Bamboo flooring is increasingly gaining popularity in many homes, with many choosing it over other options. There are many reasons for their rise in popularity, including that they are strikingly appealing as they come in darker colors and natural light shades. In addition, bamboo flooring is environmentally friendly, generally safe, durable, and the installation price is relatively affordable.
Having seen some of the benefits of bamboo flooring, there are still questions related to downsides and cons of bamboo flooring. While most bamboo material is generally durable and spill-resistant, one of the the primary cons is that there are ways for bamboo floors to get damaged due to water spills and other liquids.
The causes of bamboo flooring damage
Bamboo floor damage is usually caused by spills. Even though bamboo is denser and more resistant to liquid damage when compared to most woods, and also has certain antimicrobial properties, it is still susceptible to the hazardous effects of frequent and large amounts of moisture.
The situation worsens when bamboo flooring is used in a wet environment where a liquid sitting on the floor surface may be common (such as kitchens or bathrooms).
Moisture not only leads to your floors getting stained, but it also causes plumping and warping. Furthermore, moisture issues may also lead to mildew and mold, particularly in the subfloor.
How immediate cleaning of spills can help avoid permanent damage
When a spill, like liquids or even pet urine, occurs on your bamboo floor, cleaning should be done as soon as possible. That is vital for safeguarding against the moisture seeping into the bamboo flooring. If your flooring surface is excessively or continuously exposed to moisture, from any source, it will cause discoloration, staining, swelling, or warping.
The sooner you clean a bamboo flooring surface spill, the less likely it will be for your flooring to get permanently stained or damaged.
Cleaning stubborn liquid spills
At some point, you may have to deal with sticky or gooey spills. In these situations, you’ll want to use a towel/dry cloth as quickly as possible to have a chance of removing the stubborn spills before the problem gets any worse.
If there is any remaining spill, you can use a damp cloth, but remember, when you are cleaning spills, try to avoid pushing the material into your bamboo flooring surface. This may cause the dislodging of your bamboo floors and present a new problem for you to solve for.
Remember to blot the sticky spot numerous times until the spill is completely gone. A dry cloth can also come in handy for safeguarding the bamboo floors from potential further damage from the spilled liquid.
Can you steam mop your bamboo floors?
When your bamboo floor is exposed to a liquid spill or moisture, mopping can also be a great way of solving the problem. But, not all mopping options will help you get rid of spills effectively.
For example, you must avoid the use of steam mopping on your floor surface. The primary reason is that the bamboo material tends to absorb the steam moisture, causing your bamboo floors to soak in the moisture from the inside.
It may be hard for you at first to notice the soaking of the bamboo floor and the resulting damage. Over time, though, it is nearly guaranteed that your floors will be stained, weakened, and even warped.
If you want the best bamboo floor mopping option, then you should use dry mops. While bamboo, like other hardwoods, may be more water-resistant, eventually, they can absorb water. Therefore, always make an effort to keep your bamboo floors as dry as possible and dry mops or dust mops are the most suitable for that situation.
Appropriate solutions for bamboo floor cleaning
Both homemade and store-bought chemical cleaners can be effective as cleaning solutions. Ultimately, the option that you choose is completely dependent upon your personal preference. The following is a short list of solutions for cleaning your bamboo floors.
1. Homemade Cleaners
If you are a DIY (Do It Yourself) enthusiast, you may prefer a homemade cleaning solution for your bamboo floors. One of the main benefits of a homemade cleaners is that they are generally safer, meaning you will not be exposed to chemicals that are potentially harmful.
Another main benefit of homemade cleaners is that they tend to be more economical when compared to brand name cleaners. If you already have the necessary ingredients, there may be no need for you to incur any additional costs.
Nevertheless, homemade cleaning solutions also have their cons. Often, the solutions are not meant for the bamboo material. Also, there is a chance of incorrectly mixing the solutions. Furthermore, preparation of the solutions takes time, and it may be challenging to come up with a pleasantly scented cleaner.
