Prevent Damage in The First Place
Cleaning isn’t the only thing that can damage those floors. There are a number of other precautions to keep in mind as well. Avoid walking on the floors in heavy or heeled shoes. Lay rugs in areas of high traffic. Try placing mats at the entrance and exit of rooms to avoid outdoor mud from being tracked into the house. Keep your pets’ claws short to avoid scratches, and always lift furniture (don’t drag) when moving. You can even buy pads for the feet of furniture to prevent them from denting or scratching the floor. When waxing or staining, always follow the manufacturer’s advice. And whenever you have a spill, clean up immediately, as liquids can warp and stain the flooring.
Most hardwood floors will just need a little sweeping or vacuuming once or twice a week. Of course, if you have pets that shed, this may need to be done more often. When sweeping, be sure to use a brush with soft bristles to avoid scratching. When vacuuming, turn off the beater bar (if it has one) because otherwise it can damage wooden flooring with dents. A damp (not wet – remember, water warps!) mop can be used to clean the floors when they get dirty, but any excess water must be cleaned up right away or the floor will warp. If the floor has become greasy and a damp mop isn’t doing the job, try adding a little vinegar to the water; this will cut right through grease and mildew and will not damage your floor. If the floor seal is not damaged, then most spills will wipe up with a kitchen towel as long as they are dealt with immediately. Only use manufacturer-recommended products for polishing, and remember that polished floors can become very slippery, so be sure to warn others.
Hardwood floors are a popular choice of flooring in many homes. And with a little knowledge on what to do and not do, they are relatively simple to clean. Clean regularly and avoid damage and then you’ll have a lovely floor for many years to come.