There is nothing like the beauty of a hardwood floor. Proper care must be taken to keep your flooring looking its best. Unlike engineered wood or laminate, hardwood can be refinished many times and will add years of style and warmth to your home, as well as keep its value for its resale. Prompt consistent floor care is needed to keep your hardwood looking its best for years to come.
Proper Hardwood Floor Cleaning
Knowing how to clean hardwood floors is important because the arch enemy of hardwood is dirt and sandy grit, which will scratch and mark the floor if not removed promptly. Dust is seen more easily on wood floors than it is on linoleum or on carpet, especially in the sunlight and especially if the floor has a dark stain. Careful hardwood floor care means sweeping and dusting regularly – once a week at least, and after any event that leaves dirt or grit behind. Regular household dusting and cleaning products are too harsh and will cause damage. You must use only products specifically designed for hardwood. Vacuuming is preferable to sweeping because it allows the dirt and dust to be pulled from between the boards, but use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment, not a spinning brush bar, which can damage the wood.
Deep Cleaning Hardwood Floors
When a deeper cleaning is required, use a cleaning method appropriate to the finish on your floor. If your floor has a glossy finish, it means that polyurethane, or a water-based urethane, or some of a similar finish has been used to form a protective barrier over the hardwood. If it has a matte finish, it means that the floor is protected with a penetrating seal of oil and/or wax.
On both of these finishes water is not an acceptable cleaning agent, but both of them can accept a light, damp-mop cleaning, which means the mop is not wet but only damp to the touch. Remember you are cleaning only the surface and not using enough water to penetrate the oiled-and-waxed hardwood. When using a damp mop on oil and waxed hardwood, you can add a little neutral ph hardwood floor cleaner to the water before dipping the mop into it. A floor with a protective glossy barrier can accept a generic hardwood floor cleaner providing it doesn’t contain any wax or oil.
Hardwood Floor Care Protection
Along with regular cleaning and refinishing when necessary, there are a number of steps you can take to preserve the beauty of your hardwood:
1. Use area rugs and mats in high traffic areas and especially areas where frequent spills can occur. Choose cotton mats as they do not trap water under them as rubber or vinyl might.
2. Keep high-heeled shoes off the floors if possible.
3. Keep nails trimmed on pets.
4. Clean up spills immediately with a paper towel or dry cloth.
5. Lift rather than drag furniture when moving it and use felt protector pads or glides under furniture legs to prevent scratches and gouges.
With proper care and maintenance, your hardwood floors will retain their beauty for years to come. When your floors become worn, or if they become damaged, they can be restored to their former glory with a little time, effort, and money. We can help with all your hardwood floor care needs – let us help you keep your hardwood floors looking their best.