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Recommended Wood Cleaning products and hardwood supplies

Hardwood cleaning products and supplies

Hardwood cleaning products and suppliesThese are recommended items if you are about to or just recently refinished your hardwood floors or added new hardwood flooring to your home.  These items will help you clean and protect your floor.  Some items will also help with furniture moving.

 

Please note that this article may contain affiliate links.  You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

1.  Hardwood Cleaning Products

Bona is the most recommended cleaning product by hardwood professionals. It’s perfect for hardwood flooring (any type – prefinished, site finished, solid, engineered), cork, bamboo and laminate. It’s residue free and helps protect your hardwood investment. And, of course it’s safe for family, pets and the environment. You can buy these on Amazon.com via below links.

 

Bona Hardwood flooring kit

To get started try the complete Bona Hardwood Floor Care System, 4-Piece Set with Bona mop, microfiber dusting pad, microfiber clean pad and 32oz cleaner. (See below for refills).

 

This is the Bona 32 oz cleaner.  Most customers use this size on a regular basis.

hardwood cleaners

 

 

2.  Items that will protect your floors from scratching:

Felt Pads

The Felt Pads can make a big difference and they are especially important for chairs that move the most.  I advise my customers to buy extra felt pads as they tend to fall off often especially on chairs that are moved frequently.  You can buy the felt pads on Amazon through this link: Felt Pads.

 

Furniture Casters – These are used for big pieces of furniture such as sofas.  Felt pads (above) should be used for chairs that move often whereas furniture casters are for the bigger pieces that generally are rarely moved (e.g. couches, tables, armoires, etc).  These furniture caster cups have carpeted bottoms, so they prevent scratching.  They are good for hardwood, tile and other hard surfaces.  These come in packs of 4 and they are available in squares or circles.

hardwood cleaners

 

 

Plan B – What to do if you have a scratch?  This is not a perfect solution, but consider buying a Minwax stain marker.  It can help camouflage your scratches, especially if you only have a few.  It comes in many colors including ebony, dark walnut, red mahogany, golden oak, provincial and cherry.  Some people will even get 2 similar colors (e.g. ebony and dark walnut) as there is color variation in the wood.

 

Office Chair Accessories

While I don’t recommend chairs with wheels, if you do have them, consider replacing them with ones that scratch less and/or put a mat underneath them. 

 

Either avoid them, or get mats for under these areas as they will destroy your hardwood floors.  If you must use rollers, consider buying these Office Chair Caster Wheels – Ideal for Hardwood Floors on Amazon as they are better for hardwood floors.  They are designed for hardwood floors with a roller blade style.  The owner sent me a set to try and they are awesome.

hardwood cleaners

Also, you can use a plastic mat under rolling chairs (check out this one on Amazon: Clear office chair mat for hardwood floors

 

 

And, for kitchens, consider this anti-fatigue mat as it serves 2 purposes: 1) makes it easier on your feet, 2) prevents splashing water getting on the floor. Anti Fatigue Mat, for Standup Desks, Kitchens, and Garages – Designed to Relieve Foot, Knee, and Back Pain

 

 

Consider doggie socks, if you have a dog.  Yes, we understand that this is not a good option for some dogs, but I’ve had a few customers that have used these effectively, and their dogs LOVE them, especially in the winter as it helps keep their feet warm.  It was actually one of my customers that told me about this idea.  Here’s a link to get some Doggie Socks on Amazon.

  • For the back door, consider a . This one is called Soggy Dog Mat and it absorbs 5X the water than regular cotton doormats. It’s quick drying and incredibly soft on your feet, so they feel great on your dog’s paws. This one comes in gray with a bone, but they come in other colors, with or without the bone (some with a paw print). They are also available in larger sizes.

 

 

Kitty litter mats

sand and refinish oak floors in westchester NYAs a general rule, cats don’t do much damage to hardwood floors.  The biggest issue is when kitty litter gets stuck in their paws.  So, it’s worth it to invest in a good kitty litter mat.  It will help protect your hardwood and carpet and just make things cleaner (and easier for you and your fur baby).

 

Phthalate Free Cat Litter Mat – Patent Pending Design with Litter Lock Mesh I love this product and I’m going to get one for my cats soon. First, it locks the kitty litter in, so your cat doesn’t track it onto your hardwood floors or carpet.  And, it’s the perfect color to hide the litter.  It repels liquids and odors.  It soft for your furry friend, and it’s easy to clean.  It’s also non-toxic, so it’s safe for your kitty and the rest of your family.

hardwood cleaners

 

Pet Urine detector – UV flashlight

Also, you may find this black light flashlight helpful in detecting where there are pet stains in your floors, especially carpets. The UV rays may the urine stains visible to the human eye. This item comes complete with AAA batteries.

