Hardwood floors can be a nightmare to clean. Not many people are aware that cleaning hardwood floors depends on the type of finish you’ve used. Some finishes require different care than others. But with the right tools, materials, and guidelines, anyone can do it in a breeze.
Here are some tips to keep them looking polished for years.
1. Make vacuuming a weekly habit
The fine grit in the dust is like sandpaper that may slowly wear through your floor’s finish. Good vacuuming protects the finish and its appearance. Use the attachment with a felt surface or brush that runs along the floor. Don’t use attachments with rotating brushes or beater. These will scratch the finish. Using dust mop or microfiber sweepers will work just as well.
2. Slow down on furniture polish and hairspray!
These contain ingredients that can cloud your floor’s finish. For prevention, wipe them up immediately with a damp cloth. Spraying non-ammonia window cleaner can also help in thorough cleanup.
3. Keep out the rain
Water ruins the finish on a hardwood floor and penetrates deep into the wood and stain it. When expecting rain, close your windows. Put trays under potted plants and always wipe up any water you see.
4. Use no-wax wood cleaner to remove residue
Quickly clean up small problems and wipe a no-wax wood cleaner to remove the residue. Dirt can damage the finish or get ground in. Liquids can cause damage to the floor’s finish or even stain the floor. It’s important to quickly wood floors but remember that over cleaning may also do some damage as well.
5. Learn how to use your waxes and restorers
Always read the labels! Make sure you buy products designed for the type of finish you have on your floor. Rejuvenate a wax finish with more wax but don’t use it on shellac, varnish, or polyurethane. Wax on these surfaces can make the floor too slippery. For polyurethane, use a polish made specifically for it. If using a general-purpose floor restorer, test it first on an inconspicuous area.
6. Invest in an extra-long “walk-off” doormat
In an ideal world, visitors should remove their shoes when they come inside the house. However, this isn’t always the case. Doormats help in reducing and preventing dirt, water, and salt trekked onto wood floors. Yes you can still get rid of these through vacuuming. But keeping them off in the first place is even better. A 4 foot walk-off mat would be great or even longer.
7. Area rugs for high-traffic zones
Walking across an area several times a day can cause wear and tear on a wood floor’s finish. Nice area rugs can help you reduce the wear but make sure they don’t have a backing. Rubber or vinyl rubbing traps humidity, which can ruin your floor’s finish and stain or worst, damage the wood.
8. Get furniture pads
Furniture can still scratch your wood flooring even if you don’t rearrange your furniture that often. Putting furniture pads can keep your wood floors looking new. It also makes it easier to move them around.
Ask for Professional Advice
When getting a new hardwood floor installed, best if you can ask the folks doing the job about what you should and shouldn’t be using on your floor. They should able be to give you a good idea of what to purchase and the techniques they would use to clean your particular type of flooring. You may also consult professionals specialising in restoration especially if you’ve acquired a pre-owned home and the floor was installed many years ago.