Cleaning Hardwood Floors
When you have decided to install hardwood flooring in your home, you also, in one way or another, commit yourself to cleaning and maintaining it as well. But don’t be afraid of the care and cleaning it will require. Hardwood flooring may be difficult to install, but maintenance and upkeep is relatively easy. Because hardwood flooring is a big investment for many, and it would be a shame to see your investment depreciate due to upkeep.
Failing to preserve the condition of your hardwood flooring may cause some of the woods natural characteristics and beauty to fade. If you ever decide to sell your house with old-looking or worn out hardwood floors, you will see that it won’t rank as high in the real estate list as you once thought.
A question that usually gets asked about cleaning hardwood floors is: Do all hardwood floors, like hickory, oak, cherry, maple, bamboo, etc., require the same method of cleaning? Basically, the answer to that question is yes, although there may be some special steps that are needed for some types of hardwoods. You sweep and dust your hardwood, protect it from getting wet, and add some wax or sealer once in a while to keep it looking new.
Basic Steps for Cleaning Hardwood Floors
- Use soft, fine bristle brooms to sweep wood floors on a regular basis.
- Vacuum your floor at least once or twice a week and use a soft vacuum brush attachment to prevent scratching your hardwood.
- Don’t let water stand on your hardwood for too long… it is hardwood’s worst enemy. Prevent any liquid from spilling as much as possible and wipe away any liquid that is spilled immediately. Use soft towels in doing so. Dry the spilled area thoroughly.
- For polyurethane wood floors, use a very dry mop when cleaning it and don’t let excess water seep into its seams…it will ruin it.
- Put carpet runners with non-skid pads on your wood floors that have a high traffic. If you put carpet runners, remember to vacuum them regularly so the dirt does not filter down through the weave. You can also put rugs or mats at door entrances as most of the dust that is carried onto your hardwoods come from dirty shoes and slippers.
- Avoid wearing high heels or heavy shoes on your hardwood floors as much as possible to prevent any dents that may be caused.
- Use furniture glider pads when moving furniture across a wood floor to prevent scratching.
- Ask your hardwood flooring manufacturer of how to repair certain floor scratches and dents. Also inquire about their recommendations regarding appropriate time for buffing and waxing.
- Place furniture pads underneath the legs of your tables, chairs, dressers, or armoires to prevent floor scratching.
Tips for Hardwood Flooring
- Never wax hardwoods with a urethane finish. Use cleaners that don’t leave residue or film.
- Spray some hardwood floor cleaner on heel marks or scuffs to remove them. Lightly rub with an absorbent soft cloth to make them disappear. For sticky spots, use a damp towel when removing them.
- Don’t apply ammonia cleaners or oils soaps on hardwood as they can dull the finish of your floor. It will also become harder to re-coat floors that have been applied with ammonia or oil soaps.
- Hardwood absorbs moisture; this is the number one reason why you should avoid wetting your floor. If water is left too long to stand on your hardwood, your floor may swell causing it to splinter and crack.