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How to Clean Your Bamboo Flooring

by Crystal Hosking – Hosking Hardwood Flooring Inc. © 2014, Copyright protected. All Rights Reserved

Prefinished bamboo, created similarly to a standard prefinished hardwood floor, is a beautiful addition to any home. It can add comfort, value and a unique beauty not often seen in residential settings. The grain patterns and coloring of bamboo flooring catch the eye and definitely create an interested viewer.

Traditional bamboo flooring typically ranks higher (harder) than domestic wood species on the Janka Hardness Chart and therefore is considered pretty durable for both residential and light commercial settings. Solid strand bamboo is even harder, with many bamboo manufacturers boasting it as 160% harder than standard red oak flooring. You can find out more about different types of bamboo flooring here: Board Construction of Bamboo Flooring.


Regular Maintenance of Bamboo Flooring

Even with added durability of bamboo flooring, prefinished bamboo flooring still needs to be taken care of if it's expected to retain its exceptional visual appearance. Keeping dust and dirt off of your bamboo flooring is a must, as the movement of dust or dirt back and forth over the bamboo is the most common abrasion factor with a prefinished bamboo floor surface. This is typically a pretty easy task --- just vacuum or sweep with a soft bristled broom on a regular basis.

Additionally, cleaning products meant specifically for hardwood flooring can be used on a regular basis for a more thorough cleaning. Simply spray the hardwood cleaning product onto your bamboo flooring and wipe up with a soft cloth. Bona Kemi makes it super easy with their Hardwood Flooring Cleaning Kit, which includes a swivel mop, a micro-fiber cleaning pad and a bottle of their hardwood flooring cleaner. Bona Kemi also offers an Automatic Spray Mop Kit. These cleaners are specifically made to clean prefinished hardwood flooring and works like a charm on bamboo flooring as well!

It's important to keep in mind that there are some products on the market today that will harm the finish on your prefinished bamboo floor. NEVER USE the popular steam cleaners or OrangeGlo products on your prefinished bamboo floor. Water and bamboo don't mix well and over time water will damage the actual bamboo, turning it an ugly brownish color and warping boards. The steam cleaners are basically forcing water molecules into your floor. The Aluminum Oxide finish will work hard to protect the wood from these water molecules, but the steam will still be forced into the seams of your bamboo floor. This is a huge problem and never ends well. See: Water vs. Wood.

Products like OrangeGlo tout exceptional results on prefinished flooring, but in reality create a film that over time will build up. This film results in a dull looking floor surface and cannot be removed easily. We've had multiple customers complain that they were forced to sand and refinish their flooring after using OrangeGlo to get rid of this film.

Other common household products to stay away from when cleaning your bamboo floor include: water, vinegar, furniture polish, wax products, detergents, bleach, polishes, oils, soaps, abrasive scrubs and acidic cleaners.


Preventing Damage with Bamboo Flooring

Scratches and dents are a huge let down when you have a new bamboo floor installed in your home. Although many bamboo floors are significantly harder than domestic wood species flooring, they are still a natural product and it is definitely possible to damage them. The first scratch always sticks out like a sore thumb in your mind's eye. But preventing this damage doesn't always come down to just regular cleaning. Preventative measures can be taken to ensure your bamboo flooring looks newer and unscathed for a longer period of time.

The #1 cause of scratches and dents in bamboo flooring come from tables and chairs. Chairs in kitchens and dining rooms are used the most --- sliding in and out pretty much every day. This movement of the chairs' hard feet sliding across a prefinished bamboo surface wreaks havoc, but can easily be prevented with the help of chair glides. Chair glides are incredibly easy to attach to your chairs, tables and other heavy pieces of furniture. They are available in self-stick or tap-in variety and in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Additionally, they are inexpensive and pretty much a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your new bamboo flooring.

Keep the elements outside and off of your bamboo flooring by placing sturdy mats at doorways leading outside. Rocks, dirt, sand, ice melt, snow, rain pool water, etc. All of these can damage bamboo flooring, slowly wearing away at the surface of the floor and eventually creating a worn and tired appearance. Doormats are a simple way to cut down on these elements being tracked into the home.

