How to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New
Hardwood floors are beautiful but they require some maintenance to keep them looking their best. Sweeping and vacuuming regularly will reduce the amount of dirt, oil, and grit that gets ground into the floor. A no-shoe policy and doorway mats will help too.
Mopping is recommended on a weekly basis (depending on traffic) but only with a hardwood floor cleaner and a damp mop. Never use water alone; excess moisture can cause warping and staining. Read this first!
When dust lands on hardwood floors, it can scratch the wood and become a magnet for dirt and grime. Sweeping or vacuuming daily helps prevent this buildup, especially if you have children or pets. Sweep with a broom designed for wood floors that has firm, but soft poly fiber bristles. Also, be sure to use a vacuum with a floor-brush attachment to get into those hard-to-reach spaces like underneath furniture or near baseboards.
If you have a wood-staining problem, such as water or oil-based paint splatter, make a cleaning solution of 1 part water to 2 parts household cleaner. Avoid commercial cleaners that leave a high-gloss finish on your wood, which attracts dirt.
Doorway mats and a no-shoe policy reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home, and regular spot cleaning with a hardwood floor cleaner can help remove any spills before they can stain. For instance, a water-based wine stain can be removed with hydrogen peroxide; simply soak a cloth in the cleaner and apply it to the stain until it comes clean.
A mop is required for spills and scuff marks on hardwood floors. A microfiber mop designed for wood flooring will trap dust and dirt, leaving your floors looking clean and new. Use a commercial wood floor cleaner or a DIY vinegar solution, saturating the mop and wringing it out so that it’s only slightly damp.
Avoid using steam mops on your hardwoods, especially if they’re older or oiled. The high-temperature infusion of water can damage and discolor the boards.
Keeping your hardwoods looking their best takes regular sweeping or vacuuming, and damp mopping. It’s recommended to mop once a week or biweekly, depending on your household and whether kids or pets live in the home. Sweeping or vacuuming removes the majority of dust, grit, and other debris that can scratch or dull the floors. Stubborn spots may be cleaned by dipping a cloth or sponge into your cleaning solution and gently scrubbing the spot.
Keeping hardwood floors dust-free is easy with the right vacuum. Look for a model that can be used on bare floors as well as carpet, and one with an adjustable brush roll that can be turned off to avoid scratching.
A lightweight canister vacuum is ideal because it’s less likely to disperse fine particles of dirt and wood shavings as you move it around your home. Look for a vacuum that also comes with a dusting attachment that helps lift debris in crevices and along the edges of furniture pieces.
To cut down on dust and dirt build-up, Meltzer recommends vacuuming a room with hardwood floors at least once per day. Other helpful strategies include placing doormats outside entrances to reduce tracked-in grit, instituting a no-shoes policy indoors, and using plastic or felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scratches. Keeping spills clean as they occur is crucial, too; liquids can damage wood over time.
Hardwood floors can look dull and scuffed without proper care, but regular cleaning is all it takes to keep them looking like new. Place rugs at entryways to prevent dirt from tracking in, and be sure to sweep daily with a soft broom or hardwood floor sweeper.
Polish your wood floors every few months, or as needed to keep them shiny and in good condition. Be sure to use a polish suitable for your type of finish. Floors with a urethane coating can benefit from a floor polish, while those with a penetrating finish will need wax instead.
Start in the back of the room and work toward an exit to avoid polishing yourself into a corner. Dampen a Bona Microfiber Cleaner Pad and apply a small S-shaped amount of floor polish to the floor. Use a flathead mop to work in the direction of the grain, and smooth out any air bubbles as you go. Check out this interesting post!