How to Care for Hardwood Floors
Real hardwood floors are more than just beautiful; they’re one of the most durable flooring choices on the market. However, to help hardwood last for years to come, it’s important to properly maintain them.
Routine cleaning is the best way to help your hardwood shine. Specific cleaning products and tools should be used to prevent damaging the wood; using the wrong cleaning product could wind up damaging your hardwood floors instead of cleaning them.
Once you find the right cleaning routine for your floors you can keep your hardwood shining for years to come. The following tips can help you care for your hardwood floors.
Cleaning your hardwood floors
- Daily: Dust with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber pads use static electricity to effectively trap dirt, pet hair, and other allergens. Microfiber mops are safer than sweeping with a broom, as broom bristles can scratch the surface of the wood.
- Weekly: Vacuum with a soft-bristled floor brush. This can help remove any trapped dust or debris, particularly between boards or in other cracks or crevices. Use caution when vacuuming; the wheels of the vacuum can damage floors if moved or turned too quickly. Likewise, never use a beater bar, which can damage the wood.
- Monthly: Damp mop with a hardwood-specific cleaner. Once a month mop floors using a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors. Choose a mop with a microfiber cloth, dampening the pad with a small amount of cleaner. Never wet mop or steam mop floors, which can both dull the finish and damage the boards.
Maintaining your hardwood floors
- Follow a cleaning routine. Follow a cleaning routine to keep floors looking their best. A regular care routine can help keep dirt and debris from building up or floors from becoming damaged, scratched, or discolored.
- Polish floors with a surface finish every two to three months. Most hardwood floors are finished with a polyurethane finish; this seals and protects the wood from daily wear and tear. However, even carefully cared for floors eventually start to dull or show scratches. Polishing the floors every two to three months can help restore their original shine and buff away microscopic scratches on the surface of the wood.
- Protect the floors. Protect the floors by using area rugs, carpet runners, and felt pads under furniture. This can prevent wear in high-traffic areas, such as hallways or living rooms, as well as keep furniture from gouging the floor. In addition, close curtains and blinds on windows to protect floors from heat and UV rays, which can fade and discolor the wood. Moving furniture regularly can also ensure floors age uniformly.