There are many benefits to hardwood floors. They are elegant, long-lasting and easy to maintain. At the same time, you need to keep certain guidelines in mind to make sure you don’t damage them or wear them out with the wrong cleaning practices. The following are the best practices for keeping your hardwood floors looking their best.
Use Several Tools to Keep Your Floors Clean
There are several tools to help you keep your hardwood floors clean.
- Broom —Sweep up dust and random debris with a broom. The best type of broom to use is soft bristled. Always sweep in the direction of the grain and without any more force than necessary.
- Mop — Using a high-quality floor cleaner, use a damp mop, moving with the grain. The mop should be wrung out, so it isn’t too wet. You can use a flat-head mop or string mop. Organic water-based cleaners are best for preserving the floor.
- Damp Cloth — A cloth dampened with floor cleaner is the best tool with which to attack a spill or sticky stain.
- Vacuum Cleaner —It’s important to use the correct setting when vacuuming. Make sure you set it at the bare floor setting. Using the wrong setting or a vacuum cleaner only made for carpets can damage hardwood floors. Modern robot vacuums are efficient for regular use.
How to Avoid Damaging Hardwood Floors
Keep these tips in mind to avoid doing damage to your floors.
- Clean up messes and spills right away. If you spill food or your pet has an accident, it’s important to get it cleaned up quickly.
- Read labels on cleaning products. All products aren’t meant for all surfaces. The wrong cleaner can damage your floors or detract from their appearance over time.
- Water and wood are a bad combination. Moisture damages wood and can cause problems such as mold. This includes not only spills but excessive water used when cleaning, which can fall between boards.
- Use gentle products and equipment. A good general rule with hardwood floors is to avoid excessive force or harsh chemicals. Never use steam cleaning tools. Hard bristle brooms can cause scratches.
Products to Keep Your Floors Looking Great
Certain products can help give your hardwood floors a clean and shiny look. In addition to products you can buy at a grocery store, home improvement center or online, there are homemade floor cleaning products that also do a great job.
- Water & Vinegar —If you want a simple and inexpensive floor cleaner, mix some warm water with a touch of white vinegar. If you want to give your floors and the whole room a pleasant aroma, add a few drops of essential oil.
- Bona Hardwood —One of the best and oldest cleaning products. You can find this at many stores, including Walmart, and online.
- Ecover Natural Floor Soap —A gentle yet effective natural floor cleaner, made from plant-based ingredients such as flax seeds.
Hardwood floors are not difficult to maintain as long as you are attentive about keeping them clean and not using too much force. Problems often occur when homeowners use the wrong products or excessively powerful tools. Simply treat your floors with the appropriate care and they’ll last for many years.