Hardwood floors are beautiful but do require special care to keep them looking great. Following some simple tips on what to do and what not to do in taking care of a wood floor keeps the floor from being damaged and dull.
Anything wet on your floor
- Using a wet mop or anything wet on a wood floor can cause damage to the finish and to the floor if the floor is left wet. Keep these things in mind in cleaning your wood floor.
- First, be sure you clean up spills immediately. Use a dry cloth or a soft paper towel to wipe up non-sticky spills. If the spill will likely leave a sticky spot, use a damp cloth to clean it up and dry the area right away.
- Second, never use a wet mop or any cleaners not designed specifically for hardwood floors. Water can seep between the planks and cause the wood to swell. Cleaners not meant for wood floors will damage the surface and could go deeper into the wood.
Clean your floor gently but thoroughly
- Sweeping your floor should be done with a soft tipped broom to reduce the risk of leaving scratches on the floor. Brooms with soft, feathered tips not only reduce scratching but also do a better job of sweeping up the finer dirt particles.
- Vacuuming will get up dirt a broom leaves behind so it is a good idea to vacuum regularly. Just be sure to use a hard floor attachment and don’t use a vacuum’s beater bars on the floor.
- All floors do need mopping, including hardwood floors. It is best to use a mop with a microfiber head on wood. It should be wrung out until it is just slightly damp and then sprayed with a cleaner made for hardwood floors. Rinse the mop often and thoroughly, wring it out well and respray with the cleaner. Be sure the floor is dried well after mopping.
Protect your wood floor from damage
- Moving furniture around can scratch wood floors. To avoid this, put felt pads on any furniture legs so they slide easily on the floor without leaving scratches.
- Protect the floor from most spills and wear by using rugs in places where spills and heavy traffic is most likely to occur. Rugs also are decorative and add a cozy touch. Be sure they have cotton backing rather than vinyl, polyurethane or rubber as moisture can get trapped under rugs backed with them.
- Sunlight also has a damaging effect on hardwood flooring. This can be minimized with the use of curtains or drapes. Since most people don’t want the thicker drapes keep shut all the time, using sheers that will let light in but keep out the damaging rays can be used.
Taking care of a hardwood floor doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow some basic guidelines. Then you can have a beautiful floor that shines.