cleaning hardwood floors

Make It Shine: 9 Tips for Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors look gorgeous and stand the test of time. Of course, they only do both of those things as long as you care for your floors the right way! Cleaning your hardwood floor might seem tricky at first.

When you choose hardwood flooring over carpeting or other flooring materials, you pick a type of floor with plenty of advantages. Hardwood floors are great for allergy-sufferers, while carpeting can be a catch-all for dust and allergens. Plus hardwood floors can match just about any design style.

“They” say hardwood floors are easier to clean than other floorings, too! But, how do you clean your hardwoods to keep them looking nice for longer? Here are nine tips for cleaning your hardwood floor in the right ways.

1. Keep up With Dust!

Carpet holds on to dust more so than hardwood floors, but that doesn’t mean your hardwood floors are dust-free.

It is, however, easier to see and clean dust from your hardwood flooring. Use a soft-bristle broom or a micro-fiber dust mop once or twice a week to gently sweep away dust and other debris from your floors.

Be sure you get into the corners and underneath furniture. A quick dust removal doesn’t take long and helps your floors retain their luster.

2. Beware the Legos!

Larger objects, like small rocks or (if you have small kids) Legos, can damage your floors if kicked or trampled. Never leave toys or other dropped objects on the floor.

While you’re sweeping for dust, pick up debris and notice any damage left behind. You’ll want to keep an eye on dents and dings to make sure they don’t grow into bigger problems that might require repair.

3. Vacuum With Care!

Yes, you can vacuum your hardwood floors! If dusting isn’t removing enough dirt before you deep clean, use a vacuum to remove more dirt and debris.

Choose a vacuum that is ideal for wood floors. Make sure the wheels won’t damage the surface of your hardwoods. When running the vacuum over your flooring, avoid using the spinning brush. You don’t want to leave bristle scratches on the surface of your beautiful floors!

You might find that a small, automatic robot vacuum is perfect for cleaning hardwood floors. The bristles are gentle and it can get in those hard-to-reach places a large vacuum can’t reach.

4. Never Leave a Puddle Behind!

Moisture is one of the most dangerous things for your hardwood floors. That’s one reason why you won’t often find hardwood flooring in bathrooms.

When humidity or puddles of water have time to sit on your hardwoods, it causes the boards to warp or bow.

You don’t have to completely avoid using water to wipe up a mess on your floors—just be sure you don’t allow time for water to sit or soak in. Be sure you never leave wet cleaning aids to sit on the surface. If you splash water or find a puddle that someone else left behind on the floor, dry it right away.

5. Clean With the Right Cleaners!

When cleaning hardwood floors, you can use cleaners to help disinfect or return your floors to their like-new original glory.

Try vinegar when it’s time to deep-clean your hardwood flooring. For those of you who prefer to use fewer chemicals in your household, vinegar is an excellent choice to clean a variety of surfaces—including your hardwoods.

Use a mixture of water and white or cleaning vinegar. Avoid balsamic or red wine vinegar! Using a soft mop, wipe the mixture over the surface of your floors. Don’t overload your mop with too much of the mixture. You don’t need to soak the flooring. A light touch will do!

Let the floors dry, and they’re clean! There’s no need to rinse when using this mixture on your hardwoods. Apply an appropriate polish to restore the floor’s luster after cleaning.

6. Avoid the Wrong Products!

Hardwood floors have been in homes for a very long time. Before there were other types of floorings, people realized that wood could make an excellent floor.

Because wood floors have been around so long, they’ve existed through a variety of cleaners, polishes, stains, and varnishes. Still, it’s easy to use the wrong products on your hardwood floors.

Avoid soapy cleaners that can dry out your floors and leave a waxy residue. When polishing, stay away from waxes that leave floors slippery or gummy.

7. Never, Ever Steam!

We mentioned that humidity can warp your flooring. Wet steam can, too! While steam cleaning is an excellent chemical-free option for vinyl or tile flooring, never use steam to clean your hardwood floors.

Steam can affect the sealant of your floors. Plus, the heat and moisture can cause bowing that requires repair.

8. Be Consistent!

If you have carpet in your home, you probably vacuum a few times a month. If you have kids and pets, you might vacuum more often.

With hardwood floors, consistency is key, too! Aside from frequent dusting, deep clean your floors—using the suggestions above—at least 4-6 times per year. When you let your floors go too long without cleaning, grime can build up on the surface and in any cracks or crevices.

9. Refinish When Needed!

Quality hardwood floors can look nice for several years before needing to be refinished. To extend the life of your floors, plan to sand and refinish them every few years.

Sanding removes stubborn grime and residue buildup that your regular cleaning doesn’t resolve. A new finish gives your long-time flooring fresh life.

Don’t Overdo it When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

Consistent cleaning keeps your hardwood floor looking beautiful, but don’t overdo it when cleaning your hardwood floor. Harsh chemicals or the wrong tools can leave your floors in worse condition after using them for a “thorough” cleaning.

If you’re ready for new hardwood floors or you have questions about how to care for your current floors, contact us! We offer a free quote on Mother Nature’s greatest wood for your floors!

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