There’s something about hardwood floors that gives the entire home a warm, traditional touch. Add to that the fact that it’s also a durable, long-lasting flooring option, and you begin to understand its popularity. Still, it’s a big investment, so it makes sense you’d take good care of your hardwood floors once they’re installed.
Not only will regular cleaning and maintenance ensure long-lasting shine and beauty, but it’ll also help you enjoy their benefits for longer. Below, tips on how to clean hardwood floors like a pro in five simple steps and keep them fresh.
Determine the type of finish prior to cleaning
The type of cleaner you’ll use will depend on the surface finish. If you’re not sure about the type of sealant that has been applied, do a water test.
Place a drop of water onto the surface. If the floors absorb it, it means that they aren’t sealed – the sealant may have worn off. Or, it may have never been applied at all. In that case, it’d be best to avoid using too much water when cleaning the floors. Your safest bet is to use a damp cloth first and then dry the floors using a dry cloth. If the flooring is sealed with polyurethane, urethane, or acrylic, it’s best to use a mixture of plain old soap and water.
Fix any scratches and replace damaged flooring
Not only does damaged flooring influence the overall appeal of a home, but it can also bring its value down when the time comes to sell. This is why it’s important that you inspect the condition of the flooring prior to tackling the cleaning part.
Keep in mind that fixing larger-scale damages can be labor intensive. Sometimes, replacing damaged flooring will simply make more financial sense. In that case, it’s best to look for a hardwood floor sale online to save some money along the way. On the other hand, tiny scratches and imperfections are something you can address yourself. All you’ll need are sandpaper, finish restorer, and blending pencil, along with a raw walnut, olive oil, and coconut oil.
Give your floors a daily sweep
Sweeping your hardwood floors should be a part of your usual cleaning and maintenance routine. Make it a habit to clean hardwood floors every single day to help prevent dust and dirt from collecting. All you really need to get started are a broom and a dust pan.
As for vacuuming, it’s best if you do so daily, but even vacuuming once a week is fine. Just make sure to fit the right attachment to your vacuum so that it doesn’t damage wood floors. Doing so will keep your hardwood floors looking fresh, thus bringing elegance to your home.
Tackle dirt with a damp mop and homemade cleaner
In addition to sweeping and vacuuming, you’ll also need to maintain your hardwood flooring by relying on damp mopping. Want to keep things simple? Apply a mixture of water and dishwashing soap that’s pH-neutral. Or, take time to prepare your own all-natural homemade floor cleaner. You can do so by mixing one cup of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of water. As for the mop itself, reach for a dry microfiber-like version, but make sure to remove any excess water.
Definitely avoid using any steam cleaners and acrylic products on your hardwood floors, as well as baking soda. The same goes for hard-brush brooms and heavy floor cleaning equipment.
Put some effort into preventative care
Aside from basic hardwood floor care, you should also take steps to prevent your hardwood floors from getting damaged. For starters, don’t ignore any spills, whether we’re talking about children’s sippy cups, muddy boots, or any paw tracks from your furry friends.
Also, catch dirt from getting inside by placing a door mat on both sides of the entrance door. Make use of floor protectors on your furniture, and take off your shoes when indoors. If there’s a lot of foot traffic in the area with hardwood flooring, consider giving your hardwood floors a deep clean once or twice a month, and remember to buff and wax them biannually. By ensuring preventative care, you will be able to enjoy their many benefits and keep them looking as good as new for much longer.
The beauty, longevity, and durability of hardwood flooring makes it an obvious choice for homeowners. Still, hardwood floors require regular cleaning and maintenance in order to look as good as new and help them retain their value (should you ever decide to sell your home). Stick with the cleaning tips above, and you’ll have no trouble keeping them shiny, clean, and polished for years.