Many people choose hardwood flooring because it is easy to maintain and keep looking great. True, you will not have to worry about hardwood staining if you spill grape juice on it, as you do with carpet. However, there are a few things that you need to remember when you are dealing with hardwood. Once you have spent a great deal of time and money on your beautiful hardwood floor, you will want to keep it looking fantastic. Many people choose hardwood flooring because it is easy to maintain and keep looking great. True, you will not have to worry about hardwood staining if you spill grape juice on it, as you do with carpet. However, there are a few things that you need to remember when you are dealing with hardwood.
- The most important cleaning tip for hardwood is preventative maintenance. By cleaning your floors regularly and sweeping or vacuuming dirt and debris, you will save yourself a lot of time and expense in the long run.
- Wipe up any spills as soon as they occur. Although you will not have an instant stain when you spill on hardwood floor as you do with carpet, you may expose your hardwood to staining if you do not wipe up spills in a timely fashion. Once stains have a chance to set into the hardwood you may have to refinish the floor in order to get the stain out.
- Sweep your floor everyday or as needed. It is important to sweep up any dirt or debris off of your floor as necessary so that the dirt does not scratch the wood. This will vary from house to house of course. If you have a high traffic home, you may need to sweep a few times a day. Although, you may only need to sweep every few days. A rubber broom is extremely effective and safe to use on hardwood floors. People with pets especially love them because they work great on pet hair.
- Use a hardwood cleaner once a week to keep your floor looking its best. Hardwood floor cleaners are available at any home improvement center or at a flooring center. They are quite easy to use, and with a little preventative maintenance, you will thank yourself in the future. Simply spray the cleaner on and use a cloth or hardwood broom to buff the floor gently.
- Never use water and soap when cleaning your hardwood. Hardwood is not like linoleum or even laminate flooring and you cannot use a bucket of sudsy, soapy water to clean it. In fact, you can damage your floor if you try to mop it in a traditional style. Because wood is susceptible to water damage, you want to minimize the contact that your floor has with water. Water will seep into the cracks of the boards and can cause swelling, discoloration and deformation of the boards. The best mop for hardwood is one that uses very little liquid. Try using a microfiber mop for streak-free and polished floors.
- Protect your floor from furniture scratches and gouges. It is a very good idea to place felt on the bottom of all of your furniture in order to protect it from scratches. This is particularly important for furniture pieces that move a great deal such as your kitchen chairs. But it is a good idea to protect all pieces equally. You can purchase felt at the local hardware store, and cut it to size to fit the bottom of every piece of furniture that you have.
- Polish your floor regularly. If you have a hardwood floor with a wax finish, you may want to wax it on a regular basis to keep it looking shiny and new. The waxing process will also help buff any scratches out of your floor as well. Every wax product is different so it is important to read the directions carefully and also consult the manufactures guidelines of your flooring before applying any wax product.
Things To Think About
High quality microfiber mop pads will make cleaning your floor easy, but not everyone that looks the same, cleans the same. If you get one that has pads made from superior material, it will take you less time to do the job, and you will use less energy. As an added benefit, you will also polish the wood as you remove dirt. Because you are not introducing a bunch of moisture, you never run any risk of damage, and based upon the super gentle material, you will never mark or scratch the surface either.
The broom you choose is also important. With such a wide variety out there, usefulness certainly varies, but so does safeness. If you use a low quality tool to sweep your wood floors, then you can scratch them up or ruin the finish, and that is on top of getting frustrated over removing the dirt. We always suggest a rubber broom for hardwood because they are gentle on the surface, but they also remove dirt with amazing efficiency. Other models may work as well, but these have proven to outperform most other options. The rubber bristles form a solid wall to sweep up debris in a single pass, and a slight charge that builds prevents annoying stuff like fur balls and dust that flies away.
With a little bit of preventative maintenance and some common sense, you will be able to keep your hardwood floor looking fabulous for many years. There are only a few simple steps and rules to follow when dealing with hardwood flooring because it is actually one of the easiest flooring types to care for.