Hardwood floor is a lovely aesthetic for any home or apartment, but it can be difficult to keep clean with it being exposed to all sorts of dirt that can hide its beauty over time. If properly maintained however, hardwood floors can provide value for any home for decades. They provide a timeless look that is difficult to match, causing many imitations and attempts to equal in value. If your home is furnished with hardwood floors, you do have to take on some responsibility to keep it maintained and taken care of to ensure it lasts however long you want it to. Here are some things to keep in mind when cleaning hardwood floors.
Dust and debris can build up on hardwood floors, causing them to become damaged, dirty, or lose their shine. People enter and leave your home every day, tracking dirt from the outside. It is important that you give your floors a quick sweep frequently. Depending on the traffic or the amount of people running around your home, you will want to consider doing this daily. Additionally, keep a broom and dustpan handy for any spills and immediate messes.
Careful With Vacuum Cleaners
In addition to regular sweeping, vacuum cleaners are a frequently used home appliance to keep your home clean and tidy. These are used on different surfaces, but should be cautiously used on wood flooring. This is because most vacuum cleaners have brush heads that are used for cleaning carpets and can be damaging to such floors, causing scratches and leaving marks. Some vacuums come with hardwood settings that help maintain the condition of your floors, but you need to be aware of this when using it in your home. Additionally, you want to consider the wheels on the vacuum are safe to use like rubber, as plastic wheels can have the same scratching material that leaves your floors damaged.
It is important to periodically mop your floors. Sweeping can help keep the surface clean from most of the daily dust and debris but dirt has a way of setting into different surfaces. Mopping frequently ensures that you keep your floors clean of stains and mud that might not be messes you want to address with a broom or even dry mop. When mopping, ensure that you wring out the mop head to only have it be damp and not track a lot of water. You want to avoid creating puddles of standing water and leaving too much on your floors. This can cause problems of the moisture being absorbed into the wood surface, and if this happens, your wood floor will then be susceptible to warping. This may also create problems with mold and bacteria. When you are mopping, be careful with the types of soap and detergents that you use, as certain chemicals can leave your wood and finish looking dull. When you finish mopping, reevaluate the surface again. As mentioned, you don’t want to leave it wet with pools of water and even minimize as much moisture as possible. Ways that can ensure and promote this is to encourage the room’s airflow with open windows or a running ceiling fan. You can also use a microfiber cloth to help dry your floor if you want to be extra vigilant.
Similar to sweeping, you can use a dry mop that uses disposable clothes to clean your floors. This will differ from regular sweeping with brooms as they trap dust and dirt with each cloth but keep your wood floors from the risk of damage due to over exposure to moisture. If you live in a small apartment or want to just do a quick, yet efficient clean, this option is a viable choice.
Caution With Chemicals
It is important that you do research on what chemicals you are using for cleaning purposes. Additionally, you want to understand what type of floor you have exactly, as there are different materials and woods, different sizes, different types of finishes. An expert wood floor cleaner understands there are also different situations that you will come across when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors. This might be from daily dust and dirt accumulation, infrequent spills, to pet urination. With each mess, there is a different approach but you must be careful in what sorts of materials and chemicals you use with your floors.
Polish And Protection
Cleaning and maintenance are important but can cause your floors to become dull over time. The solution to this is with wood polishes and waxes to refinish your floors, breathing life back into them with more color, as well as protecting them. A lot of waxes and polishes provide a protective top coat to not only restore color and protect your wood from long term damage, but also act as a repair, filling in any tiny cracks or scratches.
In some instances, you might see deeper scratches in your wood floors. This could be attributed to rough play from children with toys and shoes in the home, but also may be the result of owning pets. Regardless of the reason, you can find specific scratch compounds made to seep into the scratches and provide a protective and resistant layer that is perfect for cleaning because it won’t come off or wash off when you are sweeping or mopping. If you are dealing with much larger scratches over longer periods of time, you may have to think about refinishing your floors, using a sander or buffer to lightly remove the scratches. Then you will apply coating the floor with a protective seal to restore it once more.
Hardwood floor is beautiful and there is a great amount of value associated with homes that have this finish. However, it can be difficult to maintain, and oftentimes, people will hide it with carpets or resort to other flooring options because they do not understand how to properly take care of it. With the right knowledge of how to keep it clean, it will be a lot easier to maintain your floor over the years.