 

3.  Floor registers and grilles

Once you have your new hardwood floors or refinished your old hardwood floors, one of the first things you’ll notice are those old, dirty and unattractive floor registers on the floor.  Not to worry as it’s easy to make a change – either add wood floor registers or metal ones.


When you’re installing new unfinished hardwood floors, it’s easy enough to add matching flush registers.  Flush means that they are the same height (vs. an overlap one is will rest on top).  Then, these can be sanded and refinished to match the floor. 

 

However, if you already have hardwood floors in place and/or are doing pre-finished wood, it’s generally easier to get overlap registers that fit on top of the wood.  That way, you don’t need to worry about cutting and fitting it in with the wood that’s already in place.  (Yes, if you are doing unfinished wood, you can do this…it will just take some extra labor).

 

You can either do wood registers or metal, pending your preference.

 

For wood registers, you want to make sure you have the matching species.  Most wood registers come in red oak and white oak, so choose carefully.  If you have another species or a prefinished wood with a stain color, you will have more difficulty matching (and you may be be better off with metal ones.

 

Here are some options you can purchase on Amazon. Wood and Metal Floor Registers

 

3b.  Baseboard heater covers

Wow.  I didn’t even know these existed until after I discovered them at one of my customer’s houses.  Are your baseboard heaters ugly? or dirty? of gunky with paint?  We’ll here’s a great solution that it stylish.  Baseboard heater covers.

 

They come in different widths, so you can customize to your size.  These are super easy to install.  No tools needed!

 

4.  Products to help with moving furniture

Yes, all the furniture needs to come off the floors – either by you or by your installers.  These items may help you (or your installers) for an easier move. 

Self Stick, Heavy Furniture Movers for Hard Surfaces (4 piece)

 

These will help you both for now, as well as for next time (e.g. if you are doing other areas later, or if you just want to rearrange your furniture).

 

If you have to move furniture over carpet, use these: Reusable furniture movers for Heavy Furniture for Carpeted surfaces .

5.  Carpet runners, area rug pads, carpet cleaner

Carpet runners are highly recommended for steps both for safety and decor.  They are especially important if you have dogs or kids.  You can read more about carpet runners here:  Everything you ever wanted to know about carpet runners

Also, area rugs are great for decor as well as reducing scratches.  They come in handy for areas where you may have a lot of chairs or traffic.  They are also great for noise reduction.  Soon, I will have an area rug selector, but that is currently in process.

 

Area rug pads:

All area rugs should have a carpet cushion.  This both protects the floor from scratches and helps prolong the life of the area rug.  It also prevents area rugs from sliding.

 

If you’re looking for a great area rug pad, I recommend The Original Gorilla Grip Area Rug Pad.

 

 

Bonus:  Try Never Curl to prevent your area rugs from curling.

Did you ever have the corners of your area rug curl up?  It’s really annoying and create a tripping hazard.  Well now thanks to llow this handy invention, you can solve this issue with these rubber corners which adhere to the bottom of the rug corners and prevents them from curling.  And, they don’t scratch hardwood floors.

 

 

Carpet Stain Remover – Shaw R2X Stain and soil remover

While I’m hesitant to recommend off-the-counter stain and soil removers (as many of them can cause staining or bleaching and/or invalidate the manufacturer warranty), I feel comfortable recommending one made by the manufacturer. Try R2X Carpet Stain & Soil Remover.

 

 

Also, here are links to a couple of articles I wrote on area rugs:

 

6.  Lasers:

Lasers can be useful for 2 things:  1) measuring and 2) a fun toy for cats (and some dogs).

Measuring Laser:

This first laser is great for measuring.  The Bosch GLM compact laser is easy to use.  It’s measures up to 50 ft in length and has 1/8″ accuracy.  It’s light and compact.  I have one of these lasers.  This works with 2 double A batteries which are included.


Cat/dog toy laser:

 

This laser is cute as moves randomly across the floor and walls.You can sit back and watch your fur ball have a blast.

 

I know my 2 furballs love the laser as they purr up a storm while they focus on their catch.

products to protect your floors when you have pets

 

hardwood cleaners and items to reduce scratches

 

Check out my ebook:

 

What to look out for when buying a new home with hardwood floorsI wrote this e-book to help new home buyers make smart decisions when looking for homes with hardwood floors…or looking to buy a home and then add hardwood. I’ve packaged all of my best tips into this book and hope it will help you make smarter choices in your flooring choices and in buying a home that can support high quality floors.

