Parquet flooring is a timeless look and should be pretty durable. Whether you’ve installed the floor yourself or want to restore an existing one, the quality and price of parquet flooring make it an investment that’s well worth looking after.
But when it comes to how to clean a parquet floor, what’s the best way to do so? That’s what we’ll discuss below, so read on to find out.
What Can You Use to Clean Parquet Floors?
Parquet flooring is made from wooden tiles. The name refers to the practice of using wooden tiles to make geometric patterns more so than any specific material.
That said, parquet flooring is usually made from hardwood, although bamboo is a popular modern alternative.
As such, we can treat it like any other real wood floor or furniture, meaning the best cleaning products include:
- Washing up liquid
- White vinegar
- Cleaners specifically for wood flooring, such as HG Parquet Cleaner
- Vacuum cleaner or broom
The bottom line is that you’ll want to avoid harsh and bleach-based cleaners and anything abrasive.
Parquet flooring is sealed with wax or varnish, and these products can strip the finish and damage the wood.
How to Clean a Parquet Floor
Provided you take care when choosing your cleaning products, the actual process of cleaning a parquet floor shouldn’t be too difficult.
As mentioned above, you’ll want to avoid stripping the finish and, as long as you can do that, getting the floor to look fresh will be easy.
The steps for how to clean a parquet floor are as follows:
1. Remove dust and debris from the floor
Unsurprisingly, the first step should be to remove any loose debris from the floor.
Parquet flooring is fairly resilient, so you shouldn’t have any issues using a vacuum cleaner. Make sure the hard flooring brush is down to help pick up bits and avoid any damage.
If you want to be really careful, a soft indoor broom is a better tool. Although static floor wipes exist, these won’t help pick up larger bits of debris.
2. Check the floor’s condition
Before going any further, you’ll want to check whether the parquet floor is still sealed. There are a couple of ways to check:
- Inspect the wood. If it looks dull and porous, it probably hasn’t been sealed. If there’s any hint of a shine or the wood is smooth or darker than you’d expect, it’s likely been sealed.
- Drop a small amount of water onto the floor. If it beads up, it’s sealed. But if the water soaks in, it’s either not been sealed or it’s worn off.
The main difference it makes is how much water you use to clean your parquet floor. While you should always be as sparing as possible, an unsealed floor will be better wiped over with a slightly damp cloth or mop. Sealed floors can tolerate a bit more water.
3. Mix your cleaner
Next, mix your cleaner. For general cleaning, 100ml of white vinegar and a glug of washing up liquid in five or so litres of warm water will be fine.
Deeper cleaning will be a job for a specialist wooden floor cleaner, as these usually contain ingredients that’ll help lift stains and grime. Just follow the instructions on the bottle.
4. Clean the floor
Do a small patch test in a hidden area before you start cleaning. Generally, none of the products listed here should damage a parquet floor, but you can never be too careful. Leave the patch for 10-15 minutes to make sure your cleaner is safe to use.
Then, work over the floor with a damp mop. An old-fashioned mop will be better than a Swiffer-style mop, as it’ll allow you to lift more dirt and scrub the floor.
That said, any mop will be fine as long as it’s fairly soft. Considering you can’t use anything abrasive on parquet floor, you might need to put in some elbow grease!
5. Dry the floor
After mopping the floor, you’ll need to dry it to remove excess moisture as quickly as possible.
An old towel will be fine for this – throw it down, stand on it, and shuffle across the floor!
It’s not the end of the world if the floor isn’t completely dry when you finish. You just need to remove enough excess moisture for it to dry quickly.
There’s a risk of water stains even on a sealed floor, but it’s easy to avoid these by drying when you’re done.
How Do You Make Parquet Floors Look New Again?
Parquet flooring can look old and tired after a while, even with regular cleaning. This is usually because the sealer or wax has worn down, or it was never sealed in the first place. If so, parquet flooring will look dull very quickly.
You can get parquet floor restorers, such as HG parquet gloss. The process usually involves removing any existing seal or finish, which may require solvents or chemical cleaners.
As with the cleaning products, you’ll want to patch test these before use. Also, the floor needs to be as clean as possible because any debris could get sealed onto the floor.
For larger floors, it might be a better option to hire a professional restorer. It can be a very long-winded job that involves a lot of sanding and cleaning.
While a professional will be more expensive than buying the products yourself, it’ll save a lot of effort!
Are Steam Mops Good for Parquet Flooring?
Avoid using a steam mop on parquet flooring because the hot air and moisture can penetrate the wood and make it warp.
Generally, you’ll want to use as little water as possible to clean parquet flooring, and to clean it in the gentlest way you can.
You can use a steam mop on a fully bonded parquet floor, as you’re then basically just cleaning the sealant. However, it’d have to be a resin-based seal or similar, as steam could melt or damage natural seals or waxes.
It’ll be difficult to work this out yourself, so it’s best to just avoid a steam mop altogether.
Now you know how to clean a parquet floor. Generally, regular cleaning with gentle products will be more than enough to keep your parquet floor looking fresh and shiny. But if it’s been a while since it was last cleaned, go with a dedicated parquet floor restorer instead.
Whatever product you use, don’t forget to do a patch test first. After all, the last thing you want is to ruin your expensive flooring in an effort to clean it!
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.