Having a wood floor on your stairs gives your home a classic, elegant look, but you’ll need to care for the wood over the years to keep it looking its best. Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining your wood stairs is not difficult once you know what to do. Here’s an overview of how to do it right.
The first step is to figure out what you are working with, as each type of wood finish has its unique care requirements. Surface-sealed wood is the easiest to clean; all it takes is a quick sweep and mop. This is also the most common type of wood floor sealant. Penetrating seals soak into the wood, hardening to create the finish. In addition to sweeping and mopping, you’ll also need to wax these types of stairs. Unfinished wood will need wax as well.
To figure out which type of finish your wooden stairs have, wipe your finger along the surface. If you see a smudge where you touched the wood, your floor has either a penetrating seal or is unfinished. If there is no smudge, your floors are surface-sealed. If you are still unsure, check with your home’s builder or the floor’s installer if possible.
The type of cleaning solution you should use when mopping your wood stairs depends on the finish, so look for a solution that is designed for your specific finish. You can also use dish soap diluted in water, as this is a relatively mild cleaner. Don’t use any harsh or abrasive cleaners, as this can damage the finish on your wood, making it look dull and lifeless. If your stairs are unfinished or have a protective seal, you’ll need liquid or paste wax as well.
It is important to note that you should never use oil or polish on wood stairs or floors. This can make the surface surprisingly slick, making it more likely that you or someone you love will slip and fall. Regular cleaning and waxing are enough to keep your stairs looking great.
If you see any dents in your stairs, apply an extra coat of wax over the affected area. This will fill in the dent, making the surface look smooth once again. For scratches, you’ll need to apply additional finish to seal off the crack so that moisture can’t get into your wood. Check your stairs for dents and scratches regularly so that you can repair the damage right away, prolonging the life of your wood floor.
Here at Chet’s Cleaning, we are experienced in cleaning and maintaining all flooring types, including wood. We can help you keep yours looking great over the years. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our house cleaning services and how we can help care for your wooden staircase.