Here’s a great tip from to get a rich shine from your wood flooring. Black tea – we’re afraid milk and two sugars doesn’t quite work – is a great cleaning agent, as well as being cheap and environmentally sound.
The trick is in the tannic acid, which help to bring out rich wood colours. Simply steep 5-10 tea bags in a litre or two of boiling water for around ten minutes. This may seem like a lot, but its necessary to make a brew strong enough to clean properly. Afterwards, remove the bags and allow to cool.
You’ll then need to wash the floor as usual, either with a mixture of warm water and vinegar or your normal cleaning product. It’s important to never wash hardwood with hot water as this can damage the finish.
Straight afterwards, mop over the tea mixture and leave to dry. Almost immediately, you’ll notice the difference with a deep, rich shine. If you like, you can buff the floor further with a dry, clean cloth.
Alternatively, the tea can be poured in a spray bottle and sprayed directly on the floor in sections. This makes an excellent furniture polish too, and is a great way to get the kids involved. As tea is non-toxic, there’s no need to worry about inhaling fumes or getting damaging chemicals on sensitive skin.
Remember though, this will only work with unsweetened black tea. Flavoured and herbal teas don’t have the necessary tannins, and could do more harm than good, while a brew with sugar will leave an unappealing sticky layer. It’s also wise to dust mop your wood flooring at least weekly to stop large debris from building up, which can scratch the surface when trod in.
However, if you do find deep scratches, all is not lost. Here’s another good trick – after you have cleaned the floor and applied the tea solution, let it dry as normal. Then take a crayon that’s a similar colour to your finish – the closer the better – and rub it into the scratch until it is filled. Then heat the damaged area with a hair drier until its blended in and leave for a moment to set. A quick buff with another clean, dry cloth and your wood floor should be as good as new. Easy!
To read more about the different types of available in the UK, visit Timberland Flooring, where there are a wide range of stunning wooden flooring options available for you to choose from.