Hardwood floors are beautiful and can make any home feel warm and inviting, but they definitely come with a learning curve. Cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors can actually be a lot trickier than you might think, especially if you are new to living with them. But don’t worry, we can help you with that! Here is our quick and easy cleaning guide to keeping your hardwood floors looking their best.
The first thing to know about cleaning hardwood floors is that a regular schedule of simple cleaning and maintenance is key. You don’t need to break out the wood polish, oil, or wax any time soon. Instead, start simply by just using your plain old broom and vacuum. To find out the best ways to clean your hardwood floors, keep reading below:
Sweeping is a beautifully simple cleaning task. Dirt, grime, and dust build up on floors on a daily basis, plus you can easily scratch and damage the finish on your floors if you don’t keep things under control.
The best way to keep your hardwood floors well-maintained is by sweeping at the end of each day. Even if sweeping every day just isn’t something you can commit to, try to sweep high-traffic areas like by the front and back doors, hallways, and living room as often as possible.
Starting a regular cleaning routine that includes sweeping the floors is one of the best ways to maintain the appearance and prolong the life of your hardwood floors. We recommend this to all of our clients before any other cleaning technique.
Another great way to keep your hardwood floors looking their best is by vacuuming. Like sweeping, you’ll want to keep up with this on a regular schedule. Vacuuming is the best way to suck up all the dirt and debris you may miss with your regular sweeping, plus with all the tools and attachments that come with vacuums there will be no crevice you can’t reach.
Just remember to check that your vacuum is set to be used on hardwood floors, there is a switch to control this on most modern vacuums. Using your vacuum on any other setting runs the risk of scuffing or scratching the finish of your wood floors so make sure you check before every use.
The best course of action would be to incorporate vacuuming into a regular cleaning schedule. Unlike sweeping, however, you won’t need to vacuum your floors more than once a week. We suggest making this an end-of-the-week task so that you can start fresh for the next one.
Mopping hardwood floors is where things can get a little tricky. If you mop too often, you run the risk of damaging not just the finish but the wood beneath. However, not mopping often enough can leave you with dingy and discolored floors.
The best way to manage mopping your hardwood floors is by choosing the right floor cleaner and also by using less water than you might expect. One way to minimize how much water comes into contact with your floors is by using a microfiber mop rather than a cloth or cotton mop.
Another thing to note about mopping is that you should steer clear of steamer mops. While the before and after pictures you may come across can be satisfying, the damage they can do is definitely not. Steamer mops release smaller water particles, which makes it easier for moisture to penetrate the wood and cause warping or other damage to the finish.
Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Floors
Now that you have the basics for cleaning your hardwood floors regularly, you can build on that knowledge. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your hardwood in their best condition possible:
- Catch spills when they happen. Spills are always a risk no matter what kind of flooring you have. Make sure you wipe up any liquid messes quickly after they occur so that your hardwood floors aren’t damaged or stained.
- Invest in protection. A good way to make sure your hardwood floors stay looking their best for as long as possible is by investing in its upkeep. Buying a rug or two for the entryways, putting some felt protectors on furniture legs, and even avoiding wearing shoes around the house by placing a shoe rack near the door are great and easy ways to maintain your floor’s smooth and shiny finish.
- Fix scratches. Scratches and scuffs are inevitable, especially with daily wear and tear over time. It could be a good idea to go ahead and find a reliable stain marker or set of wax sticks that match your floors. You never know what could happen so it’s best to be prepared at all times for scratches and chips both big and small.
- Recoat or refinish as needed. One of the most satisfying, but costly, ways to revitalize your hardwood floors when they’re looking a little worse for wear is refinishing or recoating them. The best part of recoating hardwood floors is that you won’t have to sand them down first, just make sure they’re as clean as possible. Reapplying layers of protection is the best way to prolong the life of your hardwood floors and maintain their warmth and beauty for years to come.
- When in doubt, call a pro. If you’re just at your wit’s end trying to keep up with cleaning and maintaining your hardwood floors, remember that it’s okay to ask for some help. The best way to make sure your hardwoods stay in the best shape is by calling in some professional help, plus you’ll be able to get some up close and personal tips and tricks.
Why are my hardwood floors always dirty?
Hardwood floors can easily become dirty due to heavy traffic, pets, and even poor air filtration systems. These plus numerous other factors like sunlight and weather can have a substantial impact on the appearance and upkeep of your hardwood floors. High-traffic areas around entrances and windows can be hot spots for dirt and dust to collect as well.
How do I keep my hardwood floors clean naturally?
The best way to keep your hardwood floors clean naturally is with regular, even daily, sweeping and dry mopping or dusting. Following your sweeping with light mopping is also a great way to keep your floors looking their best without using any harsh chemical cleaners.
How to keep hardwood floors streak free?
The best way to keep your hardwood floors streak-free is by avoiding using cleaners that aren’t specifically made for wood floors. Avoid things like multi-surface cleaners and try not to overuse oil or steam cleaners. To correct any streaks or haziness on your hardwoods, try mixing in a cup of ammonia into every gallon of water you use when you mop.
Should you mop hardwood floors every day?
You should mop your hardwood floors once or maybe twice per week, depending on the state of the high-traffic areas. Daily sweeping and or vacuuming is the best way to maintain the appearance of your hardwoods, though mopping with a microfiber mop can keep them looking their best on a weekly basis.
If you’re looking for a little help when it comes to keeping up with your hardwood floors or if you’re just in need of a helping hand all over the house, we’ve got your back! You can check out our wide range of housekeeping services and find out if we have what you need. Contact us today so we can help you get started on your home’s cleaning journey, we’re always happy to help!