 

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Did you find my tips helpful? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee and support my blog

 

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34 thoughts on “Recommended Wood Cleaning products and hardwood supplies”

  1. If you buff polyurathene floors will it make them slippery if water is spilt on them. We had an incident where 3 people slipped over on the same night when walked on wet patch.

    1. You should never walk on the floors when they are wet. You need to wait 24 hrs before walking on them. If they are still wet after, you probably did not apply correctly (and of course should wait).

      1. hello and how are you that is what my little girl did after putting the sealent on top of the stained floor and now there is 5 little feet imprint in the floor how do i cover that up

        1. This is going to be tough, David, especially if you did the floors yourself. You may be able to fix this my doing a screen and recoat (for the whole room/whole area. But, it depends how deep the issue is. It’s also possible that you may need to fully refinish the area. And, of course another option, pending on where the issue is, you could put an area rug on top. Please note that if you are doing this yourself and don’t have experience with buffing and the floors, you may make the floors worse by trying this and then also need to fully refinish the floors. I’d call in a local professional to get their opinion and to see how much it would cost.

      2. are you saying that if a child spills something on the floor and it gets walked on within 24 hours it can ruin the floor?

        1. Brent – Yes, it’s very possible that if you have standing water on a floor for 24 hours, yes, your hardwood can get ruined, regardless of the source – kid, adult, pet, leaking appliance, ice damming, etc. It has nothing to do with someone walking on the floor…it’s the water and moisture.

          Let me know if that’s what you meant by your question or if you had a different one.

          Also, if the wood gets damaged, it is possible to fix (e.g. sand the floors, replace those pieces or section of wood, etc.

  2. Thanks for these great care tips! I’ve taken lots of notes.
    I have oak in living/dining and maple in kitchen – the different woods butt up right next to each other. When refinishing and staining, is it ok if kitchen maple stays lighter and oak is darker (contrast)? Or should we try to get them to match at least in color?

    1. Hi Meredith. The oak and the maple will never match. You may be better off leaving the maple light (i.e. natural and do with Bona Traffic water based poly and then contrast the oak.

      Or, you can test some stains to see if you find a combo you like.

      You’ll have to see which you prefer.

  3. My wood floors were very badly done, I think with water based poly (thinking co-ops in NYC didn’t allow oil based) and the buffing tyoe, not to the core. Tape was used to put down paper leading to the bedroom., when the building had a problem (don’t ask) The tape is totally visable when it was removed as it took off some finish. The Board is not taking responsibility. The floors were nice before this process. Why do you think the tape remved the color and left a visable mark? I hate to have to sand as I have some furniture, easily moved, but have no place to say. Any advice? Your web site is excellent.

    1. Connie – Thanks for your kind words.

      I’m sorry to hear this. You should NEVER put tape on the floors. It removes the poly…and it doesn’t matter what type of tape it is. They should have taped the paper to the other pieces of paper to the floor. Unfortunately, yes, the only way to solve is to refinish the floors. Sometimes you can do a screen and recoat (rather than full coat of poly). But, either way, you need to move all the furniture and be off the floors.

      A screen & recoat just takes a day, but you still need to wait before putting furniture back – 3 days for water borne and 4 days for oil based. At least with a screen & recoat it’s faster.

      If your board took responsibility, and they should have, they also would have been responsible for you staying in a hotel. I might try to push them again/seek advice from people in the building on how to handle.

  4. We recently refinished our oak floors. The contractor used 3 coats of Duraseal water based poly. We kept the German Shepards out of the rooms for over two weeks. I am noticing hazy marks from the pads on the dogs’ paws. No cleaning solutions of any kind have been used on the floor. Any thoughts on cause or remedy? Contractor suggested commercial strength poly.

    1. Andrea – This sounds like they may have used an inferior poly. Bona Traffic holds up much better. My advice to you at this point is to call the manufacturer (duraseal) and ask for advice from their technical department.

  5. Hello, you did my hardwood floors and did a fabulous job! Unfortunately my boyfriend’s dog peed in two areas on the floor and it has stained/buckled the floor plus the smell is still here. Any suggestions??

    1. Hi Maureen. I’m so glad you’re happy with the work. Regarding the current dilemma, it is solvable. You just need to weave in some new hardwood wood and then refinish the room. I’ll call you, and if you’d like our help, just let us know.

    1. Ava – No, I would not recommend that, especially on engineered floors as they can delaminate easily and often can’t be refinished. Read the manufacturer’s warranty. Chances are this will invalidate your warranty.

