Hardwood floors can make your home look attractive and comfortable. When you install hardwood floors in your home you are making a big investment. Many people are wary of installing hardwood floors because they think it is difficult to keep them clean. That’s not entirely true as most hardwood floors are finished with polyurethane.
Hardwood Floor Finishes Determine How to Clean
The most important step in maintaining your hardwood floors is to determine what the finish on them is. Prefinished floors are finished at the factory with a polyurethane-based surface-seal making them easy to clean. Unfinished flooring is raw hardwood that need to be sanded and refinished after it has been installed. Unfinished floors don’t have this seal which makes them more difficult to keep clean. If you aren’t sure about the finish on your floors you can put a few drops of water on the surface. If the water soaks into the wood, it isn’t prefinished.
Sweeping Hardwood Floors with Broom
The best way to take care of your hardwood floors is to sweep them on a regular basis. This will prevent scratching and other damage. Use a microfiber cleaning pad for sweeping. These pads are effective at removing dirt and particles from your floor. Removing dirt and particles will protect your floors from scratches and other damage that can help create stains.
Vacuum Hardwood Floors
Vacuuming is also essential is maintain your hardwood floors. Doing so will remove dirt from areas that might be hard to get to with a broom like the corners of the room. Starting to clean your floors without taking this step can lead to scratches. You do need to be careful about the vacuum cleaner you use. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a long and oval floor brush and make sure the wheels are free of debris that can scratch your floors.
Polish Hardwood Flooring
Having your hardwood floors polished every few months is a great way to renew the finish and protect them. Scratches will be also be filled in during this process. Hardwood can’t store dirt like carpets do so you will need to make sure the floors are free of any dirt and debris. Sweep and vacuum first or you may end up with scratches on the surface.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors
If you are sweeping and vacuuming regularly you won’t need to clean your hardwood floors too often. You only need to clean it when it really needs it because cleaning too often can cause damage. Too much water is harmful to hardwood floors. You also need to be very careful about the cleaning solutions you choose to use. Choose a pH neutral and water-based cleaner and spray it over the floor. Then mop with a microfiber mop to pick up all the dirt. Heavy stains can be removed with baking soda, vinegar can be used for dark spots and odorless minerals can be used for white spots. Stains that are oily in nature can be removed with dishwashing soap and a soft cloth. Just make sure you rinse with clean water.