Ahh, the beauty of a hardwood floors tickles the fancy of any homeowner, but the care and cleaning can bring a few tears, or at least a few sighs. Cleaning a hardwood floor doesn’t have to be difficult, it just takes a little know-how and some elbow grease.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors: Regular Preventative Maintenance
One of the first – and most important – steps in cleaning a hardwood floor is to be proactive. Use daily maintenance and upkeep to keep the floor in tip top shape, which will make cleaning down the road much easier.
Start by putting down rugs at doorways to catch dirt, grit and rocks before they get onto the hardwood floor. These particles can scratch and damage your floor. Cutting down on their exposure to your floor before they can cause damage is best. Put down floor runners in high traffic areas to cut down on damage that could be caused by excessive wear from lots of feet going to and fro. Be sure to vacuum all rugs frequently.
Sweep your hardwood floor regularly with a soft bristle broom. This sweeping will help eliminate any particles that made it past the throw rugs.
Vacuum cleaners aren’t just for carpets, they are also great for hardwood floors. Use a soft bristle attachment on your vacuum hose to suck up dirt and remove other particles without scratching your hardwood floor.
Wipe up water that spills on your hardwood floor quickly using a soft cloth (to reduce scratching) or a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Follow it up by drying with a cloth. Water can cause a great deal of damage to a hardwood floor by seeping into cracks and causing warping, so don’t allow any to stay on your floor for any length of time.
Don’t drag furniture across your hardwood floor and keep your pet’s nails trimmed to reduce scratching. While those stiletto heels might look sexy, they’re not so hot for a hardwood floor, so take them off before walking across the wood floor.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors: Regular Cleaning
Cleaning methods and techniques will vary based upon the type of hardwood floor and the finish on the floor. Most hardwood floors have some type of polyurethane finish which should never be waxed and must be cleaned with products that won’t leave any type of film or residue on the floor.
Never use ammonia or an oil cleaner on a hardwood floor (unless one is recommended by the manufacturer). These types of cleaners can dull the floor and can make it difficult to refinish the floor later on.
Check with the manufacturer of your hardwood floor for recommended methods of cleaning and products to use. Many flooring manufacturers will have a specific cleaning product they recommend. The manufacturer can also tell you what types of cleaners to avoid with your particular flooring.
A simple, cheap and effective cleaner for your hardwood floor would be vinegar. Mix ½ cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water. Mop using this solution and dry thoroughly.
A hardwood floor can be a durable flooring choice for any home. The care and upkeep of a hardwood floor isn’t difficult, but it must be followed regularly to keep the floor looking good. It’s worth it in the end, though, as your floor will be a beautiful part of your home’s décor and personality.