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Cleaning Hardwood Flooring

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Hardwood flooring not only looks great, it’s also easy to clean and maintain. The ability to clean and care for hardwood in just a few steps is part of why it’s such an appealing flooring option for many homeowners. Hardwood needs to be dry mopped or vacuumed regularly but beyond that there isn’t much care needed. Mopping is only necessary occasionally and many homeowners find that they can spot clean their floors. 

 Cleaning Methods

Cleaning your floors with these methods can protect your floor from damage and keep your floors looking good for years to come. We recommend dry mopping or vacuuming your floors regularly. A microfiber dry mop or a vacuum without a beater bar work great. When choosing a cleaning product for mopping you will want to read the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning products. Never use any oil soap cleaners, waxes or cleaning solutions with vinegar, these cleaning materials can cause the floor to become slippery or damage the finishes.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning is another great method for keeping your hardwood floors looking good. Wiping up liquid spills immediately is good for the health of your hardwood flooring but also helps them look better, water spots cna make your flooring look dirty or clouded. Spots can be cleaned up with a soft cloth and hardwood cleaning solution. Rubbing the spot that is dirty with the cloth in a gentle manner is best for removing dirty, grease and other surface stains. Spots like chewing gum and wax can be harder to remove but some people find that ice helps to break the bond between the spot and the floor. 

Maintenance tips

Maintaining your hardwood flooring is much more than just cleaning. Protecting your hardwood from damage is one of the most important parts of hardwood maintenance. Rugs are a great barrier from damage and can be utilized in high traffic areas like children’s play areas, hallways and entryways. It’s recommended that you move rugs periodically to prevent sun bleaching. Doormats are vital to eliminating dirt and debris in the home which can wreck floors. Furniture is a big cause of damage and protective pads should be out on chair legs, table legs and other furniture to prevent damage. Trimming pets nails is another great way to keep your floors looking great. High heels are also a big cause of damage to hardwood flooring.  Finally, cleaning up debris and dirt on a regular basis is a great way to protect your floors from damage. 

What to Avoid

Steam mops, harsh cleaners and wet mopping are all things to avoid. Steam mops can damage the flooring by injecting too much moisture into the wood. While it may seem like the steam could not penetrate the flooring finish it can make its way through the finish and into the boards causing discoloration and other issues. Harsh cleaners can cause the finish to dull and wear prematurely. Harsh cleaners may be used occasionally but only under expert supervision and often this is done when preparing for a recoat which will mend any damage to the finish. Wet mopping is another moisture issue and can actually cause the floor to cup and warp. Dry mops are easy to use and yield great results. Most manufacturers have specific instructions about this kind of care and can advise you on what tools are safe for their flooring and what to avoid. 

Cleaning and caring for hardwood takes little more effort than carpet but is a great investment in your home and looks beautiful for years to come. Many homeowners are surprised to find that they do not need to wax or buff their floors regularly to maintain their beauty. Hardwood floors have a bad rap for being hard to maintain but as flooring finishes and technology improved this became less of a reality. 

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