You’re proud of your home’s hardwood floors, and rightfully so: they cost you a lot, and they’re one of your home’s most attractive features. To keep them in tip-top shape, however, you need to maintain them. While hardwood floors do occasionally need to be re-sanded and refinished, you can avoid having to do this too frequently by engaging in regular maintenance.
Here are some tips for keeping your hardwood floors beautiful!
Regular sweeping and debris removal. Nothing will tarnish the beauty of hardwood faster than dirt, grit, sand, and salt (for winter ice). Ensure you regularly sweep the floors to remove debris that could corrode the finish and the wood.
Washing with the right cleaner. Detergents you might use on tile floors aren’t suitable for hardwood. They main contain ammonia, bleach and other substances that can ruin the beauty of the wood. Even soap can harm some finishes. Ensure you’re using a cleaner made for wood floors, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. Avoid using mops or sponges with gritty, abrasive surfaces. A gentle mopping or vacuuming on the bare floor setting is all it needs. Remove more stubborn sticky or dirty spots with a soft cloth and a bit of elbow grease.
Shoes off! Americans are some of the only people in the world who wear their shoes inside their homes. Place a rubber shoe and boot tray inside each of your home’s entrances and make a new rule: nothing but socks, soft slippers or bare feet in the house. You’ll save yourself exposure to a lot of bacteria and viruses that can be tracked in from outside with this rule, too. (The average shoe sole is covered with 421,000 bacteria!)
Clean spills immediately. While your hardwood floors are coated to protect them, leaving water or other liquids in place can eventually cause damage. Ensure all wet spots are dried immediately and put the dog or cat’s water bowls on tiled areas or protective rubber mats.
Use area rugs. Area rugs on high-traffic areas can save a lot of wear and tear on hardwood floors. Consider using rugs that can be regularly washed and dried to keep them looking clean and fresh.
Hire a professional hardwood floor cleaner. While there is a great deal you can do yourself to maintain your hardwood floors, it’s worthwhile to occasionally hire a professional company like Connecticut-based Always Clean to give your hardwood an in-depth cleaning to preserve its beauty and extend its life. Do-it-yourself steam cleaning can inadvertently harm hardwood floors if done incorrectly.