Hardwood Flooring Cleaning and Maintenance
Advice and Tips
Want to increase the lifetime of your hardwood flooring? Proper cleaning and maintenance habits are the key.
The cleaning and maintenance of hardwood flooring keeps the wood safe from scratching, staining, warping, and other types of damage. Dust, sand, rocks and moisture are all harmful outside agents that commonly find themselves on your floors. By cleaning regularly and going through the proper maintenance procedure, you can ensure the longevity of your flooring.
Regular Cleaning Habits
Set yourself up for success by planning your regular cleaning patterns. Schedule this into your daily and weekly routine to ensure it is consistently done.
Here are a few tips to help:
- Regularly dust your floors with a dry mop, terry cloth mop or microfiber cloth/mop.
- Sweep or vacuum dust and dirt away on a regular basis. Use a vacuum without a beater bar. The more prone your home is to dust or dirt, the more often you should sweep.
- Never let liquid linger on the floors. Clean up spills immediately.
- Use the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning products to clean your floors. Some chemicals can be more harmful on hardwood than most other surfaces.
- Avoid oil soap cleaners, ammonia based cleaners, acidic compounds like vinegar, wax-based products, bleaches or polishes. These can void your floor’s warranty and damage the surface.
- Never clean with a wet mop and water. Excess water and chemicals can damage the hardwood. Always use a dry mopping system with hardwood specific cleaner applied to the mop head.
- Spot clean when needed with the specified cleaner. This is especially important with liquids that can stain your hardwoods.
Accidents happen! Here are some tips and tricks to clean common household accidents:
- Food/Water/Animals/Grease/Lipstick/Ink Spots/Crayons or Rubber Heel Marks
- Apply hardwood cleaner to a soft cloth and rub the area until spot is removed. If the spot remains, use a cloth with odorless mineral spirits to rub the stain and follow with a hardwood cleaner.
- Chewing Gum or Candle Wax
- Fill a bag with ice and place it over the area. Wait until the gum or wax is brittle enough to crumble away. After it is crumbled off the floor, use a cloth with hardwood cleaner.
- Minor Abrasions, Scratches and Chips
- Use a touch-up kit or Acrylic filler from your manufacturer that matches your flooring stain to fill in the spots.
- Most manufacturers also have finishing products that can be applied for shine and scratches.
- Major Scratches and Chips
- Major scratches and chips will need have the board replaced if fillers do not work.
Maintenance is equally as important. Often times, you need to maintain other household factors, such as pets and furniture, to keep your floors looking their best and avoiding damages.
Here are some of the best ways you can maintain your flooring so that it stays in its best shape for the long haul.
- If you use area rugs, move them periodically to make sure the sunlight isn’t creating uneven stains on your wood.
- Keep door mats at your entryways to minimize the amount of dirt tracked into your home and onto your floors.
- Use rubber mats or rugs to leave shoes on.
- Put cork or felt pads underneath your furniture to avoid scratch marks.
- Trim your pet’s nails on a regular basis to prevent scratching.
- Do not wear shoes such as high-heels or cleats on the floor. These types of footwear can cause dents.
- Add rugs or carpet squares in high traffic areas and play rooms.
- It is important to clean debris or dirt out of gaps during temperature changes for proper movement back into the grooves. Use a vacuum attachment to get into the cracks.
- Use a humidifier during cold winter months when the air inside is dry.
- Caster wheeled furniture should be used with caution. Barrel-type or wide, flat glide casters are best for these types of floors. Use protective caster cups or felt pads to protect the floor.
- Relative humidity in your home should stay between 35% – 55%
That’s it! Caring for your hardwood floors isn’t as difficult as it used to be. With the advent of new technology and better finishes, you can enjoy beautiful looking floors long into the future with just a little bit of proper care and maintenance.