Bamboo floors are a beautiful and eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwood flooring. They bring a warm and natural feel to any room and are a popular choice for homeowners who want to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in their homes. However, many people are unaware of the proper care and maintenance requirements that are necessary to keep bamboo floors looking their best.
Whether you’re a seasoned bamboo floor owner or considering making the switch, this article is a must-read for anyone looking for bamboo flooring cleaning tips and tricks.
What are Bamboo Floors?
Like hardwood planks, bamboo flooring is manufactured for installation in a variety of ways. Here are three of the main types of bamboo floors.
Strand Woven Bamboo Floors
Strand woven bamboo floors are made from shredded bamboo fibers fused with heat and pressure. This process creates a highly durable result that is 2-3 times stronger than traditional oak flooring.
Horizontal Bamboo Floors
Horizontal bamboo floors are made by alternating layers of bamboo horizontally, creating an organic look. These floors are popular for their aesthetic but are softer than their strand-woven counterparts.
Vertical Bamboo Floors
Like the horizontal floors, vertical bamboo floors have bamboo stalks layered and fused, just vertically instead of horizontally. These floors have a more modern look but are still softer than the strand-woven option.
Benefits of Bamboo Floors
Bamboo is a great eco-friendly option for flooring because the bamboo plant can grow exceptionally quickly — up to four feet per day— without needing much water. Bamboo also releases significantly more oxygen into the air. If you’re looking for a sustainable hardwood option, it’s hard to beat bamboo.
Bamboo floors are naturally resistant to abrasions, particularly strand-woven bamboo floors, which are hard to damage and great for high-traffic areas. This flooring can last up to 50 years if properly maintained, although it’s usually more like 20-25 with normal wear and tear.
Relatively Budget Friendly
Best Tools for Cleaning Bamboo Floors
- Dry Mops: a dry mop with a soft microfiber head will help pick up dust and debris on bamboo floors that can build over time and dull shine or even damage the flooring.
- Wet Mops: a wet mop, like a spin mop or a Cuban mop, will help deep clean your bamboo floors when they need a full clean.
- Spray Mops: spray mops are great for bamboo flooring because they allow you to fully control the level of cleaning solution, and therefore moisture, you’re using on your floors.
- Hard Floor Attachment: it’s good to use your vacuum’s hard floor attachment, usually with soft bristles or a felt head to avoid scratching bamboo floors as you vacuum.
- Avoid Wet Vacuums: moisture is the enemy of any hardwood floor, bamboo included. Wet vacuums can add too much moisture to the floor and leave unwanted dampness behind.
- pH Balanced: acidic ingredients can damage bamboo floors, so it’s important to use a pH-balanced solution like Bona when working with any hardwood floor.
- Specialized for Bamboo: if you’re worried about using the right cleaning solution, it’s always a safe bet to use one specialized for bamboo flooring.
- DIY: if you’re looking for a DIY option, a few drops of dish soap or mild castile soap in a bucket of water will do the trick.
How to Clean Bamboo Floors
Cleaning bamboo floors is not all that different than cleaning any other kind of hardwood floor. You can get your floors clean and maintain their durability with these bamboo flooring cleaning instructions.
- Remove Dust and Debris
Using either a broom with soft bristles or a vacuum with a hard floor attachment, sweep up any dust and debris that may have gathered on your bamboo floor.
Using your wet mop and chosen floor cleaner, either a DIY solution or one specially formulated for hardwood flooring, begin to mop. It’s important to use as little moisture as possible when cleaning bamboo floors, so wring out your mop as much as possible before you put your mop on your floors.
If any wet spots remain after mopping, dry them with any kind of soft cloth.
What to Avoid on Bamboo Floors
Steam cleaning involves heating water to a certain temperature and applying that to floors to kill bacteria and clean the area. It’s great for things like tile, but the excess moisture involved can get trapped underneath bamboo flooring and cause damage.
Any kind of excess moisture should be avoided when cleaning your bamboo floors. The dampness can cause bamboo floors to warp relatively quickly.
Unsuitable Wax or Polish
Never wax a bamboo floor. Waxes and polishes will leave a slippery residue on bamboo floors and should be avoided. It’s best to stick to solutions meant for hardwood floors to get that shine.
Rubber or Latex Floor Mats
Rubber or latex floor mats can trap moisture, the enemy of bamboo, and ruin floors.
How to Protect Bamboo Floors
Decorate with Rugs
Placing rugs in high-traffic areas will help protect your floors from scratching or other damage.
Felt Furniture Pads
Inexpensive felt furniture pads that you can get at any hardware store will prevent furniture from scratching your floors when it’s moved or jostled. Also, make sure to lift, not drag, when moving furniture around on bamboo flooring.
Trim Pet’s Nails
If you have a pet, keep their nails trimmed to avoid having sharp paws damaging your floors.
Keep Floors Clean
If you maintain a regular clean on your bamboo floors, and maybe ask guests to remove their shoes, it will keep debris from building up and damaging floors over time.
If properly maintained, bamboo floors can last anywhere from 20 to over 50 years.
Yes, just like regular hardwood floors, bamboo needs to be sealed. Most bamboo floors come pre-treated, however, so you should have to add your sealant after installation.
No, it’s best to avoid steam-cleaning bamboo floors. The excess moisture can cause damage.
No, vinegar is not safe to use on bamboo floors. It’s an acidic ingredient and can damage and degrade bamboo flooring.
Yes, you can buff bamboo floors to try to eliminate light scratches on the surface.