Routine Maintenance for Wood Flooring
With today’s advances in wood flooring stains and finishes, cleaning your wood floors has never been easier. Regular maintenance requires little more than sweeping with a soft bristle broom, and vacuuming with a soft floor attachment if your wood floor includes a beveled edge that could collect debris. Periodically clean floors using products, such as, Bona Floor Cleaners or a product that is a Wood Floor Cleaner. For the best results, follow instructions printed on the bottle.
Steps to maintain and minimize Maintenance of your new Hardwood Floors
Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will help prevent scratching.
Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
Wipe away sticky spills with a damp cloth and then dry the area with a clean, soft cloth. For stubborn dirt, use a glass cleaner like Windex®. NEVER wet mop, clean with oil soap, coat with acrylic dressing, like Mop and Glow®, or apply past or liquid wax to a polyurethane finish.
Do not over-wax a wood floor. If a wax floor dulls, buff the floor. To avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas, apply wax sparingly and wax these areas every other time you use wax products.
Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Replace these often as dirt and debris can become imbedded on the pad and act like sand paper and damage the flooring surface.
Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to prevent scratches.
For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to minimize gaps or cracks
Dust and hardwood floors don’t mix. Particle debris, such as dust, can scratch and damage a floors protective finish. To make matters worse, dust can be a health hazard for those with Allergies. While there is no such thing as a 100% dust-free home, there are many things that can be done to minimize dust and keep floors looking beautiful. Learning how to dust hardwood floors takes minimal time and effort and the rewards are great.
Getting the Right Tools for the Job
An easy way to dust hardwood floors depends on the tools you have to get the job done. While there are many different devices and tools that can help dust your hardwood floor, the top three are vacuums, brooms and microfiber mops. Within each category there are many, different types and variations.
Some people like to sweep/dry mop first and then vacuum. Others prefer to sweep, vacuum, then dry mop. Either way, finding the perfect technique for you will require at least one of the tools mentioned above.
Looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors? What may work for some parts of your home might not be the perfect match for your floors. Finding an effective way to get the best clean for your hardwood floors is an important step in effective hardwood floor care.
Avoid Cleaning with White Vinegar and Water for Hardwood Floors
For many people looking for a quick and easy DIY cleaning solution, “nothing beats vinegar and water.” Cleaning with vinegar and water is cheap, safe for the environment and generally does a great job at cleaning many items in your home.
Just don’t use vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors
Using vinegar and water as a homemade hardwood floor cleaning solution can have a negative effect on your hardwood floor. It’s important to remember that when you clean your hardwood floors, you aren’t actually cleaning the wood—you are cleaning the chemical finish on the wood. The finish is the protective layer of your hardwood floors.
Since vinegar is an acid, it will actually break down the finish on the surface of your floor, and over time it will reduce the shine and leave a dull appearance. Using vinegar and water to clean floors can also lead to an excessive amount of water on the floor, which can cause swelling and discoloration.
The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors
- When it’s time to clean your floors, here are some hardwood floor cleaning tips to remember:
• Prep your floor for cleaning by sweeping or dust-mopping to get rid of large particles of dirt and debris.
• Use a pH neutral cleaner that will be gentle on your hardwood floors.Use a fine spray mist to clean your floor in sections. Avoid putting too much liquid on your floors.
• Use a microfiber mop to clean. Traditional mops can work, but they can leave excess water on your floors.
When looking for the best way to clean hardwood floors, skip using white vinegar and water to clean your floors. Using a specially formulated hardwood floor care cleaner is a smart way to maintain the beauty and look of your floors. (Caution: some micro mops on some hand scraped floors will grab and splinter edges.)
Learning how to clean hardwood floors is essential for protecting and maintaining your beautiful investment. Since dirt and grime can’t hide on hardwood floors like they can on carpet, cleaning your floors may seem “high maintenance.” However, once you establish your own routine, the best way to clean hardwood flooring won’t seem so difficult.
Daily Schedule – Dust/Sweep
Giving your floors a good dusting with a microfiber mop or cloth will be your best daily defense against scratches and surface damage. Microfiber cleaning pads often use static electricity to trap dirt, particles, and other household allergens. Using a broom to can be effective as well, but using a broom only pushes the dirt around. When you want to clean your floors without damaging them, avoid lifting your microfiber mop up off the floor when you clean—this way you keep the dirt trapped on the pad.
Weekly Schedule – Vacuum/Mop
Weekly maintenance will deal with the harder to reach areas that a daily dusting can’t reach. Vacuums and wet mops are ideal for getting dirt out of trouble areas like corners and the spaces between each piece of hardwood. However, using vacuums and mops come with extra caution when you want to clean floors without damaging them. If your vacuum has a beater bar, make sure it doesn’t hit the bar floor. Also, the wheels on a vacuum might damage the floor.
When you’re using a mop, remember that water and wood don’t mix! Avoid putting excess liquid on your floor. Lightly misting your floor with a hardwood floor cleaner will be enough to give it a great clean. A gentle touch is one of the best ways to clean hardwood flooring.
Finding a Technique that Works-Dusting
When it’s time to actually start dusting, some common-sense tips can help make this task relatively quick and painless. Experimentation is needed to find an easy way to clean hardwood floors that works best for your cleaning style and space.
• Make sure your floor is the last to be dusted. In general, dusting should be done from the ceiling to the floor. That way, you’re not doing double work when dust from higher places falls onto your previously clean floor.
• Start farthest from the room entrance. Work your way towards room entrances—they are high-traffic areas and the general source for most dirt and debris in the room.
• Break up the room in sections. Divide the room up mentally for an efficient time dusting. Breaking up the room in a grid can help you keep track of the work you’ve done. Use long, deliberate movements to better maximize your energy and cleaning effectiveness.
• Avoid lazy dusting habits. Go into the task 100%. Avoid dusting around furniture and other appliances—actually take the time to remove them. Even though this may make the job a bit more difficult. These hard to reach areas perfect places for dust to accumulate.
Defending Your Home Against Dust
The best way to clean hardwood flooring starts with a good defense. Consider these tips to help reduce the amount of dust in your home:
• Use rugs. Placing rugs at entryways and other traffic areas will help to keep debris in a general area. Having family and guests remove their shoes also eliminates another source of dirt and dust.
• Clean often. Set up a maintenance schedule and stick with it. Many people dust their floors on a daily basis. When you clean more often, you reduce the chances of dust accumulation.
• Change your filters. Changing vacuum filters and furnace filters will help keep these appliances working at an optimal level while decreasing the presence of dust in the air.
• Deal with problem areas. Be on the lookout for places where dust loves to build up. Be sure to clean drapes/curtains, underneath appliances, ceilings, walls, and electronics to reduce the spread of dirt and dust in your home.
The key to keeping hardwood floors dust free is to have a realistic approach with the proper tools. While dusting hardwood floors might not be everyone’s favorite thing to do, it is a relatively inexpensive way to protect the investment of having great looking hardwood floors.