You may be looking for hardwood floor cleaning tips, whether you have just installed brand new hardwood floors or you have bought a house with antique floors that are in good condition. You’re going to want to know what tips the pros have to keep it simple, but keep it clean.
The good news is that the best advice out there does not take a lot of time or money to follow, if you get into some regular habits! Let’s look at what you can do in your home to keep your floor looking it’s best.
Dust Is the Enemy
The first thing you need to know about maintaining the shine on your hardwood floors is that dust is the quickest way to leave them looking dull and dreary. Not only will it dull their shine in the short term though – in the long term, that dust traps dirt and could scratch the finish on your floors and leave them permanently damaged!
One of the simplest hardwood floor cleaning tips is to control dust. For dust and hair you can use a soft bristled broom with a duster cloth tied around it or a dry dust mop – further info here. Pass it over your floors several times a week (or whenever you notice the shine is disappearing from your floors) and they will always have a glossy finish.
At the point where more than just dust and hair have collected, dirtier floors should be vacuumed rather than swept. Sweeping drags the potentially harmful dirt across your floor while the vacuum picks it up as you go along.
Clean Up Scuffs and Spills
Other than dust, there are two other common enemies of your hardwood floors you need to be aware of – moisture and scuffmarks. Wet floor? Caution! And not just for slips and falls.
Moisture, this could be water or any other liquid, can cause your floors to crack or swell or even delaminate the finish, causing it to crack. It can also leave white water marks or stain the wood itself. This is one of the most essential hardwood floor cleaning tips: wipe up every spill as soon as it happens!
Tough rubber scuffs for your otherwise terrific looking floor can be a real bummer. Just like high-heel shoes you should probably just try to avoid wearing black or dark colored, rubber soled shoes on the floor. If scuffs do happen though, one of the best cleaning tips is to sprinkle a tiny amount of baking soda on the scuff and use a damp sponge to remove the mark. It is very gentle on your floor but it can work wonders.
Use the Right Products
Another way to preserve the shine on your hardwood floors is to make sure that you only ever use the right products on them.
There are commercial products on the market that can keep polyurethane finished floors in top shape. Or, for wax finishes, you could apply a wax-based product and buff to a shine. Even something as simple as a little vinegar in a bucket of luke warm water could be applied using an almost dry – not wet – terry cloth mop. Never use a wet mop or cloth on your wooden floors! You may damage the finish, or worse, the floor itself.
The best commercial hardwood floor cleaning products are PH neutral, so they will not damage your floors as you clean – you should never use harsh or abrasive cleaners on your floors! In fact, if it does not specifically state that it is made for hardwood floors you probably should not use it at all.
Buffing your hardwood floors is not something you will need to do all that often if you make a point of following the other hardwood floor cleaning tips in this article. On a regular basis, keeping your floors dust free, cleaning spills as they happen, as well as using the right cleaning products in the right way, will be the most you need to do to your floors.
Waxed floors may need an application of wax and a buff every once in a while, but newer finishes should shine for months at a time.
When you do find that your hardwood floors are looking a little dull, a little hardwood floor cleaning tip for polishing polyurethane is to use a dry cloth to buff the floor dry right after cleaning with a specially made hardwood floor product. Using any other type of products on a regular basis (natural or synthetic) can actually damage the finish and leave your floors looking duller than ever!
Diluting the products as instructed on the bottle or even a bit more than suggested will make the product last longer to save you money and save product build-up on the floor.
Your floors should be fairly low maintenance and the great thing is that you can see with your own eyes that dust and potential allergens are removed. They’ve got nowhere to hide on your hardwood floor! After long-term wear and tear, for very severe scratches and stains, it may be necessary to sand and refinish your floors yourself or to call in a professional.