How to Clean Wooden Floors With Hydrogen Peroxide?

How to Clean Wooden Floors With Hydrogen Peroxide?

Comfortable to walk on, pleasing to the eye, and long-lasting—Wooden floors tick all the boxes when it comes to the ideal flooring. The variety you get with wooden floors is unmatched by any other material. Besides, nothing beats the class of a shiny, polished hardwood floor.

However, with all these benefits, there comes a drawback: clean-up. While wooden floors may be the most aesthetic, they are certainly at the bottom of the list in terms of cleaning. Wood is an extremely sensitive material that’s not as resistant to mechanical damage as tiles and concrete.

Therefore, you need a potent chemical that cleans wooden floors without damaging an inch. Your trusty old chemical hydrogen peroxide comes into the act here as it is just perfect for the job!

Read on and discover how to clean wooden floors using hydrogen peroxide and why the chemical performs way better than regular household cleaners.

Why Cleaning Wooden Floors Is a Challenge?

Wooden floors are hard to clean because you need to ensure that you don’t damage their polish or the material in the process. Both the wood and the polish covering it are extremely sensitive to certain chemicals and vigorous scrubbing.

Here are three reasons cleaning your wooden floor is not the same as cleaning tiles or concrete:

#1 Can’t Let Them Soak in Water

Water and wood are not the best of friends. You must have seen wood that’s swollen up like a balloon from some places. That’s because of water.

Wood is made up of dead plant tissue containing cellulose. Cellulose is an excellent water retainer, and it can absorb water and gain size. When you leave water on your wooden floor for more than a few minutes, the water seeps into the wood, causing it to go bad.

Therefore, you need to take the right measures before you mop your wooden floor.

#2 Cleaning Agents Chemically Damage the Wood

There’s a coat of varnish on the wood to protect it from water and give it the characteristic shine. As cool as the polish may look, it is vulnerable to strong cleaning agents.

Usually, the polish is made of palm wax mixed with a bunch of other substances to make it lustrous and waterproof. Now, this does its job, but wax is an organic compound that stands no chance against potent stain removers.

Regular stain removers have chemicals intended to break down organic compounds. So if you use them on your wooden floor, it will turn dull within days.

#3 Vigorous Scrubbing Can Leave Lines

Wood is not a resilient material when it comes to scratch resistance. Even the slightest mechanical damage can chip the wood or leave deep marks. The reason behind this is that wood has a lot of air and compressible space within its structure.

So when a sharp, sturdy object presses against it, it compresses the wood, leaving lines behind. This makes wooden floors harder to clean as you cannot physically apply brute force to remove tough stains.

To overcome these issues, you need a potent chemical that does not damage the polish, isn’t too powerful to chemically harm the wood, and does not need vigorous scrubbing.

Well, as you must’ve guessed, hydrogen peroxide can do all of that.

How to Clean Wooden Floors With Hydrogen Peroxide?

No matter how well-suited this chemical is for the job, if you don’t use it properly, you’ll see no good results. Cleaning wooden floors with hydrogen peroxide is not that difficult. You can use different maneuvers to target different forms of stains, but the main idea remains the same.

Here’s how you can use peroxide to clean different types of stains from wooden floors:

#1 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Pet Stains from Wooden Floors

If you have pets in your house, you’re no stranger to the mess they create. No matter how well-trained your pets are, a few accidents are bound to happen sooner or later. Pet stains are double the trouble as they not just decolorize the wood but also cause a bad smell.

Hydrogen peroxide is your number one pick against pet stains for two reasons. Firstly, it clears the yellow color off the wood by dissolving the organic pigments present in pet stains. Hydrogen peroxide reacts with the urobilin and neutralizes it.

Secondly, the antibacterial property of peroxide kills all the odor-causing bacteria in the pet stain, neutralizing the smell and the potential threat of infection.

What You Need

How to Use

  1. Fill the spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Spray hydrogen peroxide on the stain using a spray bottle.
  3. Leave hydrogen peroxide on the stain for a few minutes
  4. Use a cloth to clean the stain.
  5. Clean it properly to make sure no moisture remains on the floor because it damages the wooden floors.

#2 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Food Stains from Wooden Floors

Food stains are perhaps the most common type of stains you’ll be cleaning off of your wooden floor, especially in the kitchen. From dark coffee marks to bright red ketchup drippings, food stains can be of many types.

