirt-trapping doormats at each external entrance, while also placing one inside the doors so people can wipe their feet before entering the home.
You could also make a point of cleaning your pet's paws when they've been outside or train them to avoid certain rooms.