So, you’ve just had a beautiful new eco-friendly floor installed, but are you wondering how to clean your bamboo floors? Believe it or not, there’s a bit more to it than using any old broom and a mop. In fact, the way you’re used to cleaning your floors may be doing more harm than good.
So, let’s look at some of the best products to clean your bamboo floor as well as tips to keep your floor looking great with less time and effort.
- Tools & Supplies Needed
- Floor Protection
- Bamboo Floor Cleaning Products
- What to Do
- What Not to Do
Tools & Supplies Needed
Before you begin to clean your bamboo floor, it’s a good idea to do a little research about the kind of bamboo floor you have. Some things to look for are the bamboo strand type, construction, and the finish type.
There are some special cleaning considerations depending on the type you have. For example, vertical or horizontal strand bamboo, either engineered or solid, tends to be softer and dents more easily.
Therefore, you will want to take special care when moving furniture. Look for cleaning tools that are designed to be gentler on a floor.
Before you get started cleaning, it’s a good idea to assess your current floor protection situation. This is a step that is commonly overlooked and can keep your bamboo floor from looking worn beyond its years and prevent undue costly damage.
Everything from your smallest ottoman to your largest antique armoire should have something under the feet or base. This protects your floor from dents, scratches and gouging.
You can use rubber caps or felt pads on furniture legs. On larger pieces, consider a mesh rubber shelf liner to allow the floor to breathe so that moisture does not become trapped beneath the rubber. This same principle should be applied to your area rugs and entry mats.
If you move the larger items semi-frequently for deep cleaning, it’s helpful to invest in a set of furniture-moving coasters that can be left under furniture or removed when finished. Heavy quilted moving blankets also work well for sliding large pieces without damaging your floor.
In areas where the bamboo floor receives a large amount of direct UV exposure, consider fitting your windows with curtains. This can prevent finish discoloration or warping. If you don’t wish to obstruct your view, look for a light-filtering option.
|EZ Moves Furniture Moving System||
||In-store and online at Walmart, Ace, Amazon, and more.||$-$$|
|Generic furniture felt pads.||
||Widely available in-store and online at big box and local retailers.||$|
|SolarShield Rod Pocket UV Filtering Sheer Window Curtain Panel||
||In-store and online at Bed Bath & Beyond as well as other Solar Shield brand retailers.||$$|
A vacuum is the most popular and fastest way to lift dirt, sand, and grit off your floor. A good quality vacuum can cut your cleaning time in half.
When it comes to cleaning your bamboo floor, not all vacuums are created equal. There are several specific features your new vacuum should have. We did the homework for you so you won’t be swindled out of your hard-earned cash by the door-to-door vacuum salesperson.
First, your vacuum should be lightweight. A lightweight vacuum can be easily lifted off the ground with one hand. Use of a heavy vacuum can create dents and tracks over time.
The hardwood vacuum should also have a removable or no beater bar. The use of a beater bar can also cause undue damage to your floor.
Additionally, the vacuum should have enough suction power to lift dirt from floor joints. If you have pets, look for one that is specifically designed for picking up pet hair.
Stick-style uprights, canister-style, and in-home vacuum systems with these features work well on bamboo floors and other surfaces in your home.
|Bissell PowerEdge Hard Floor Vacuum||
||In-store and online, Kohl’s, Amazon, Home Depot||$|
||In-store and online, Amazon, Lowe’s||$$|
|Miele Blizzard CX1||
||In-store and online, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon||$$$|
When you only need to spot clean or don’t feel like dragging out the vacuum, it’s a good idea to have a broom on hand. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with your good old-fashioned bristle broom, it may only do a mediocre job of cleaning your floor.
A microfiber dust mop is a welcome alternative to a bristle broom. Dust mops feature a flexible microfiber head that works like a magnet to attract dust, dirt, grime, and hair. It lifts it away more effectively than a traditional broom that tends to just push the dirt around.
A dust tile mop is a must-have if your floor has a textured, matte, or hand-scraped finish. In addition, the soft microfiber will not damage your floor from prolonged use.
Thankfully, dust mops are inexpensive and readily available. Unlike other cleaning tools or appliances, the quality doesn’t vary as widely. However, you will want to look for something that has a sturdy handle and not too many moving parts that could become broken.
Also, look for a dust mop that has a machine washable cover. Then, buy a few replacements in the event the included one wears out or gets damaged.
It’s also handy to have a dust pan and hand broom for small messes, spot cleaning, and to pick up the dirt pile left from sweeping.
|Bissell Smart Details Microfiber Dust Mop||
||In-store and online, Amazon, Local Hardware Stores, Big Box Stores, Bissell.com||$|
|Buff Bamboo Microfiber Mop with Duster||
||Online at Amazon||$$|
This is one tool you don’t want to skimp on. A good mop can save you time and save your bamboo floor. It may be time to retire your old string mop and pick up one made of nearly-magical microfiber.
Many dust mops can be used wet or dry, but it’s only recommended to do this in a pinch. It’s better to have a dedicated wet mop that’s cleaned before each use.
These wet mops either have a flat head or one made of strips of microfiber that more closely resemble a string mop. While these both get the job done, the flat-head mop will cover more surface area in a shorter amount of time and remove the most moisture from your floor in one swipe.
Again, look for a model with a sturdy handle, minimal parts, and a washable head.
|Bona Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop||
||In-store and online, Home Depot, Amazon||$-$$|
|Quickie Hardwood Floor Mop||
||In-store and online at Walmart, Amazon||$|
Bamboo Floor Cleaning Products
If you ask around or even do an internet search, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what you should use to clean your bamboo floor.