For any solution you have made, you should use a spray bottle. When you spray a cleaning solution onto your bamboo floor, its contact with water is greatly reduced. In addition, using a spray bottle makes it easier for floor surface stains to be appropriately targeted.
We’ve found this list to be most helpful when looking for wood floor cleaning options.
2. Store-bought Solutions
The advantage of most store-bought solutions is that they are mainly tailored for wood floors and hence, a little safer. You have a range of products and scents to choose from depending on your preference.
In addition, there is typically no preparation required on your part, which makes them convenient cleaning solutions.
On the other hand, ready-made cleaners are relatively more costly than home-made solutions. Often, bamboo floor-specific cleaners are not only expensive but also may be hard for you to find.
Also, since they contain chemicals, they may pose health risks to you and your children and pets. You have to handle and store the chemical cleaners appropriately to avoid possible contact.
Generally, when it comes to choosing bamboo floor cleaning solutions, ensure you avoid the use of abrasive chemicals. These solutions can be too harsh for your bamboo floors and may lead to the tearing through of your floor’s finish, which may cause even more staining and scratches.
Likewise, do not use any scrub brush, brooms, or mops that have stiff or hard bristles, since they may further damage your bamboo floor as they create scratches and dents.
Removal of stains caused by pet accidents
While this article is meant to address most spills and damage caused by liquid substances, we see lots of questions related to cleaning up after accidents from our friendly, four-legged friends.
Even in cases where your pets are well-trained, still, occasional accidents do occur. In cases where your bamboo flooring has pet urine, know that the process of removing the stain is necessary, and not complicated.
The urine stains must be removed as quickly as possible since set-in stains are even trickier to clean. Any old stains on your bamboo floor will cause discoloration, and if you consider that in terms of color, it is naturally light, the visibility of stains becomes enhanced.
Furthermore, when your bamboo floor is urine-stained, then your house will be plagued with that bad smell. Heat and moisture are also known for reactivation of the ammonia available in urine, causing more intense smells. The smell will continue to emerge and bother you, unless you commit to neutralizing the smell completely.
There is also evidence that the smell will attract your pet to the same spot and encourage repeat urination on the spot.
For dog stain removal, use enzyme cleaners, as they are also effective when it comes to dealing with old stains. Generally, enzyme cleaners are useful because they work by breaking down the pet urine at the molecular level.
The result is that there is clean elimination of the stain source and the smell. Besides, with enzyme cleaners, you do not have to worry about strong chemicals/fragrances and the safety of your family and pets.
Quick tips to remember for cleaning and stain removal
While we hope that all of this information is useful for you if you currently have or are considering bamboo floors, here are some easy-to-remember tips to help with cleaning and stain removal:
· Avoid using a steam mop as the moisture can be absorbed by the bamboo and lead to warping and distortion.
· Do not use furniture polish, wax, or oils as they tend to result in the creation of a slippery residue on the bamboo floor. Only rely on PH neutral cleaning spray as it does not leave any streaks or residue.
· Say no to abrasive cleaning solutions and products. The use of abrasive and acidic cleaning solutions may cause even further damage to your bamboo floor.
· Promptly wipe away any floor spills. While it may be okay for your bamboo flooring to get wet, if the liquid spills are left for long periods of time, it can be absorbed by the floor.
· Perform regular cleaning to find and remove any liquid spilling you may not have been aware of.
· When ordinary cleaning does not work for stain removal, you can also use other methods of floor repair and maintenance like sanding and refinishing.
Because of the longer life and low cost involved in installing bamboo flooring, it represents a great investment in your home.
You can benefit even more when you take care of your floor appropriately. One way you can do that is to avoid your bamboo floor from getting wet and damaged, and if/when either of these occurs, you respond immediately.
If action is not taken quickly, you will potentially have to deal with expensive repair options down the line, such as having to replace your bamboo floors.