How to clean your hardwood floors
Are your hardwood floors yearning for a revival, longing to showcase their natural splendor once again? Look no further, for we hold the key to unlocking the secrets of cleaning this household surface. Get ready to embark on a transformative journey that will leave your floors radiant, your home infused with warmth, and your heart filled with pride.
Continue reading to unveil the enchanting process that will make your hardwood floors shine like never before!
What is hardwood floor
Hardwood floors are flooring surfaces made from natural wood. They are constructed using solid hardwood planks or engineered wood planks.
Solid hardwood floors are made entirely of solid wood and are typically milled from a single piece of timber. They offer the authentic beauty and warmth of natural wood and can be sanded and refinished multiple times throughout their lifespan.
Engineered hardwood floors, on the other hand, consist of a thin layer of real hardwood bonded to several layers of plywood or high-density fiberboard (HDF). This layered construction provides stability and resistance to temperature and moisture changes.
Other surface types
Do you have a different surface? Read our blog posts on how to clean granite surface, cement tiles, glass tiles, vinyl floor, laminate floor, terracotta, cork surface, metal tiles, porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles, limestone, grout, soapstone, marble, travertine, slate or quartz.
Benefits of having hardwood floors
- Timeless Beauty: With their natural grains, rich colors, and warm tones, hardwood floors add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. The unique patterns and variations in the wood make each floor distinct and visually appealing.
- Durability and Longevity: When properly maintained, hardwood floors can last for decades, standing up to heavy foot traffic, furniture, and everyday wear and tear.
- Easy to Clean and Maintain: Regular sweeping or vacuuming, along with occasional mopping using a hardwood floor cleaner, is typically all that’s needed to keep them clean and free from dust and allergens. Hardwood floors are resistant to stains, making spills easier to clean up.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality: Unlike carpets, which can trap dust, allergens, and pet dander, hardwood floors contribute to better indoor air quality. They don’t harbor allergens or emit harmful chemicals, promoting a healthier living environment.
- Versatility and Design Flexibility: Hardwood floors offer a wide range of options when it comes to design and style. From different wood species to various finishes and stains, you can choose the perfect hardwood floor to match your aesthetic preferences and complement your interior décor.
- Increased Property Value: Potential homebuyers often view hardwood floors as a desirable feature, making your home more attractive to potential buyers.
Disadvantages of having hardwood floors
For starters, hardwood floors can be quite costly, and there are hidden costs associated with installation and upkeep. You’ll need specialized cleaners, waxing supplies, and more.
Additionally, they don’t offer the same safety precautions as other flooring options, such as carpeting, which can be a concern for those with young children or the elderly.
Furthermore, those with dust allergies may find hardwood floors irritating, as they trap allergens more easily than other flooring types.
What to avoid on hardwood floors
- Harsh or abrasive cleaners: Avoid using harsh chemicals, such as bleach, ammonia, or strong alkaline solutions, as they can strip the finish, discolor the wood, or cause permanent damage.
- Vinegar and acidic solutions: While vinegar is often recommended as a natural cleaning solution, it is acidic and can dull or etch the finish of hardwood floors over time. Avoid using vinegar or acidic solutions unless specifically recommended by the floor manufacturer.
- Wax-based cleaners or polishes: Wax-based cleaners or polishes can leave a residue on hardwood floors and make them slippery. Additionally, if your hardwood floors have a polyurethane finish, applying wax can interfere with future refinishing processes.
- Steam cleaners: Steam cleaners use excessive moisture and heat, which can cause wood to warp, swell, or cup. Avoid using steam cleaners on hardwood floors.
- Oil-based or furniture sprays: Oil-based cleaners, furniture sprays, or furniture polishes can leave a greasy residue on hardwood floors, making them slippery and attracting more dirt and dust.
- Abrasive tools or scrub brushes: Avoid using abrasive tools like steel wool, scrub brushes with stiff bristles, or scouring pads, as they can scratch or damage the wood or its finish.
How to clean hardwood floors
Gather tools and materials:
- Broom or dust mop with soft bristles
- Vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment or a soft brush attachment
- Microfiber mop or mop with a microfiber pad
- pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner
- White vinegar (optional)
- Baking soda (optional)
- Microfiber cloths or mop heads
Prepare the area:
- Before you begin cleaning, ensure that the floor is clear of any furniture or debris. This allows you to clean every inch of the floor without any obstructions. You may also consider using floor protectors under furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents.
