There’s no question that hardwood floors add warmth and style to any décor. They’re also usually pretty easy to care for if they’re properly maintained and cleaned. However, over time, foot traffic can bring in the dirt, debris, and more that builds up on hardwood floors. They can begin to look dingy, dusty, and unattractive.
It’s essential to properly clean wood floors to preserve their appearance. But even more, clean floors are essential to make your home safer and healthier for you and your family. Just a thin layer of dust can make a hardwood floor slippery, causing anyone in your home to fall. In addition, dust and dust mites can start to gather, causing asthma and allergy symptoms in anyone sensitive to these allergens.
We’ve put together some tips on how to clean your hardwood flooring the right way. Let’s get started!
How Often Should Hardwood Floors Be Cleaned?
Wood floors should be swept, vacuumed, or dust mopped every day to retain their beauty and keep them clean. In addition, spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible before they damage the wood.
What’s more, hardwood floors should be deep cleaned about once a week or at least once a month. It depends on how much the floors are used and how dirty they become.
Before You Start – The Tools You Need
What tools will you need to clean your hardwood floors? We can help you there, too! You can use a soft-bristle broom, which is best for cleaning up food crumbs and grit. It’s soft and doesn’t scratch the wood. The bristles should be made from nylon or rubber; both of these are usually static-charged to help “grab” dirt. You’ll also need a dustpan or a hand vacuum to clean up the dirt your broom gathers.
Another tool that’s great for hardwood floors is a microfibre mop head. These work to attract dust and dirt better than sponge mops. When you’re done cleaning, these mops can be thrown into the washer and cleaned.
Vacuums can also be used on hardwood floors; however, it’s best to choose a vacuum that has a soft-bristle roller and a beater bar that’s retractable. Vacuums with these features don’t scratch the floor.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have paper towels and water to clean your floors.
Avoid Harsh Cleaners
You’ll also need to avoid harsh cleaners on hardwood flooring. Most of these floors are sealed with polyurethane or polyacrylic urethane. Using harsh chemicals can damage hardwood floors. So, don’t use chemicals such as chlorine bleach, ammonia, pine oil, or undiluted water.
It’s best to use a commercially prepared product that’s formulated for sealed wood floors.
Finally, never apply liquid or paste wax over a polyurethane-sealed hardwood floor.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors the Right Way
1. Clean Daily
Your hardwood floors are used every day. That means dirt and debris, crumbs, and more are left on the floors daily. These materials can wear down the floor’s finish over time.
So, it’s a good idea to sweep or vacuum hardwood flooring daily. In addition, be sure to clean under any area rugs that are in place. Keep the rugs clean, too. And remove scuff marks as soon as you find them.
2. Clean Messes When They Happen
It’s never a good idea to allow spills or dry messes to stay on your hardwood flooring. Wet spills that linger too long can cause stains and damage the wood’s fibres, causing the floor to warp and fibres to swell. Dry dirt can cause scratches to the flooring’s surface.
Clean these messes with paper towels or a microfibre cloth. When you’re done, be sure to rinse the area with a slightly dampened cloth or mop. Always wipe in the direction of the wood grain to prevent streaking.
3. Dust Mop Weekly
Dust builds up quickly on hardwood floors. It can also gather in the corners, where it looks like snow! So, it’s a good idea to dust mop wood floors at least once a week.
4. Damp Mop Occasionally
When you take care of messes right away and keep the hardwood floors free of dust and dirt, it’s necessary to damp-mop them about every two to three months. Avoid using a mop that’s soaking wet; too much water can damage the seal on the floors and cause the flooring to warp.
All you need to do is to get the mop slightly damp—no more. Then mop in the direction of the grain of the wood and allow the floor to dry before walking on it. This keeps the flooring from spotting and streaking.
Do you live in a place that has hard water? If so, consider buying distilled water to use for damp mopping. The reason is that hard water contains too many minerals. They can cause a floor finish to become dull over time.
If you choose to clean with a commercial wood floor cleaner, it’s best to choose one that has a spray applicator or a mop that comes with a refillable sprayer.
Avoid using too much cleaner on the floor, as this can cause unpleasant stickiness and even attract dirt.
How to Keep Floors Clean Longer
Here are some ways to keep your hardwood floors clean longer!
Use a doormat: place a doormat at each entrance to your home. These are great for catching dirt and gravel, keeping these off your beautiful wood floors, and avoiding scratches.
Clean spills & messes: never leave spills and messes on the floor. Clean them up as soon as possible. Liquids and dry foods can cause damage to hardwood floors. But if these are cleaned up quickly, you can easily avoid warped planks, scratches, and more.
Summing It Up
With the right tools and methods, your hardwood floors will look beautiful for many years! We hope these tips give you the confidence to clean your wood flooring. There’s nothing to be afraid of, as these floors are hardwearing with proper care!
And if you ever have questions about caring for hardwood floors, you can always reach out to a professional flooring company with your questions.