In general, most cleaners that are appropriate for use on a hardwood floor are also safe to use on your bamboo floor. However, there are many products marketed for hardwoods and bamboo that are, in fact, not safe to use. Therefore, it’s important to read the package thoroughly and look for a few key items.
The most important factor is that the floor cleaner should be pH-neutral. This is the safest bet to preserve your floor finish. Anything too acidic or alkaline can damage your floor.
Some floor cleaners come in concentrated solutions which you must dilute before use. Make sure to follow the directions. It’s best to use distilled water for diluting.
It’s also important to note that floor cleaners should be reserved for deep cleaning and disinfecting purposes. A spritz of water is typically all you need to spot clean.
If you are unsure of what to use, check with your flooring manufacturer for their recommended cleaning products.
Let’s look at a few appropriate cleaners for bamboo floors. Later, we will discuss what not to use.
|Bona Professional Spray Hardwood Floor Cleaner||
||In-store and online, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s||$|
|Pallmann Hardwood Floor Cleaner||
||In-store and online at Amazon, Pallmann.us||$$|
|Better Life Natural Floor Cleaner||
||Online at Amazon||$|
What to Do
Now that you have gathered your arsenal of cleaning tools and supplies, it’s time to get to work. In a few easy steps, your bamboo floor will be sparkling clean.
1. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to install any floor protection on your furniture.
If it’s a deep cleaning day, prep your furniture for moving, utilizing coasters, pads, or blankets.
It’s always a good idea to save your back when moving bulky items. If you have a friend that owes you a favor, now is the time to call it in.
If you have a lot of furniture to move in a small space, it can be helpful to shuffle it all to one side of the room, clean, then repeat the process.
2. Grab your vacuum or dust mop and prepare to remove the grime.
If you are vacuuming, you should always inspect the wheels for embedded sand, dirt, and gravel. These abrasive materials stuck in the wheels can act like sandpaper on your floor and can scratch and gouge the finish.
Whether vacuuming or sweeping, you can maximize your effort by going with the grain of the bamboo. Pay extra attention to the plank joints where dirt likes to hide.
3. Attach a clean mop head or cover to your mop.
Inspect the mop for any loose or broken parts that could scratch your floor.
If your floor cleaner didn’t already come in a spray bottle, dilute if concentrated, then pour into a clean directional spray bottle.
It’s always a best practice to test out a new floor cleaner before you go spraying it everywhere. Find an inconspicuous corner or closet, then spray a small amount of cleaner and let it sit for a minute or two. Then, wipe away and inspect the area for discoloration, bubbling, or delamination.
Once you have concluded the cleaner is safe for your bamboo floor, it’s time to make it shine.
Working in small sections, spray a small amount of liquid on the floor. Then, using figure-eight motions with the grain, work backwards towards the next area or door. This method picks up the most grime without allowing moisture to linger on your floor.
If you find your floor isn’t drying quickly enough, you can go over it with a clean, dry mop and add a fan or open windows to help circulate air.
4. Believe it or not, the best way to spend less time cleaning your floor is to do it more often.
Spot cleaning is the best way to keep your floor looking like new and spend fewer weekends deep cleaning.
You can buy cheap dust pan and broom sets to keep in bathrooms, the kitchen, and other high-traffic areas. Also, stash a few small spray bottles of your favorite floor cleaner or simple distilled water for cleaning up on the go.
5. Stand back and enjoy your sparkling clean floor.
While your home may not always look fit for a full-color spread in a home improvement magazine, bask in these moments where it comes close.
What Not to Do
Now that you know how to clean your bamboo floor properly, let’s talk about what not to do. These common mistakes we’ve all been guilty of can, at the least, make your floor look dull and worn. At the worst, these blunders can cause irreparable and costly damage.
First, avoid using any cleaning tool that is rough or abrasive. Leave the scrubbing sponge in the sink with the dishes. This same rule applies to brooms, mops, and vacuums with stiff bristles or scrubbers.
Speaking of vacuums, do not use the beater bar as it can do just that, beat the heck out of your floor. In addition, avoid any heavyweight vacuum. The older styles primarily made of metal are generally a no-go.
When mopping, avoid saturating your bamboo with water or too much cleaner. This can cause the planks to swell, split, delaminate, or buckle. There is no way to repair water damage other than replacement.
Furthermore, there are many cleaners and products to steer clear of when mopping. They may claim they are safe for bamboo or hardwoods, but they may also do irreparable damage to your floor finish or leave a milky residue that’s nearly impossible to remove.
Avoid using ammonia, bleach, abrasive cleaners, vinegar, waxes, furniture polish such as Pledge, Swiffer WetJet, waxes, oil soap, pure undiluted Castile soap, baking soda, Mop & Glo, solvents, Pine-Sol, rubbing alcohol, and anything designed to clean your bathroom, oven, or car.
Also, never use a steam mop on a bamboo floor. The heat drives the moisture deep into the floor and can cause water damage on a much deeper level and faster than a forgotten spill.
If you have pets, particularly large dogs, don’t let their nails get too long. This creates lots of small surface scratches and even gouges. Your bamboo and your pooch with thank you.
It may be tempting to follow behind your family members with a vacuum and a mop, but it’s not the only way to keep your bamboo floor clean and looking like new.
With the proper floor protection, an arsenal of quality cleaning tools, a great floor cleaner, and some regular spot maintenance, it’s easy to spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love. Unless cleaning is your favorite pastime, that is.
What about you? How do you keep your bamboo looking showroom-ready? Tell us in the comments.