Wood flooring is a popular choice for flooring because it is unique to every home, adds elegance and warmth to any space, and is highly durable and able to last for many generations. Many houses built in the early nineteenth century still have their original hardwood floors.
When properly cared for, hardwood floors are a classic and timeless choice that every homeowner will love. However, it is important to note that cleaning and protecting this type of floor may require a little more effort. To help you preserve their beauty and strength, we’ve compiled a list of some simple tips that every homeowner can follow to help you care for your floors and protect them for years to come.
Sweep and clean regularly
A simple way to protect wooden flooring is to remember to sweep regularly. As you walk around your home, even small particles of dust, dirt, gravel or other debris can lead to unfortunate dents and scratches in the wood. If you make a habit of sweeping frequently, you will remove various elements that can damage the beauty of your floors.
You should also never let spills sit. As they dry, they will become harder and harder to clean and can result in unsightly spots or stains in the wood. Even the most miniature puddles of liquid have the remarkable potential to penetrate the surface and damage the boards. Clean up any spills and leaks with a soft cloth as soon as possible and always dry the floor afterward.
Use the correct vacuum attachment
Sweeping is recommended for cleaning hardwood floors, as the broom bristles are softer and less damaging to the wood surface. However, you can still use a vacuum cleaner, but it would be wise to use an attachment that is designed for tile and hardwood floors.
Attempting to vacuum with a regular carpet attachment may be too rough and scratch the wood. Most vacuums come with or can be purchased with a passion that is specially designed to be gentle on wood floors while still picking up all the dirt and dust. It is strongly recommended to use one of these attachments.
Swear off mopping
Many homeowners simply don’t realize that mopping hardwood floors can cause damage and warping. Unlike cleaning other floors, saturating the wood with moisture is never a good idea. Depending on the type of flooring you have, moisture can seep into the wood fibers and cause the boards to swell, warp or twist. If this happens, you could be left with costly repairs.
If your wood floor needs a deep cleaning, use a barely damp cloth and then immediately dry the floor with a towel. Never let it air dry. It would also be wise to avoid using hot water when cleaning wooden floors, lukewarm water will do.
Choose your cleaners wisely
No matter what type of flooring you have in your home, it’s important to be careful about what cleaning products you use. But this is especially true for wooden floors, where the cleaning agent can remove the finish or dull its shine.
Several products claim to be safe for hardwood floors but can cause damage with repeated use. If you are unsure about the quality of the cleaner you have, ask the manufacturer if it is safe to use on wood. You can also read online reviews or contact a flooring expert in your area to get more information about which cleaners would be best for your home.
In general, avoid cleaners that use vinegar or ammonia, as these highly acidic substances can dull or etch the floor over time. Oil-based soaps can create hard-to-remove deposits on floors, and they can also dull hardwood surfaces.