Though hardwood flooring has been around for quite some time, there is still some confusion about the best way to maintain it. One of the biggest problems that people come across when it’s time to clean it is that there are so many different types of hardwood available, and some finishes require different care than others. Hardwood cleaning is far from rocket science, however, and with the right materials, tools, and guidelines, anyone can see great results.
We are happy to offer you these five tips to keep hardwood floors looking pristine.
SWEEP OR DUST DAILY
While finding motivation to clean every day is difficult for many individuals, one of the best ways to keep hardwood floors looking great is to sweep daily. Dirt, dust, pet hair and other debris can get embedded into the floor and cause minor scratches and impurities. Dust mops and microfiber cloths are most effective at collecting the greatest amount of dirt while leaving behind a beautiful sheen.
Mopping will allow you to reach stubborn dirt that daily sweeping or dusting will not clear away. It is also a fantastic way to clean hard-to-reach areas such as corners, cracks and spaces in between furniture. Keep in mind that you should not use a mop that is completely saturated, as water can damage both the finish and the wood itself. Opt instead for a cleaner specifically made for hardwood surfaces, and always mop along the grain.
CLEAN UP SPILLS IMMEDIATELY
If something is spilled on your floor, it’s important to clean it up as soon as possible. Use a soft, dry cloth to clean the spill if you can, but if absolutely necessary you may use a damp cloth. Mop up the spill starting from the outside, moving inward until every trace of the mess is gone. Be aware that if you allow spills to remain on the hardwood floors, you could permanently damage the finish and potentially the wood itself, a quick cleanup time is absolutely vital.
BE CAREFUL HOW YOU STEP
While a “no shoes rule” in your home is not completely necessary, be careful about walking on hardwood floors with high heels, heavy boots, or any other type of shoe that puts a significant amount of pressure on your floor. Over time, this kind of footwear can lead to scuffs and marks that may become permanent, unattractive fixtures in the wood.
WATCH THE TEMPERATURE
Many people want to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature, but they may not consider how temperature affects hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are made from organic material, and thus need to have a regulated temperature in order to look their best over time. Most experts recommend that hardwood floors be kept between a range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity range of 30 to 50 percent. While most of us prefer this temperature when we are in our homes, keep this ideal temperature in mind whenever you leave the house for prolonged periods of time and adjust your thermostat accordingly.