Wood floors give your house a brighter appearance, and they usually have a long lifespan as well. However, cleaning wood floors is not always easy and proves difficult to some people. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you clean and maintain your hardwood floors.
Sweep and Mop Regularly
Dust and debris may seem like a minor cosmetic flaw, but it can actually scratch up your finish over time. Sweeping regularly will ensure that you aren’t pressing this debris into the floors while walking around the house. Dust mops are another popular choice for owners of hardwood floors since they are so easy to use and have removable cleaning pads.
When wet mopping, keep in mind to use as little water as possible. Water can easily damage wood and cause it to warp or rot, so be sure to use minimal dampness while mopping so that it will air dry quickly. You can even go over the area with your dust mop afterward to absorb most of the water.
For more stubborn messes or stains, vinegar can be a great option. Dilute a small amount into your cleaning water so that it isn’t too harsh on your floors. Vinegar is famous for being able to remove stains and odors, so this might be something to consider if you live in a home with children or pets.
Clean Spills ASAP
To prevent difficult stains and spots in the first place, keep a close eye on your floors and be sure to clean any spilled food or drinks as soon as possible. The longer you leave the mess, the more difficult it will be to remove. Paper towels will work, but microfiber cloths are more gentle on your floor and may be a good investment.
Leave Shoes at the Door
Shoes are the main culprit for getting floors dirty since you are tracking dirt and mud from outside into your house. Make a habit of removing your shoes at the door and encourage your guests to do the same. This will help you avoid causing any mess or even damage to the hardwood. If you have rain or snow in your area, consider a waterproof mat for your boots and shoes to protect the floor from the water you track into the doorway.
Long-term sun exposure can cause hardwood floors to fade or warp. Make sure that your windows protect against these UV rays, and consider using curtains or screens when there is direct sunlight in the early afternoon.
Despite your best efforts, you may end up with scratches or chips here and there, especially in high-traffic areas like the kitchen. Fortunately, there are specialized paints and markers that you can use to camouflage these spots and help them blend in with the rest of the floor seamlessly. Only use these on small areas for the most natural-looking results.
If you recently moved into your home or just want to freshen up the look of your floors, refinishing is a great option. Since hardwood floors are a solid wood product, they can be sanded down and coated with a new stain or finish whenever you choose to do so. Many look into having this done when doing other remodeling projects around their home to ensure that it has a cohesive look.
Cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors doesn’t have to be a hassle. These strategies can also help with other types of wood floors such as engineered oak flooring. Try to incorporate some of these tips into your daily routine to keep your floors looking good as new.