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How to Clean Hardwood Flooring

Caring for your hardwood floor is crucial to its long-lived, attractive appearance, and while it does require some effort, you will be rewarded with its flawless gleam. The better your floors look, the more they’ll maintain their value, meaning more money in your pocket when you sell your home. The first step in caring for your floors involves quickly wiping up spills with an absorbent paper towel or rag, as soon as they occur. On a regular basis, i.e., weekly or even more frequently, depending on your cleaning habits, vacuum or sweep your floors. Always use doormats at every entrance to keep excess debris from reaching your floors, and use exterior entrance mats that further remove dirt from your shoes, in addition to the interior mats. This will keep harmful debris and moisture from causing your floors any damage.

To clean hardwood flooring, as well as the usual vacuum or dust mop, you should use gentle cleansers, and avoid harsh products that could do more harm than good. Keep in mind that hardwood flooring is milled from lumber and directly affected by changes in moisture or temperature. It should be understood that water is a foe to hardwood flooring, even if the wood is sealed, so nothing more than a damp mop will do to clean the flooring.

When mopping, always wring out excess water, and follow the wood grain, all the while ensuring the bucket is filled with a clean solution. If it becomes dirty, replace it promptly with a fresh solution to avoid creating scratches. It’s necessary to rinse the entire surface afterward using only the damp mop and clean water.

A big issue with cleaning hardwood flooring is the cleansing product. This can be confusing to some, due to a lot of incorrect information being passed around. Following myths like using oil, for example, which will leave a residue, or using vinegar, which is too acidic, can damage the finish, and make floors look dull. Plain dish washing soap and water is a better way to go, or you can use a floor-cleaning product specifically designed for hardwood.

As a homeowner, you need to determine the type of finish on your floors. This will dictate the manner in which you’ll care for your floors, as some will need a vacuum and a mop, while others will require a coat of paste wax or liquid protection.

How to clean hardwood flooring

Look after and clean your hardwood flooring the right way