Many homeowners choose hardwood floors not just for their look and the durability, but also because hardwood floors are simple to clean in comparison to a carpet, tile, and many other surfaces. But maintaining stunning hardwood floors isn’t quite as simple as it may seem which leaves many homeowners pondering on how best to clean them.

Below are 4 tips to make sure your hardwood floors end up sparkling clean without damaging them.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

REMOVE DEBRIS REGULARLY
1. Your first line of action is to remove dirt and debris as quickly as possible once they are noticed. The smallest specks of dirt can act like sandpaper and can scratch the floor’s surface and make it look dull. Use a dust mop or vacuum to remove dirt, dust, pet hair and other debris that could scratch the floor. Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment as it could damage the surface of the floor. Use the floor-brush attachment, make sure to vacuum or sweep regularly.  If you vacuum with a beater bar, use the hard surface setting on your machine, which turns off the beater bar and lowers the vacuum to the floor for better suction power. For periodic deep cleaning, you’ll need to use a liquid cleaner. You can use a commercial wood-cleaning product, however, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

DAB SPILLS IMMEDIATELY
2. Hardwood floors may look water-resistant to spills in comparison with carpet, but certain substances can actually eat away at the top coat of polish on your floor. Some common elements include milk, mustard, and pet urine. So if your pet is not properly house trained, make sure to clean up after any accidents immediately.

PROPER MOPPING
3. A damp mop can also help keep a hardwood floor cleaner. Most wood floor installers or manufacturers recommend cleaners that contain isopropyl alcohol, which dries up quickly and are available at most home supply stores. You can also make your own solution by adding a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water. This solution will help dissolve grease and grime on the floor without stripping the finish. Also, using steam on hardwood floors is not the way to go.  Steam opens the pores in woods and damages the finish, causing irreparable damage to any wood floor.

USING THE APPROPRIATE CLEANING PRODUCTS
4. One of the easiest floors to clean is hardwood floors, but you have to know the right products and the proper way of using these products.  Using a cleaner that says “polish or shine,” means you are adding a layer of this polish to the floor and not a protective coating, contrary to what you may think you are doing to the floor.

If vacuuming and mopping don’t restore the shine to your hardwood floors, it could be that the wood floors had endured enough damage that they should be refinished. Refinishing your hardwood floor means that the top layer of the wood has to be sanded down to remove marks and then covered with a sealant. Hardwood floors should be resealed once every 10 years, or every two to five years depending on the amount of traffic your floors endure.

Hardwood floors bring long-lasting beauty to your home.  With the proper care, your hardwood floors can last for decades.

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