However, one thing is the same with all food stains. They comprise organic molecules, and they are extremely hard to get rid of. The compounds deeply embed into the wood, making it tough to remove them with ordinary cleaners.

Hydrogen peroxide comes in handy to remove these food stains as it acts on the wood without damaging it, meaning you can use it multiple times to remove even the deepest of marks.

What You Need

How to Use

  1. Wear gloves properly so that hydrogen peroxide doesn’t damage your skin.
  2. Fill the spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Spray it on the stain and let it rest on the stain for a while.
  4. Use the cloth to clean the excess liquid off
  5. Scrub the spots hard with the peroxide-soaked cloth to remove the stubborn stains.
  6. Clean it properly to make sure no moisture remains on the floor because it damages the wooden floors.

#3 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean Mud Stains from Wooden Floors

Mud stains are often confused with the debris of sand and dust that accumulates and deposits on the wooden floor. The actual mud stain is the discoloration of the wood that occurs underneath the deposit.

Removing the solid, dried mud from the top is a piece of cake. It comes off with one swipe. The real menace is the stain it leaves on the wood. It is composed of natural pigments present in mud that get transferred to wooden planks.

Hydrogen peroxide gently deteriorates these pigments without damaging the wood. Its top-of-the-class oxidizing properties allow the chemical to remove these tough mud stains in a jiffy!

What You Need

How to Use

  1. Wear gloves to avoid hydrogen peroxide coming in contact with your skin.
  2. Fill the paper cup with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Dip and soak the cloth in the hydrogen peroxide completely.
  4. Rub the cloth on the mud stain repeatedly until it’s cleared.
  5. Clean it properly to make sure no moisture remains on the floor because it damages the wooden floors.

#4 Using Hydrogen Peroxide to Deodorize Wooden Floors

Removing the stain is only half the solution. Wood is a superabsorbent material. Therefore, doesn’t just catch the pigments but also holds the odorant molecules. Even if you remove the stains, the smell coming from the area can be unbearable.

Odorant molecules are small, volatile particles that penetrate the wood and escape the action of regular cleaning agents. Hydrogen peroxide, being very small at the molecular level, deals with these particles and gets rid of them.

What You Need

How to Use

  1. In a spray bottle, mix ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide together with the dish liquid.
  2. Spray the mixture on the stain and leave it for like 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add some baking soda to the stained area and allow it to absorb all the moisture.
  4. Dab it well and let it rest for a few hours.
  5. Use a dry cloth to clean the area and then vacuum it afterward.

Why Hydrogen Peroxide Is Best for Cleaning Wooden Floors

There are loads of commercial cleaners as well as home remedies to clean your wooden floor. Options like OxiClean, vinegar, and ammonia-based cleaning agents are among the most popular ones. But if you weigh the pros and cons of these cleaners against hydrogen peroxide, the latter comes out on top.

Here’s why:

1) Excellent Oxidizer

Cleaning a stain is all about the oxidation potential of a cleaning agent. Oxidizing something means taking hydrogen atoms or electrons from that substance, which, in turn, results in its breakdown. Stains are usually organic. It means that they contain a basic structure of carbon and hydrogen atoms.

You need a powerful oxidizing agent that can cleave these bonds with ease. Hydrogen peroxide is one of the most powerful yet safest oxidizing agents readily available for use. It neutralizes the stains with an iron fist, dissolving them within minutes.

This rapid effect springs from its oxidizing property that quickly breaks the compound into water and oxygen gas, clearing stains in the process. It makes peroxide ideal to clean wooden floors because you need this agility as you cannot leave water on the wood for long.

2) Kills Germs Along With Cleaning Stains

Removing stains has more to it than just cleaning the discoloration or debris. There are a lot of bacteria and other pathogens present in stains that are a threat to your health.

Now while there may be cleaning agents that get rid of color better than peroxide, no chemical comes close in terms of disinfecting the surface.

Hydrogen peroxide has amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it ideal to clean wooden floors. You don’t have to do anything out of the blue when using it. Just use it regularly and you’ll get rid of all pathogens along with the stains, just like that!

3) Easier and Safer to Use than Other Cleaners

You often see professional cleaners wear protective suits, masks, and other gear while cleaning houses. Well, that’s because commercial cleaning agents contain toxic substances. These substances are effective at stain removal but detrimental to health.

