Maybe you have pets that shed and track in mud, or kids who spill often, and you’re worried about your beautiful hardwood flooring. Here are a few methods that are simple to keep your floors in great shape.
Crumbs and pet hair sometimes are put off from getting cleaned up, but this is something that should be cleaned at least once a week. These crumbly particles can cause tiny scratches in your flooring, which can wear down the finish on your flooring, causing them to look dull over time. The first step of cleaning your hardwood floors should be vacuuming (on the bare floors setting), sweeping, or dry mopping and this method of cleaning should be done daily.
Vacuuming is a great way to start by cleaning your floors, but it won’t remove all the dirt built up over time. It is very important to use safe cleaners for your floors. One option is to use a warranty-approved store-bought hardwood cleaning product. You can also just use warm water, and if you’re feeling fancy, you can add a few drops of essential oils to make your floors clean, and smell nice. Avoid using vinegar in your water. Although it may be a common cleaning method by some people, since vinegar is an acid, it can eat at your flooring, damage the wear layer, and create a dull look. When using a liquid cleaner, wring out your mop (recommended to use a microfibre mop). The floor can warp if there is too much moisture. Once you’ve finished mopping your floors, rinse the mop, wring out excess water, and damp mop the floor again to remove the cleaner. Make sure there’s no moisture left on your floor by wiping up any excess with a dry towel.
As a general rule, never steam clean wood floors. Steam cleaning is only safe on floors that are fully sealed. Hardwood floors are not usually sealed, and should not be exposed to steam. Heat and moisture can cause wood floors to warp.
General ways to keep your floors in tip-top shape:
- Stay away from any steel wool, stiff-bristled brushes, oil soaps, wax, or strong ammoniated or chlorinated type products to clean your floor.
- Place door mats at any doorways to the outdoors, and area rugs in high-traffic areas.
- Use felt pads or furniture pads under your furniture to avoid scratches.
- If you have an office, or office chair, use office mats to avoid rolling weight that could dent or scratch the floors with any visible or invisible dirt and grime that is on your floors.
- Do not drag any heavy furniture across the floor.
- Leave your shoes at the door, especially spiked heels or shoes.
- An air conditioner, dehumidifier, or periodically turning on your heating will help to maintain humidity levels during the summer months.
- A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stoves and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
*A couple of key tips to help maintain clean floors are to put doormats inside and outside exterior doors (cuts down on the dirt and moisture tracked in), put floor protectors under furniture, and lay down rugs in high-traffic areas.
I hope this helps you find the right way to clean your hardwood floors! Using these cleaning methods and tips will keep your hardwood floor looking beautiful for years.