Your hardwood floors are a beautiful focal point of your home. The time and money that you have spent to have them proves they are a valuable asset to your home. This means that you should want to keep them looking their absolute best. Hardwood floors are very different than tile or linoleum. They do not react well with all typical cleaning methods. Cleaning hardwood floors can be a delicate process, so we have provided you some pointers on how to clean with care.
- Vacuum Regularly But Carefully: It is important that you vacuum your hardwood floor every week. You probably do this already, but it always bears repeating. The reason? Underfoot, the fine grit in dust is just like sandpaper and will slowly but surely wear through your wood floor’s finish. So a good vacuuming protects the finish as well as keeps up its appearance. Use an attachment with a brush or a felt surface that runs along the floor. Attachments with rotating brushes or a beater bar can scratch the finish. Disengage the beater bar on an upright. If you don’t feel like hauling out the vacuum, a dust mop or one of the newer microfiber sweepers will work just as well. Sometimes a regular broom and dustpan just don’t get the job done the right way.
2. Be Careful With Your Chemicals: Certain chemical spray cleaners will not react well with your hardwood floors. This is also true for aerosol toiletries. Keep any spray chemicals away from your hardwood floors. Be especially mindful of hairspray and furniture polish. Both of them have the potential to cloud your floor’s finish. Wipe them up immediately with a damp cloth. For a more thorough cleanup, spray with a window cleaner that does not contain ammonia. If your floors are damaged, you might need wood floor refinishing.
3. To Keep Them Safe, Keep Them Dry: You should take special care to not get your hardwood floors wet. Water can not only ruin the finish on a hardwood floor but can penetrate deep into the wood and stain it. Use minimal water when cleaning. It is also a good idea to close your windows when you are expecting it to rain so you can avoid getting your hardwood floors wet. Put trays under potted plants and, of course, immediately wipe up any water you see. Keep your hardwood floors dry, and you will have a warp free floor for years to come!
4. Remove Residue Right Away: It is normal to get some residue or debris on your floor from time to time. When things like chewing gum, for example, get stuck to your floor, you need to get it cleaned right away. Remove residue with no-wax wood floor cleaner. Keep it in the hall closet or another convenient location so that you can get to it quickly to clean up small problems before they become big ones. Wipe up spills and dirt immediately, then use the cleaner to remove the residue. Dirt can damage the finish or get ground into the wood of your flooring. Remember that all liquids can damage the finish or stain the floor.
5. Wax Off! It is important that you know the rules about using waxes and restorers. You can rejuvenate a wax finish with more wax. But never use wax on a surface finish such as shellac, varnish, or polyurethane. It not only makes the floor far too slippery, it also interferes with subsequent finishes. If the finish is polyurethane, use a polish made for polyurethane. If it’s another type of surface finish, get a general-purpose floor restorer, test the restorer on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t peel off.
6. Wipe Your Feet…Again: To make sure no one is tracking dirt and debris onto your wood flooring from outside, use an extra-long “walk-off ” doormat. Doormats, inside and out, earn their keep and then some. While vacuuming and spot-cleaning are great, keeping the dirt out in the first place is even better. Get a 4- to 6-foot-long “walk-off ” mat for the front door. The longer the mat leading up to the door, the more people will rub dirt and moisture off their shoes as they walk in, even if they don’t stop to wipe them.
7. Area Rugs Protect the Floor: Protect high-traffic zones with area rugs. Walking across an area several times a day eventually wears down a wood floor’s finish. Nice-looking throw rugs are the easiest way to reduce the wear. But make sure they don’t have a backing. Vinyl or rubber backing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or damage the wood.
The team at Hardwood Flooring wants to help you keep your hardwood floors looking their absolute best. For professional cleaning, or to get new hardwood flooring installation in your home, please contact us anytime!