Our hardwood floors are a lovely, and sometimes an expensive addition to our homes. They are a sign of taste and class, and they give your home a polished and classy look. This is why it is always apparent when they look scuffed and scratched.
You can avoid this by learning how to clean hardwood floors and keep them maintained. It may sound hard to do, but it really isn’t, and it is easier and cheaper to do than repairing a spoiled floor. The steps are stress-free to follow, and the materials needed are easy to get.
Cleaning your Hardwood Floors Regularly
The secret to maintaining hardwood floors is proper and regular cleaning. If you follow a strict cleaning schedule, keeping your floors pick and span won’t be a problem. Consistency is key in maintaining the floors you desire.
- Daily cleaning: Cleaning your floors daily with a microfiber cloth or mop keeps your floors clean and deals with the day to day dirt and scratches. You can also use a broom if you don’t want to get on your knees with a cloth, but it is not as effective as using a cloth or mop.
- Weekly cleaning: Weekly cleaning targets the hidden areas that you can’t reach with daily cleaning. Vacuuming your floors or cleaning them with a wet mop are effective ways of getting rid of the accumulated grime and dirt. Also, use a little amount of floor cleaner or water because the liquid can damage your floor.
- Monthly cleaning: Polishing your hardwood floors every few months renews and evens out the floor’s surface, leaving it gleaming. Polishing also fills in those small scratches you can’t see and revitalizes the sealant on the floor.
- Yearly cleaning: Hardwood floors go through a lot of abuse that can leave them looking a bit dull. Giving the floor a deep clean every 3-5 years can make a huge difference in its look and longevity. Accompany that with sanding and refinishing and your hardwood floors will thank you.
How To Keep Your Hardwood Floors Free From Scratches
As the owner of a hardwood floor, keeping it free from scratches is a lifelong responsibility and something you must take very seriously. Hardwood floors are temperamental, and they scratch at the slightest provocation. These somewhat resemble laminate flooring and so if you have a vacuum for laminate floors, it might work here as well. Anyways, here are some tips that can help you avoid those pesky scratches.
Splurge on the proper cleaning tools
Yes, microfiber cloths and mops are more expensive than the regular types, but they leave your floors sparkling with no scratches. Use them in the day to day cleaning of your floors and you are bound to see the difference.
Use mats and rugs
Placing a mat strategically at entryways lessens the amount of dirt and debris that gets on your floors. Rugs also protect the surface of your floors from scuffing. You can place rugs on sections of the floors that receive the most traffic.
Focus on sections with heavy traffic
These sections often get dirty and scratched faster than the others. Always remember to show them a little extra love when cleaning and polishing.
Avoid harsh cleaning products
It may sound weird, but water is considered harmful to hardwood floors. Using a lot of water in cleaning them makes the surface of your floor dull over time, and also leads to severe permanent damage. Wax, and most soap-based cleaners are also bad for your floor, and they leave residue in most cases. Another big no for hardwood floors is a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners use a lot of heat and water, both of which can lead to long-term damage.
Don’t wear shoes inside
Shoes are the most common causes of scratches on hardwood floors. To avoid scuffing, take your shoes off before stepping on the floors. You can wear socks on your floors, but shoes are not welcome. Having a shoe storage area in your entryways can help you enforce the rule.
How To Clean Hardwood Floors – 4 Steps
The first step in cleaning your hardwood floors is by dusting the entire area with a microfiber cloth or mop. It is advised that you do this daily to avoid a buildup of dust and grime. Wipe down the whole area with the cloth or mop without lifting it, keeping the dirt trapped until you can get rid of it. By without lifting, the whole area is cleaned evenly and the indoor air is not affected much.
This merits repeating; never use an upright vacuum with a beater bar in vacuuming your hardwood floors. They cause deep scratches that can be difficult to repair. Vacuums used explicitly for hardwood floors are stick and canisters because of their design and suction power. Uprights are also great but you have to take care of the beater bar.
Before using a vacuum cleaner, clear the area of small objects that can be sucked up by the vacuum. These objects can damage the vacuum cleaners and reduce their suction power. When vacuuming, make sure to go over each section of the floor carefully to prevent scratches.
Polishing a hardwood floor at home is not as hard as it sounds. You need a good quality polish that complements the wood finish of your home and a flat-surface mop. Always test the polish on the floor before you use it, and avoid staining the walls with the polish.
#4 Deep Cleaning
Intense cleaning and refinishing of your floors should take place every few years for you to maintain a good floor. If you can’t do it at home, you can get a professional to do it for you for a price.
How Do You Clean Hardwood Floors Naturally
Though natural sounds good, but we would still suggest to use the solutions meant for Hardwood floors only. They actually don’t affect the polish and help the floor retain shine and luster for years. With water or vinegar, the surface might go dull in some time.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is one of the most versatile cleaning materials that can be bought very easily. For hardwood floors, mix 60 mL of vinegar and one gallon of warm water and use it to mop the floor in the direction of the floorboards. After mopping, clean it with a dry towel and let it air dry. Don’t worry, vinegar is safe to use if done correctly, don’t use excessive of it.
- Tea Bags: It may sound unbelievable, but tea actually cleans hardwood floors. Tea contains tannic acid, which makes wood shine. Boil some tea and soak a cloth in the tea and use it to wipe down the floor.
- Crayons: Crayons can be used to cover up some small scratches on your floors. Find a crayon that matches the color of your floor and rub it over the scratches. Seal it with a blow dryer and rub it out with a cloth.
Maintaining your hardwood floors requires constant attention and dedication. You have to be consistent with the cleaning and maintenance of your floors if you want them to last a long time.
Consistent cleaning and polishing will only get you so far, and you also have to be careful with the traffic you allow on the floors to minimize the damage done. You can also experiment with different cleaning products to find the best fit for your floors. When you give your hardwood floors the proper attention and care they deserve, the rewards will be satisfactory.