Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors bring warmth and elegance to any house. Not only is it beautiful and enhances just about any décor, it is one of the healthiest options for you and your family. Hardwood floors do not hold dust or hide mold the way carpeting can. With regular maintenance and occasional deep cleaning your hardwood floors will hold their beauty and add value to your home.
Prevention and Maintenance
Prevention is important when dealing with cleaning your hardwood floors. Put a rug at every entryway in your house. This will take the majority of the dirt, sand, and rocks that come into your home. This dirt can scratch your hardwood flooring and wear down the coating that makes it so beautiful. You can go one step further and incorporate a no shoe policy in your house, although this is not completely necessary. But, I would suggest no high heels or work boots in the house. These types of shoes tend to be harder on the flooring than other shoes.
Chairs, tables, and other furniture that you will occasionally move should also be fitted with special bottoms so that they do not scratch your hardwood floor surface. If you prefer chairs on wheels, they do sell rubber castors specially made for hardwood floor protection. Any other furniture that does not have wheels place some type of felt protection under each leg, and ensure you clean these at least once a week as well.
Because dirt and dust can accumulate pretty quickly in a home, you should sweep your hardwood floors at least three times a week. If you have the time, every day would be ideal. Get a broom with soft, fine bristles. Once a week vacuum the furniture, floors, and rugs thoroughly. This will pick up the dirt that has accumulated at the bottom of the rugs and in the crevices of the floor planks.
After vacuuming, you can mop the floors with a very damp mop. Water is very bad for hardwood flooring, so if you feel you need to mop the floors, make sure it is very damp. Although most manufacturers do not recommend steam mops, there are a lot of people that do use them on their hardwood flooring. I do recommend, if you are using a steam mop, to carry a towel with you so you can dry any leftover wet spots that do not evaporate fast enough.
You can also purchase a hardwood floor cleaning spray that works wonders on the floors. If you have animals or kids, you know spills and messes happen. If the mess is wet, dry it immediately with a soft cloth, spray the cleaner down and wipe it clean with a new, dry soft cloth.
Tips and Reminders
• Purchase a dry Swiffer mop, but instead of using the throw away pads, purchase reusable ones off of the Internet. Not only are they safer for your floor, they are ecofriendly!
• Make sweeping an everyday habit. A few minutes in the morning and your floors will be sparkling!
• Water is the enemy. Do not let spills or messes sit too long on the hardwood floor!
• Put rugs at every entry point into your home and near sinks to catch dirt and water from getting onto your floors.
• Prevention and maintenance goes a long way towards the longevity of your beautiful hardwood flooring.
Sometimes, the care and maintenance of hardwood flooring can seem a little overwhelming, but the value and beauty that hardwood floors bring to your home is worth the trouble. Carpeting can hold dust, dirt, and mold and spills are sometimes impossible to clean up. Hardwood flooring resolves these issues provided the proper care is taken.