Bona VS. Water & Vinegar - Don't Mop Your Hardwood Flooring!

occasionally we will get a call from a

client who has a new hardwood floor and

they tell us the finish is coming off

the first question we ask is how are you

cleaning your floor usually the reply as

we mop it when we tell them the mopping

causes the finish to separate from the

wood they remind us of our 40 year

warranty water and wood are natural

enemies and wood will lose the battle

every time when the wood absorbs

moisture it expands more than the finish

causing a separation between them the

more moisture the floor absorbs the

quicker the adhesion between the wood

flooring and finish is compromised

mopping allows the water or combination

of liquids to be quickly absorbed into

the wood flooring mostly through the

bevels and ends although it may seem the

water won't penetrate the surface it

will absorb this moisture very slowly

once the moisture has penetrated the

finish the problems begin quite often

the first signs of moisture damage will

be the end wrinkling and a few tiny

cracks appearing in the wood as these

tiny cracks absorb more moisture for

mopping they grow when the finish will

tend to show the long-term effects of

mopping we have prepared two sections of

the exact same floor these are all the

exact same pieces cut in half as you can

see the boards are numbered showing that

each piece is located in both samples we

will be demonstrating the proper way to

clean the floor with recommended Bona

cleaning products versus mopping with a

solution of vinegar and water on this

slide will use our recommended cleaning

method we use a paper towel to remove

any excess moisture and a film

on this slide we use the mop with the

vinegar and water

after the first cleaning both floors

look identical we'll continue to clean

and monitor by taking pictures we clean

both floors the same way 30 times taking

pictures along the way we used a

recommended Bona hardwood floor cleaner

for the sample on the left and 75% water

and 25% vinegar for the sample on the

right this number of cleanings may seem

excessive but with a dark shiny floor

like the one used in the demonstration

it wouldn't be uncommon for a homeowner

to clean it at least once per week we

took photos of the floors after 5 10 20

and 30 cleanings here is a comparison

between the two after 5 cleanings the

Bona flooring showed no visual

difference in appearance after 10

cleanings it still looked like new and

this was the same after 20 and 30

cleanings the water and vinegar was a

different story after 5 cleanings the

hardwood flooring didn't show any signs

of being damaged by water after 10

cleanings the hardwood flooring

displayed some streaking but was

otherwise unchanged after 20 cleanings

the hardwood floor began to expand and

cut the finish also began to ripple

along the sides of the planks as well as

on the ends after 30 cleanings the

hardwood flooring was severely cupped

and the finish began to peel on both the

edges and the ends of the boards this

shows that not only cleaning with water

and vinegar will damage your hardwood

floor but also that it takes time for it

to happen after 10 cleanings the

hardwood flooring still look very nice

but after 20 cleanings irreparable

damage had occurred the wood we use to

make our hardwood flooring is kiln dried

to a moisture content between 6 and 9

percent this coincides with a relative

humidity level between 30 and 50 percent

which is recommended for healthy living

the stain and finish apply to this

moisture content has maximum adhesion

within the relative humidity range

between 30 and 50 percent the finish and

wood flooring can move

gather a finish must have durability and

flexibility to last 40 years it is the

solid particles of titanium oxide that

gives our finish its durability but the

more durable the finish the less

flexible it becomes as the moisture

content of the wood increases the

adhesion of the finish to the wood

weekend's whether the moisture is being

absorbed from the subfloor the relative

humidity in the air or from mopping the

floor it will eventually break the bond

of the finish and the wood and push the

finish off for this experiment the

subfloor we installed the wood flooring

on was dry and the relative humidity

level in the air was in the proper range

so mopping the floor is the only

variance between the samples and the

only thing that would cause the wood to

absorb moisture in a new home there are

two other factors the subfloor and the

relative humidity the subfloor moisture

content is typically quite high in a new

home and that moisture migrates up until

it is eventually absorbed by the

hardwood flooring you also have the high

relative humidity levels in the new home

because moisture is released from the

various building products in the home

for more information on new home

moisture watch our video whet houses

when wood flooring absorbs moisture it

expands and if the moisture content in

the wood flooring is higher than 9% the

finish will be stretched beyond its

limits when you mop your hardwood floor

with water the moisture lies on top of

the floor and settles into the bevels is

then absorbed into the wood before it

has time to evaporate once the moisture

works its way between the wood flooring

and the finish the problems start in

most cases the damage begins at the ends

and edges of the boards because those

are the points where the wood flooring

will absorb the most water to avoid all

of these issues we strongly suggest you

do not mop your hardwood flooring with

water and you use the appropriate

cleaning products for more information

on cleaning your hardwood floor watch

your youtube video titled

cleaning your hardwood floor thank you