If you like wood floors, you know they add quality to your home. They are not difficult to care for; however, once they lose their lustre, it’s almost impossible to make them look new again.To keep your hardwood floors sparkling for years, check out the following tips for maintaining them. Some of the ideas may sound obvious, but they are still worth a mention.
1. Use mats.
Grit, dirt and sand are the enemies of wooden floors and timber floor sanding. They scratch the coating and consequently dull the shiny coat. To help protect the floor, use mats – especially at entryways and other high traffic areas in the home.
In addition, check to make sure the mats are okay to use on hardwood floors. Some mats hold on to moisture, and when this happens, it damages the floors. Use rug protectors to help prevent scratches and moisture damage.
2. Sweep often.
Bacteria is not good for hardwood floors. It has a tendency to break down the protective coating. Some substances can leave stains behind, especially if the floor has a water-based coating.
How often you clean depends on the traffic. When it comes to developing a routine, consider the areas that receive the most traffic. Those will need more attention than other spaces in the home. Where there is less or no traffic, you won’t need to clean as often.
3. Place padding on furniture legs.
Many people use felt padding on the bottom of their furniture if it’s not already there in order to prevent scratches. They are inexpensive and easy to apply.
4. Use a dust mop.
It might be best to use a dust mop instead of a broom when sweeping hardwood floors to guard against scratches. Mops with microfibre heads trap dirt and other debris, whereas a broom won’t be as effective.
Try not to lift the mop until completely finished cleaning the area. This way, the dirt stays trapped inside the mop.
5. Vacuum or mop on a weekly basis.
Pick a day to completely detail your home by cleaning baseboards and frames, as well as mop the floors. While some people vacuum their floors, others find it best to mop on a weekly basis. Because of the wheels on a vacuum, it’s not the best way to clean a wood floor.
When you’re mopping the floor, remember not to add a lot of water or chemical cleaners. Use a damp mop and a cleaning solution specifically for hardwood floors.
6. Polish once a month.
Polishing hardwood floors ensures the shine will last longer as it refreshes the wood’s protective coating. Polishing is helpful as a sealant and protection from those minute scratches. You can polish the floor in the same amount of time it takes to mop it.
7. Spring clean.
Once in a blue moon – about every four years – do a deep cleaning. With all of the abuse the floor suffers during the year, it deserves a deep conditioning treatment.
Consider stripping the floor and giving it a new coat. Take away the scratches, marks, stains and the original coat, and replace it with a new one.
8. Avoid direct sunlight.
Use blinds or curtains to help protect your floors from direct sunlight. Curtains should be long enough they touch the floor to help keep out sunlight. Turn blinds upward, so the sunlight goes up to the ceiling instead of the floor. The UV rays will damage the floor’s protective coating over time.
9. Avoid getting too much water on the floor.
Excess moisture will cause the wood to become darker, and any scratches suck up the moisture. It should only take a minute for the floor to dry after cleaning. Going over it with a dry mop will help to ensure it’s completely dry in time.
10. Only use specific cleaning agents.
Avoid vinegar and water solutions, soap-based cleansers, steam cleaners and wax. Although vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent, it will strip the hardwood floors of their shine.
Soap will leave a dirty residue behind, as will wax. Steam cleaners allow excessive water to seep in along with the heat. All will damage the wood floor.
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