Hardwood flooring looks stunning, is quite hard wearing, and will last a long time. But, it does require attention, careful care, and specific cleaning to keep it looking beautiful. These tips will help you to keep your hardwood floors looking stunning:
1) Sweep, Sweep, Sweep, Sweep, Sweep
Hardwood floors will accumulate dust and dirt faster than then you can believe, and it will show very quickly. This means that it is very important to sweep them daily, not only will this stop the dust and dirt from showing, it will also help to prevent any scratches from showing and will stop dirt from getting embedded into the gaps between the flooring.
2) Weekly Cleaning
The best way to clean a hardwood floor is with a wood cleaning product that is pH-neutral, and a good quality microfiber mop. You do not need to soak the floor in cleaning solution, and you don’t need to use harsh cleaning agents. You can get good results by using a gentle spray solution and mopping it up with the microfiber mop.
3) Mop Spills Immediately
Hardwood floors are tough and durable, but water can easily damage them, so if you spill something then you should mop it up immediately. If you allow water to sit, then it will soak into the floor and could cause irreparable damage. While it is sometimes possible to replace small segments of floor (saving money compared to replacing the entire floor), the grain will be different, and the color could differ too. you will not be able to get the same clean and consistent look that you originally had. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, and you will not have to worry about that sort of damage ever happening in the first place.
4) Use Mats & Carpets in High Traffic Areas
Protect your floors by placing strong, high quality doormats with rubber backing at each entry door. These mats should be used to let people wipe away moisture and dirt before they walk on the floor. Encourage people to take off their shoes and footwear before they enter the house, rather than walking into the house with them and tracking dirt onto the hardwood floor.
5) Protect the Floor from Damage by Furniture
The feet and casters on your furniture could damage the floor by scraping the stain or varnish, or even denting the wood itself. You can prevent this by applying anti-scratch pads to the bottom of any items of furniture that regularly come into contact with the floor. These pads will ensure that when the furniture gets moved around it will not scrape or scratch the floor. Thick pads with a large surface area will help to spread the weight of the furniture and reduce damage. You can achieve a similar result by putting something under heavy items of furniture.
6) Do Not Drag Things Across the Floor
Do not drag furniture when you are moving it around, pick it up instead. If you are buying storage boxes, get ones with wheels that can be pushed or pulled, so you aren’t dragging anything around. It’s much easier to move something on wheels so this will protect your back, and it will help you to avoid scuffing or damaging the floor.
7) Play Mat for the Kids
If you have young children, then you will inevitably have a lot of toys, and kids love to do unexpected things with their toys. You won’t want to stop your kids from playing with their toys, so you will need to find a way to make sure that they don’t damage things when they are. Investing in a good play mat for them will help with this. They can smash, bang, hit and scrape their toys as much as they like, as long as they do it on the mat. Keeping all toys confined to the play mat will create instant tidiness and avoid injury by stepping on Legos!
8) Lay off the Steam
Steam cleaners are amazing for upholstery and carpets, but they are not good for wood. They will make the wood swell and could damage it. So, do not use a steam cleaner on a hardwood floor, use only a mop that is just damp, not wet. Wring it out so that it doesn’t have any excess moisture.
9) Be Careful with Furniture Polish and Wax
Some people lean towards using furniture wax or polish on their wooden floors, because furniture is made of wood, and so are wooden floors. This logic almost makes sense… However, there’s a few things to consider; furniture polish and wax will leave a slippery residue making the floor a danger to socks.
pH neutral wood floor cleaners can be a good product to use, as they will help to ensure that the floor is kept looking good and that it is protected from damage, but at the same time it won’t leave any residue or streaks. The floor cleaning product should buff the floor and give it a protective coating and not leave it overly slippery.
10) Avoid Acidic or Ammonia Products
Anything that is abrasive, contains ammonia or is generally acidic should be avoided. These cleaning products, while often stunning as stain removers, can cause irreparable damage to your floor. You should only us a cleaning product that is recommended by the manufacturer of your floor.
If you’re not sure what to use, then consult the experts. Your hardwood floor is a valuable investment, and you would be much better off if you periodically get it cleaned professionally. It will save you a lot of time and money if you get the cleaning done right from day one. Day to day care combined with professional cleaning will help protect your hardwood floor and maximize the longevity of your beautiful investment.
Be sure to check back often for all your floor care needs.