Regular cleaning and caring for your hardwood floor will help protect your investment. Learn how to prevent scratches, keep dirt from building up, and what to do when.
The best way to clean hardwood floors is to follow a schedule:
Dust: This is one of the most underestimated and easy steps in the process. Dust daily to keep dust and dirt off the floor. This will prevent scratching and essentially extend the beauty and life of your floor. Daily dust-mopping will also significantly reduce allergens in the home. More effective than traditional methods, a microfiber material uses a static charge to attract more dust and allergens. These smaller fibers reach into floor pores to lift dirt more effectively.
Clean: There’s a right way to clean floors, and there’s a wrong way. Too much liquid can damage floors, while the wrong formula may not work. Look for pH-neutral, nontoxic and biodegradable formulas to clean effectively and keep your home and environment safe. Vinegar, for example, can eat away at finish, even when diluted with water. Use a washable microfiber pad, which will remove bacteria and keep waste out of landfills.
Polish: Use water-based polishes to restore luster and shine every two to three months. These polishes won’t leave a residue or emit harmful toxins, plus they’ll prevent over-cleaning and stripping of your floor. Durable, urethane-based polishes have fast dry times, no waxy buildup and a protective wear layer to fill in microscratches and even out the appearance of the floor.
– Avoid using water and vinegar, soap-based cleaners, wax or steam cleaners on your hardwood floor. Vinegar and water will dull the floor’s finish over time, while soap or wax will leave a residue. Steam cleaners put heat and excessive water on your floor, which can lead to cupping and long-term damage.
– Use a natural, rubber rug underlayment with a waffle pattern in the entry ways or high-traffic areas; use felt floor protectors on furniture and avoid high heels. Regularly dust and clean your hardwood floor to keep it looking like new.
– Use the proper tools to clean your floor: a mop paired with a machine-washable, microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning. Avoid string mops that put excessive amounts of water on the floor, which can be damaging, and push dirt around, instead of picking up and removing dirt.
– Wipe up all spills immediately to avoid permanent stains.
– Keep pet nails trimmed.
– Maintain a comfortable environment and temperature — no extremes in humidity.