Hardwood flooring looks elegant, but cleaning and maintenance can be troublesome and worrisome for someone who’s not so familiar with it. You could hire a professional cleaner to do this job, but here we provide several useful steps for you to follow when cleaning hardwood flooring yourself.
Choose soft broom and dry-damp mop
Make sure you keep sand and anything gritty swept up so that it doesn’t damage your floors. The soft bristles will be able to get into crevices and collect fine dust as well. And it’s best to use a dry-damp mop for your regular cleaning of wood floors. This will pick up dust and dirt residue without exposing the wood to excess moisture. Always towel dry or dry mop any areas of the floor that still look wet after mopping.
Use a vacuum cleaner
It’s good idea to vacuum your hardwood floor regularly for a more thorough cleaning. Use the attachment with a beater bar that will get into the crevices and make sure the bristles are soft so that you don’t damage the finish.
Water is the worst enemy
Remember that water is the number one enemy of hardwood floors. Excess water will soak into the wood grain and cause it to swell. Quickly wipe up any liquid spills and don’t use a soaking wet mop for cleaning.
Many people recommend using vinegar to clean hardwood floors, but please use caution. The occasional use of diluted vinegar when cleaning wood floors is probably alright, but overuse can cause the finish to dull over time.
Be very careful about what cleaning products you use on your hardwood floors. You need to make sure the cleaner you use doesn’t leave a film or residue. Follow your floor manufacturer’s recommendations or consult a professional installer to find out what products they suggest. Remember that you’re cleaning the finish on the wood and not the actual wood itself.
Stains & Scuff marks
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to stains on your hardwood floor. However, accidents do happen and some stains can be difficult to remove. If your floor has a good finish the stain can probably be cleaned with a wood floor cleaning product and a little extra attention. If the stain has soaked into the wood grain, you may need to sand it out and refinish the area or hire a professional.
There are specific cleaners that can be used to spot clean scuff marks. Just spray on and rub clean with a soft cloth taking care not to scratch the finish.
Homeowners are often temped to wax their hardwood floors to keep them shiny and protect the finish, but again, use caution. Never wax a wood floor with a urethane finish and be careful of any products you use since any coating will build up over time. Certain waxes will limit your options if you need to have your wood floor refinished in the future.
Most of the damage done to hardwood floors is from cleaning too frequently instead of not often enough. Many products advertised for cleaning hardwood floors are alright for occasional use, but can cause problems if used too much. Always follow directions carefully when using any cleaning products on your wood floors.