A hardwood floor gives your home a classy, alluring look. There are few flooring types that are more stylish. However, most homeowners avoid hardwood because they believe that cleaning them takes too much effort.
The good news is that you can still give your home the elegant look it needs. These cleaning tactics will help you clean any type of hardwood.
- Dust or vacuum the floor regularly – Keeping your hardwood floor clean means having to invest in a dust mop. These are mops treated with dusting agents to remove annoying dust particles and pet hair. Sweeping it daily with a dust mop keeps it shining. If you want to get down on your hands and knees, use an electrostatic cloth to clean your floor. Find these disposable cloths at any discount store. Avoid using vacuum cleaners with beater brushes that are not designed for hardwood floors. These leave ugly scratches behind.
- Use area rugs and runners – Consider using area rugs or runners. Place area rugs in thigh traffic areas. They help to trap loose dirt particles that leave scuff marks. Placing them at entryways is not a practical idea, as they will need constant washing and become easily spoiled. Instead, install floor mats. Carpet runners are a wonderful alternative to area rugs. Use them in the living room, dining room and other places in your home that get the most traffic.
- Use a damp mop weekly – Some people mistakenly believe that you should not mop your hardwood floor. While you do not want to leave scuff marks on the floor, you still need to make sure that it is clean. Mopping weekly with a well-wrung, damp mop helps you do this. Make sure not to use a dripping, wet mop. Remember that the floor consists of real wood that cannot absorb too much moisture. If your damp mop does not remove tough stains, use a cloth and mineral spirits to clean them.
- Take care not to leave scuff marks – Another tactic for cleaning your hardwood floor is not to leave scuff marks. While this is not a cleaning activity per se, it keeps it looking pristine and shiny. Scuff marks will ruin the look of your hardwood floor, no matter how you clean it. Place your tables on furniture pads. Never drag your furniture on hardwood floors, and avoid wearing shoes on them. Some shoes and heels dent your floor.
- Pay attention to your floor finish – The last, but most important tip is to pay attention to the finish. Know exactly what finish the manufacturer used to coat your floor. Different finishes have different cleaning needs. Follow your manufacturer’s recommendations to clean your floors diligently.
Sealed Floor Surfaces
Dust the floor with a dust mop or sweep it with a soft broom. Combine a little dish washing liquid and water and completely clean the floor. Dry it out with an absorbent cloth.
Floors Treated With Oil or Penetrating Seals
Prepare yourself to put in more effort to clean your floor if your manufacturer treated it with a penetrating seal. Regular dusting is not enough.
You have to constantly remove the oils wax with stripper products.
Use a vacuum cleaner or dust mop to clean the area. Avoid using damp mops on these floors as they trap dirt and leave scratches. Then, apply a new layer of penetrating wax on the floor.
Varnished floors, too, need more care and attention. Merely sweeping or dusting them is not enough. Before using any cleaning agents, dust the floor thoroughly. Then, pour a few drops of a cleaning agent or solvent on a wash cloth. Follow the grain as you clean the floor. Then, remove the cleaner with a dry cloth.
Floors with no sealants are probably the hardest to clean, because water easily seeps into the unprotected wood. These floors need you to go on your hands and knees. Clean stained areas on the spot with spirit-based cleaning agents. Then, use a thoroughly wrung, damp mop to go over the surface. Use a dry cloth to dry the floor completely. Cleaning hardwood floors needs a little savvy, but is not too difficult.