If you plan on putting out an area rug over bamboo flooring, make sure to use a cushioned non-slip rug pad and remember to vacuum underneath the rug when you can. If small rocks or other objects get trapped under the rug, there's no way out. Pressure from walking back and forth on the rug can force these sharp objects into your bamboo floor, either scratching or denting the surface.

Other dangers to keep an eye out for: high heels or hard soled shoes, heavy or active dogs, appliance leaks and standing water from sinks or baths/showers. Read about pets and prefinished flooring here: Pets and Your Hardwood Flooring.


Lifetime Maintenance of Bamboo Flooring

Even with the most vigilant care, over time, bamboo flooring is most likely going to show wear in higher traffic areas. With products like Bona Kemi's Refresher, it is possible to renew the surface sheen. You can use a Refresher 3 to 4 times over the course of a year.

Additionally, traditional solid bamboo and engineered bamboo with thicker wear layers can be sanded and refinished --- although it can be a tricky procedure as the construction of the flooring involves strands of grass like bamboo stalks, which can splinter easily.

Take a look at some of the great brands of prefinished bamboo flooring that we carry:

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Overall Rating: 4.2 stars - 17 reviews

By:
Date: March 21, 2017
Page Rating: (2.0/5)
Comments:
I was looking for product bamboo cleaner ,as im a cleaner and lots of clients have this type of flooring that i do not like cleaning and i prefer not to use anything just hot water and lots of mopping for glue and hard to get off u can use any oil ,lavender oil,tea tree oil,or eycalyptus oil use a tiny dab and rub off so easy and good for any stubin marks ,candel wax chewing gum etc .
By:
Date: February 8, 2017
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Great article! Since manufacturers may use different finishes, I also suggest calling the manufacturer to see what they recommend using to clean their flooring.
By:
Date: February 5, 2017
Page Rating: (1.5/5)
Comments:
I have a dark colored floor with a high gloss finish. The Bona products that you tout so highly have accomplished nothing except a progressive dulling of the original gloss ending an unattractive matte dull finish. The recommendations you make here are useless for gloss finish bamboo.
By:
Date: December 10, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
Appreciate the good info. I have problems with streaking and bare feet prints!?
By:
Date: December 10, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
Very good information. The sales people at the store said any floor cleaning product for wood would work. Very glad I read this before purchasing a cleaning product.
By:
Date: December 8, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
I cant find anything to get rid of glue spots. I almost used a adhesive remover but read in time that it was too harsh. Bamboo is not a good floor product. I wished I knew that earlier cause now Im stuck with it and the hassles of cleaning and all the care and caution you have to use. It is a waste of money and I just want to cry every time I look at it. If I had the money I would remove it and put in tile.
By:
Date: September 5, 2016
Page Rating: (3.0/5)
Comments:
I like the Boni floor cleaner but not the floor polish. It looks nice the first couple of days but then gets spotted and smeared looking.
By:
Date: August 23, 2016
Page Rating: (4.0/5)
Comments:
Thank you for very good info on what to do and not do on keeping my bamboo floors in good condition
By:
Date: August 9, 2016
Page Rating: (4.5/5)
Comments:
this was helpful, I know I cannot use water, but my floors still seem dirty to me even tho I use a swimmer dry mop and Method God for Wood. I live alone and have no pets, but plenty of humans who are quite careful. I inadvertently purchase a product I thought was a wood cleaner (cannot remember the name) and applied it. Sadly, it was a liquid wax for wood. I did my entire kitchen before I realized what it was. That was two years ago, now it is beginning to wear off and it looks very spotty. Really, only I notice it. My plan is to switch to bona. I may use the old hands and knee method to be sure all of the dirt is coming up. Seems I just move the dirt around rather than remove it. any suggestions?
By:
Date: July 29, 2016
Page Rating: (5.0/5)
Comments:
i just installed my flooring, it looks drap and dull, no nice shine to it. i will try the bona koni you recommended and see what happen, maybe it will brighten up the flooring8

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