Spring Cleaning 101 – Part 5– Washing Wooden Floors

It has been unexpectedly windy this past week. Still, all those gusts after all that sun bring some welcome rain for the farm and the garden, and extra drying to the turned or footed turf. When the bog beckons in this house, there is no end to the amount of food that is consumed. I can never figure out whether its all the extra activity or all the fresh air that cause heightened appetites. What I can say for an absolute fact though is that the bog and the farm, in general, is 100% responsible for all that dust and mud on my beautiful wooden floors, mostly thanks to the antics of two giddy little people who are not capable of removing wellies before coming inside, no matter how many times they have and are reminded. Good thing for them that I love them as much as I do, so muddy footprints are easily forgiven and just as easily removed.

Since trouble 1 and trouble 2 have come along, I have avoided using harsh chemicals in the house as much as I can. Although sometimes I look at how incredible dirty our two mini occupants can get so soon after being washed and wonder how on earth, I’ll get them clean again. They, thankfully like the floor can be sorted with a few familiar ingredients from the cupboard.

I like to vacuum my floors rather than sweeping them as it gets all those bits that go down between the boards. It also has the bonus of catching any pet hair immediately. And I believe it is fantastic housework reducing practice as it also prevents dust from rising and landing on other furniture.

I don’t like to use a mop to wash any of the floors as I feel it can push the dirt around rather than removing it all. Instead, I prefer to use one of those sponge headed floor washers that can be squeezed and that has a top layer of microfibre. The microfibre has a dual purpose, it is great at removing heavy soiling and it doesn’t leave streaks when the surface dries. This type of gizmo also ensures that the surface never gets too wet which is a big no-no for wood.

Always follow the manufacturers/supplier’s recommendations for floor cleaning products to ensure you maintain the seal on the surface of the boards. If like me, you would prefer to use a simpler and more natural method then a PH neutral soap/ detergent mixed with hot water is fantastic. Always dry the surface completely once finished to avoid damaging the wood with excess water. If you are replacing any mats after washing, leave popping them back down a little while to ensure the floor is perfectly dry and no wet patches get trapped under the covering. It is also best to avoid using any rubber backed matting on wooden floors as they can trap moisture. This process leaves floors lovely and clean, even from bog going children.

If you do have little spills on your wooden floor, ensure that you wipe it up as soon as possible and dry it, to help avoid warping or staining.

The ’muddy footprint bandits’ hitching a ride back home with daddy, west of Ireland style. Everything in the bog is delighted they’ve gone home for the evening, most especially the poor frogs and newts.

Top Tip: Always vacuum your floors regularly rather than sweeping. This ensures that any debris which has slipped down between the boards will get sucked away. It will also ensure that any little pebbles which might scrape the surface when sweeping are removed quickly.

N.B: Never use too much water when washing solid wooden floors esp. hardwoods as it could cause the boards to twist and warp. Excess water which is not wiped away can also cause dark spots on lighter hardwood surfaces which cannot be removed.

Never use abrasive cleaners or ones which contain ammonia as they will dull and/or scratch the surface.


Is olc an ghaoth nach séideann do dhuine éigin.

Take care!



Madeleine Dermody Assoc CIPD | MIASI

Madeleine has qualifications in both Management and Human Resources and is our Accommodation Manager in Hotel Westport. Madeleine sits on the board of the National Council of the Irish Accommodation Services Institute. In her spare time, she loves to enjoy gardening, hiking, farming, or fishing with her family.






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