Dust and sweep:
- Start by removing loose dirt and dust particles from the floor. Use a soft-bristle broom, microfiber mop, or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to gently sweep the surface. Avoid using harsh bristles or a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar as these can scratch the wood.
Choose the right cleaning solution:
- Select a cleaning solution specifically designed for hardwood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the finish. Opt for a pH-neutral cleaner that is safe for use on wood surfaces. Dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean the floor:
- Dampen a microfiber mop or a soft cloth with the cleaning solution. Wring out any excess moisture to prevent oversaturation. Working in small sections, gently mop the floor, following the grain of the wood. Be cautious not to leave standing water on the floor, as excessive moisture can warp or stain the wood.
Dry the floor:
- After cleaning, ensure that the floor is completely dry. Use a clean, dry microfiber mop or cloth to remove any remaining moisture. This step helps to prevent water spots or damage to the wood.
Apply a protective finish:
- If your hardwood floor has a polyurethane or similar protective finish, it may benefit from periodic reapplication. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended frequency and type of finish to use. Applying a protective finish helps to enhance the floor’s shine and protect it from daily wear and tear.
How to maintain hardwood floors
- Sweep or vacuum the floor regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
- Use a soft-bristle broom, microfiber mop, or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment.
- Avoid using excessive water or wet mopping, as it can cause damage to the wood.
Prevent Scratches and Damage
- Place doormats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent it from being tracked onto the floor.
- Use furniture pads or felt protectors under furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents.
- Avoid dragging heavy furniture or sharp objects across the floor.
Minimize Exposure to Sunlight
- Direct sunlight can fade and discolor hardwood floors over time. Use curtains or blinds to block UV rays and protect the floor.
- Consider rearranging furniture periodically to even out the sun exposure on the floor.
Maintain Optimal Indoor Climate
- Wood is sensitive to changes in humidity. Maintain a consistent indoor humidity level between 40% and 60% to prevent the wood from expanding or contracting.
- Use a humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate humidity levels, especially during dry or humid seasons.
Promptly Clean Spills
- Wipe up spills immediately to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.
- Use a damp cloth or a recommended hardwood floor cleaner to clean up spills.
- Avoid using excessive water or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the finish.
- Regularly inspect the floor for scratches, dents, or worn areas. Consider using touch-up products or refinishing when necessary.
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for refinishing or resealing the floor to maintain its protective layer.
Tips to prevent scratches on wood floors
Use Furniture Pads: Place felt or rubber pads under the legs of furniture to create a protective barrier between the furniture and the floor. This helps prevent scratches and dents caused by sliding or moving furniture.
Lift, Don’t Drag: Avoid dragging heavy furniture or objects across the floor. Instead, lift and carry them to their desired location. This reduces the risk of scratches caused by friction or sharp edges.
Use Area Rugs and Runners: Place area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas, such as hallways or entryways. These rugs act as a buffer, absorbing the impact of foot traffic and preventing direct contact between shoes and the floor.
Trim Pet Nails: Keep your pets’ nails trimmed regularly to prevent them from scratching the floor’s surface as they walk or run across it.
Use Protective Mats: Place doormats at entry points to trap dirt, debris, and moisture from shoes. Prevent particles from being tracked onto the floor and potentially causing scratches.
Avoid High Heels and Sharp Objects: Minimize walking on wood floors with high-heeled shoes or shoes with sharp or damaged soles. Be cautious with sharp objects, such as metal furniture legs or pet claws, and ensure they do not come into direct contact with the floor.
Regular Cleaning: Maintain a regular cleaning routine to remove dirt, dust, and abrasive particles from the floor’s surface. Use a soft-bristle broom, microfiber mop, or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to gently clean the floor without causing scratches.
Use Protective Floor Coatings: Consider applying protective coatings, such as polyurethane or wax, to the wood floor’s surface. Coatings provide an additional layer of protection against scratches and wear.
Regular Maintenance: Keep the floor well-maintained by periodically inspecting it for any signs of wear, scratches, or damaged areas. Address any issues promptly by using appropriate touch-up products or seeking professional assistance if needed.
Congratulations on learning how to care for your hardwood floors! We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights. If you ever require professional assistance or have any questions, feel free to reach out.
Contact us today and let’s keep your hardwood floors looking exquisite!