Being durable, easy to maintain and affordable whilst still looking high quality, parquet is a popular flooring choice. The only trouble is, it can start to look unclean pretty quickly. Keeping it clean is a fairly straightforward task, so long as you stay on top of it and make the chore a part of your weekly cleaning routine.
Generally speaking, you should be vacuuming your parquet floor regularly to keep on top of those annoying little bits of dust and dirt; seeing as the parquet pattern features several different sizes of wood, using a vacuum before you move on to sweeping helps you to get into all the little nooks and crannies between each piece.
It won’t scuff or scratch your floor to vacuum it, contrary to popular belief, and it should also help to loosen any stubborn, stuck on dirt so that the next few stops are easier to achieve.
Once vacuuming is finished, you’re ready to go in with your broom or dry mop, though you’ll have more success with those if they’re specifically designed for picking up dirt or to be used on a wood floor. This will help you pick up any of those last little bits your vacuum couldn’t get! By the way, we answer questions separately regarding oak wood here.
If you’re sure that every last drop of dust, dirt and detritus is just about gone, it’s time to move on to a mop – but only if your parquet floor has been sealed. However, you still only want to use as little water as possible! Move from one corner of the room, using a figure of eight motion with the mop when force is required, rather than a circle, as this just spreads the dirt around.
Don’t just leave the floor to dry! It’s important that you remove any excess water by wringing out the mop and going over the whole floor again, repeating this step until the whole floor is dry.
You should be performing these general cleaning steps at least once every two weeks, though more regularly is preferable and will keep your floors looking pristine. This will stop you from having to perform a more thorough deep cleaning, as well as stopping the buildup of dirt between wood panels.
To keep your parquet looking good, you should also try the following:
- Move aside furniture when you clean: don’t be lazy and clean around your larger items of furniture – carefully pull them out to avoid scratching, to make sure you can vacuum, sweep and mop underneath them. You don’t have to do this every week, but every few weeks is advisable, as this will ensure your floors are cleaned in an even manner and the whole area is being well maintained.
- Use rugs to prevent damage from foot traffic: in areas of the house where people are regularly walking back and forth, like hallways or kitchens, consider a large rug or a narrow runner to stop the constant follow of people from causing unnecessary problems with your parquet. You might also want to invest in an outdoor or indoor mat for wiping shoes on before or just after people enter the house, to minimize the amount of dirt being tracked into the house.
- Spot clean as soon as messes arise: though you might be tempted to leave spillages, crumbs, mud and other more obvious messes until you have more time or feel less lazy, it’s important you tackle these accidents right after the fact. Otherwise, you’ll end up with stains on your precious parquet, or a dried-on and stubborn patch of something gross that takes hours of back-breaking scrubbing to shift.
- Trim your pets nails (if you have one): those of us lucky enough to have furry friends in our lives know that declawing is a cruel and painful practise, but having their nails trimmed regularly will prevent unwanted scratching to your parquet, especially where dogs are concerned. Though cats are notorious for scratching, dogs are more excitable and likely to race around the house in excitement, for instance.
How do you revive old parquet flooring?
If your once bold, bright and beautiful parquet is looking a little lackluster, you could try a deep, rejuvenating clean to return it to its former glory. Remember, the better you are at the general cleaning schedule outlined above, the less likely you are to have to perform one of these more thorough scrubs.
First things first, go ahead and do that general clean. Yes, you have to! You can’t buff out a dirty floor, so to get it looking its best, you want to go ahead and vacuum, sweep then mop your parquet, bearing in mind that you’re going to need the mop again soon, so don’t procrastinate swilling it out and changing the water!
Once everything is looking cleaner, it’s time to break out the specialist parquet cleaning products. You’ll find a wide variety of different options, with some designed just for cleaning or polishing and others dedicated to adding a seal over the top, coating your flooring with an additional layer of protection.
Avoid any wax-based products, as it can be difficult to break through the layer they leave behind when it’s time to re-clean the floor in a few weeks. Instead, stick to commercial cleaning products, promising to revitalize and refresh your parquet with special additives that restore its former shine.
If you’d prefer to steer clear of store bought products, then you’ll easily be able to whip up your own cleaning solution: housewives swear by the simple home remedy of adding a quarter cup of your favorite mild dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Do not use any vinegar, ammonia or oil-based soaps on your parquet, as these can strip away the natural shine and luster of the floor.
Remember, the key to keeping your parquet in optimum condition is using as little water as possible and getting it nice and dry afterwards, especially if the cleaner contains a sealant, which is like the beautiful shiny cherry on top, and rebuffs dirt too!