The floors of your home experience a lot of traffic. Shoes, pets, furniture, spilled food, and children’s toys all take a toll on your hardwoods. Learn how to care for hardwood floors to keep your floors in good shape and looking great.
Care for Your Hardwood Floors by Preventing Damage
The first step in caring for hardwoods is to prevent damage. Scuffs and minor scratches can be buffed out, but for deep gouges and stains, the wood may have to be replaced. Use doormats outdoors and just inside every entrance to your home. These mats will help by trapping dirt and debris before it gets to your floors.
Use a mudroom or install an entryway bench and encourage family and friends to remove their shoes before coming into the house. High heeled shoes can damage hardwoods and shoes with thick tread or lug soles can trap small pebbles that may scratch the floors.
Some other tips for preventing damage to your floors include:
- Clean spills immediately. Even water should be wiped up because it can cause warping.
- Use furniture pads to protect floors from scratches.
- Sweep the floor daily to remove dust and dirt that can cause scratches.
Care for your Hardwood Floors by Vacuuming
Hardwoods should be vacuumed to remove debris that gets trapped in cracks and between floorboards. Use the vacuum on the bare floor setting to keep the flooring from being scratched by the rotating brush. Vacuuming at least once a week, depending on your household.
Deep Cleaning Wood Flooring
Once a month, use a cleaner specially formulated for hardwood. Choose a neutral solution with a pH of 7 to avoid damaging the finish of the flooring. Read and follow the directions on the label. When cleaning hardwoods, be careful not to saturate the floor. Using a spray bottle is an easy way to apply the cleaner and dispense an appropriate amount of product.
Hardwood flooring isn’t waterproof and too much moisture can damage the floor. After cleaning your hardwoods, use a dry mop or soft cloth to remove any remaining moisture. If the floor is still damp, open windows or use fans to help it dry out quickly.