Caring for Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Floors: Daily Care
Speed up your cleaning routine by dust mopping your floors. By dusting daily you are able to keep dust and dirt off the floor and prevent scratching, essentially extending the beauty and life of your floor. This is one of the most underestimated and easy steps in the process. For quick dusting, use disposable electrostatic cloths. Save money by using both sides of the disposable cloths. Daily dust-mopping will greatly reduce allergens throughout your entire home.
Hardwood Floors: Weekly Care
For weekly or biweekly cleaning, vacuum with an electric broom or sweep the floor and then use a microfiber cloth. Do not use a vacuum with a beater brush as this may scratch a wood floor’s finish. Give the floor a light washing. Believe it or not there’s a wrong way to wash wood floors. 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.
Hardwood Floors: Quarterly Care
For occasional deep cleaning, use a wood-cleaning product diluted according to the label instructions. Saturate a sponge or rag mop in the water, then wring it almost dry so it feels only slightly damp to the touch. Damp-mop the floor, being careful to prevent standing water on the floor. Rinse with a clean mop dampened in clear water, but only if the cleaning product requires it. Wipe up excess liquid because standing water can damage wood surfaces. If the weather is humid, operate a ceiling fan or the air-conditioner to speed up drying.
Polish: Use water-based polishes to restore and shine every two to three months. These polishes won’t leave a residue or emit harmful toxins, plus they’ll prevent overcleaning 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 long-term damage.
Use a natural, rubber rug underlay 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.