  6. Just had our brazilian cherry floors refinished for first time in 10 yrs. Completed yesterday, we moved back from hotel today. The color looks fantastic, I like that it is less shiny than i expected, but now I found your site (a little late) and am wondering how they did our job (kitchen/dining) in only 2 days. They sanded and did “first coat” Monday, light sand and “second coat” Tuesday, we are back in today (Wed). They wanted to move appliances back today, and I said no. Now that I am on hands and knees cleaning sanding dust off baseboards, I am seeing slight gaps between boards in several places. There were a couple before the refinishing … could more have appeared after sanding? It looks like more now than before!! And shouldn’t those have been filled in during their work? I am so disappointed, and worried there will be damage every time we mop now. I have not paid them yet, but we can’t afford to move back to hotel for them to re-do, either. Help!!

    1. Hi Debbie. They were probably doing natural and that can be done in 2 days (2 coats on 1st day and the 3rd on 2nd day). So, I wouldn’t be worried about that part.

      Now, it’s possible that they used water borne poly. And, if so, water borne poly is thinner and that may account for the gaps…if they got wider. If they used Bona Traffic, that is a very good option. Also, I don’t know where you live, but here it’s been rather cold the last few days, so possibly the boards contracted a bit due to the weather. I’m not sure. I would ask them.

      In general, no, you don’t want to add filler…that looks tacky and just pops out within 6 months.

      And, no, I would wait 4 days before moving the appliances back. I recommend 4 days for furniture if oil based and 3 for water borne. But, appliances are heavy and can easily scratch the floor if someone isn’t careful, so I’d say 4 days either way.

      I hope that helps.

  7. These are great tips. We recently bought a house with real hardwood. I’ve only owned laminate so your tips will come in very handy. I really need the coasters for under my couch legs.

  8. We just had CoreTek flooring installed. When the painter caulked at the base board, he wiped the CoreTek floor with a rag, and that left some caulk residue on the CoreTek. What can I use to get it off?

  9. I am trying to decide whether to use oil or water based poly for my floors. In either case, I will use natural. You suggest that oil is more durable than water. But do you have concern that the oil yellows over time given the current trends towards a light floor. Which would you choose given the durability and trends issue?

    1. Hi Sherry. Your two best options for durability are Duraseal oil based or Bona Traffic HD waterborne. These will both hold up equally as well. (Other water borne polyurethanes won’t). You can read more about the brands of polyurethane in this article…and you can even buy them on Amazon if you want. https://theflooringgirl.com/hardwood-flooring/which-are-the-best-polyurethane-brands-for-floors-which-do-i-recommend.html

      Oh, and Bona Traffic HD is more stylish right now as it’s lighter and less amber.

  10. Great to learn so much as I prepare to do my floors. After using oil based Poly how long before I should put back my area rugs.

  11. Hi Debbie, I enjoyed reading your article in the March 1 issue of BottomLine Personal. I know you recommend Bona cleaner for wood floors, but I would like to tell you about Bruce Hardwood and Laminated Floor Cleaner. We have been applying this product to our mahagoney floors every week for the 13 years we have been living in our home. Of course there are scratches on the floors due to the dogs our sons have, but the floors still look great, with absolutely no buildup of any kind. I would gladly recommend this product in addition to Bona, which our son uses with great success.

  12. Hi there! I came across your blog and I hope you can help me. I installed CORETEC HD Plus in Barnwood Rustic Pine throughout my home. Do I need to avoid certain rub backings? I read that they should be made of natural fibers to avoid staining. Is that the case? If so, what do you suggest for kitty litter mats?

  13. I don’t see you mentioning Synteko products at all. More specifically Classic. We just finished our floors with this low VOC product as our contractor recommended it as highly durable, fast curing. But 10 days later it is still smelling. We were told area rugs hold off for 2 weeks. Any thoughts on how this company and classic compares to Bona?

    1. Mike – I’m not familiar with the product. If you used oil based poly, you need to wait 30 days before adding area rugs. If it was water borne poly (e.g. Bona Traffic), then 2 weeks is sufficient curing time. I don’t know the product you’re referring to, but sounds like it is oil modified.

      If it’s smelling, it still hasn’t cured, so don’t add area rugs. You may need to wait 30 days, or you may find that it’s cured around 21 days or somewhere in between. I’d be on the safe side and make sure the smell is 100% gone. Also, most oil modified products aren’t as strong/durable so be extra careful during the curing process when it’s at it’s weakest. Oh, and I’m pretty confident that it is less durable than Bona Traffic HD but probably more durable than the weak/mid grade water borne poly.

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