Hydrogen peroxide is a clear winner here as it breaks down into harmless water and oxygen gas upon usage. These inert byproducts make it extremely safe to work within a home environment. However, we strongly suggest wearing just gloves while operating with the chemical as it’s always better to be on the safer side of the spectrum.

Can I Mop the Floor with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Absolutely! Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaning solution, and mopping floors with it is the perfect way to get rid of surface grime from your hardwood floor, making them look shinier and brighter.

A combination of half a cup of hydrogen peroxide mixed with one gallon of hot water is perfect to use on wooden floors without causing any damage.

Before using hydrogen peroxide solution, it is important to wring out the mop or tower to ensure it is only lightly damp, as too much water is terrible for hardwood. Nonabrasive cloth or a microfiber mop is preferred because regular cloth spreads too much water.

Using hydrogen peroxide with a mop is perfect for neutralizing stubborn pet stains, surface dirt, and harmful microorganisms spread over your wooden floor.

The Best Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration to Clean Wooden Floors

Picking the right hydrogen peroxide concentration is integral to the whole cleaning process. A stronger concentration will result in permanent damage to the wood and the polish. Whereas a weaker concentration will not remove the stain, and all your effort will go in vain.

Therefore, you need just the right concentration to clean the floor without causing any damage.

The 3% hydrogen peroxide concentration is ideal for cleaning wooden floors. You can easily obtain it from your local store or order it online. You can also dilute a stronger peroxide solution to this number by mixing it with plain water.

How Long Do You Leave Hydrogen Peroxide on Wood Floors?

The risk of permanent lightening of your wooden floors that comes with using strong hydrogen peroxide solutions as floor cleaner makes it imperative to strictly follow proper concentrations and directions.

A patch test is necessary in order to avoid changing the wood color.

Fill the spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply it evenly to the stained floor without oversaturating it.

Leave the solution to rest for not more than 5 minutes and wipe away the excess solution using a microfiber cleaning cloth. For stubborn stains, you may need to leave the solution for longer or repeat the procedure.

Just make sure that you don’t leave the solution for more than 10 minutes, even if the stain doesn’t come out, because the water might damage the wood after this time period has elapsed.

Will Hydrogen Peroxide Damage Wood Floors?

The chemical will not damage wooden floors if used as per the given instructions. While hydrogen peroxide can have a bleaching effect due to its strong oxidizing nature, it won’t affect the color of your wooden floors if used in proper concentrations. Therefore, it acts as the safest, most effective, and most affordable housecleaner.

Using unnecessarily powerful concentrations of hydrogen peroxide can damage and lighten your otherwise beautiful hardwood floor. A 3% hydrogen peroxide is perfectly safe to use for cleaning your floors.

If used in correct concentrations following the directions, hydrogen peroxide can, in fact, prove to be very beneficial in removing stains and restoring your wooden floors to a new-like appearance.

Will Peroxide Harm Wood Finish?

Wood finish comes from an organic wax-based substance derived from palm oil, as we mentioned earlier. Now, although it is vulnerable to certain oxidizing agents, hydrogen peroxide will leave the finish intact if used appropriately.

Hydrogen peroxide does have the ability to dissolve the varnish and ruin the shine. However, that will only happen if you use a stronger concentration than what’s recommended or if you leave it on the floor for too long.

In that case, the peroxide will react with the wax. And soon, your floor will have lost the lustrous finish. But that’s not likely to happen if you follow the instructions!

How Do You Get Dark Stains Out of Hardwood Floors?

Getting dark stains out of hardwood floors is a bit tricky as you need to be patient and do multiple rounds of cleaning. You see, a single round of cleaning will just lighten the stain, and that’s perfectly fine!

You will be tempted to use a stronger version of peroxide or to go for a hard scrubbing motion, but you need to resist the temptation and be patient. Instead, you’ll follow the same steps as mentioned above and repeat the process a few times until the stain is long gone.

This will ensure that the wooden floor does not lose its integrity and finish, along with the dark stains!

The Bottom Line

Wooden floors and hydrogen peroxide make the perfect duo, as the former keeps your house attractive while the latter keeps the former in good shape. Wooden floors are by far the most used flooring option in the United States, making it ever so important to learn about their cleanup.

Hydrogen peroxide serves as the perfect option as it effectively cleans all types of stains while making sure that the floor stays in shape. You just need to follow the protocol and use it as per the guidelines we’ve mentioned above in detail.

So, order your set of hydrogen peroxide bottles and get rid of those nasty stains today!

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