Hardwood Floor Care and Maintenance Tips From the Pros

Those shiny new hardwood floors look pretty snazzy, right? The whole room—the house itself—has a fresh feel to it. Suddenly it’s fine to take pictures of the dog being cute on the floor and post them on social media because it doesn’t look grimy. When your friend brings their baby over, you’re no longer grossed out by how the kid presses his face into the floor. And to make everything a little bit better, the value of your home just went up.

So, yes, you love the floors, but how do you keep it that way? That shine isn’t going to stay lustrous forever; hardwood can get scratched up and dented, the boards can swell and warp—how do you stop all of that from happening? The following will explore some of the things professionals do to keep their hardwood flooring lustrous and smooth for years to come.

Everyday Cleaning

Hardwood floors bring warmth and natural beauty to your home. They’re pretty durable as well, that is, if they’re well cared for. Cleaning hardwood isn’t like cleaning linoleum, carpet, or other floorings. The first step is to use a dust mop, vacuum, or broom to get rid of all the pet hair, debris, dirt, and dust. Ensure your vacuum has a hard floor setting or doesn’t have a beater bar attachment on it if you go that route because this can scuff up the floor’s surface.

Deep Cleaning

Of course, this type of cleaning isn’t going to deal with the more intense dirt and grime. To deal with stickiness, muddy paw prints, or other kinds of grime, you’ll want to use a liquid cleaner. Experts at woodfloorscleaner.com/ emphasize that you want to use something that isn’t going to damage the wood’s luster or eat through the varnish too quickly. There are commercial wood-cleaning products and an old-school recipe of one part vinegar to ten parts warm water with a drop or two of a liquid castile soap. Do not use standard cleaning products not specifically designated for hardwood.

Make Sure The Floors Stay As Dry As Possible

While mopping, try to use minimal water by wringing the mop out completely (you don’t want water seeping into the cracks and soaking the wood, making it swell. Wipe up the excess water with a clean, dry towel as water left to sit on hardwood can damage it. Beyond this, if the water is allowed to seep beneath the wood, you could end up with mold or mildew. These fungi have serious health implications for you and your family.

Avoid Scratches

One of the biggest things you can do to help prevent scratching up your hardwood floors is applying soft stickers to the bottom of furniture that gets moved around a lot. Chairs are the biggest culprit for this, but you can usually find little felt pieces that adhere to the bottom of chair legs, table legs, bookshelves, and any other furniture that you can think of at most dollar stores and department stores.

You can also lay down rugs in the highest traffic areas (like the staircase) or areas where boots and shoes tend to be worn (in and around the doors). If you have a rolling chair where little felt stickies aren’t going to work, place a mat down. Even if you try not to roll the chair around, you can bet that it’s going to happen. A mat or rug beneath the chair can save the floor.

Dealing With The Inevitable Scratches

Part of caring for your new floors involves dealing with the scratches that show up no matter how hard you try to avoid them. There are commercial products available that allow you to paint the scratches the same color as the floors, so they’re less noticeable. DIY folks swear by using a crayon that’s the same color as the floor. If you rub the crayon over the scratch, the wax will fill in the crack. You can use a blowdryer on high to melt the wax and buff it out with a soft cloth.

Add Another Layer Of Polish When Needed

Over time the varnish is going to begin to wear. This is normal, so there’s no need to beat yourself up about it. Commercial products can be applied to the floors every few years that will add another protective layer to help keep your floors nice and shiny.

By following the above tips, you should be on your way to keeping your new floors pristine and vibrant for years to come. If you can, take a look at the manufacturer’s instructions to help make sure there are not any additional steps you need, given the type of wood your flooring is made of.