Cleaning Hardwood Floors
You’ve spent a lot of your hard earned money on your beautiful hardwood floors, so it is especially important that you take care of them and clean them properly. If you follow these tips, your hardwood floors will continue to look great and last for many years to come.
Firstly, you will want to regularly vacuum and sweep your floors. Dust buildup can damage the wood finish and leave floors looking worn. Using a dust mop or microfiber sweeper is an easy way to keep your wood floors dust free. Water also can ruin the wood finish and can penetrate into the wood and leave lasting damage. It is important to immediately wipe up any water you find.
Putting down a doormat and high-traffic rugs can keep people’s shoes from tracking water and dirt all over your beautiful wood floors. Being proactive in prevention will leave you needing to deep clean your floors less.
If vacuuming your floors isn’t doing the job then you might need to deep clean them. Before any kind of cleaning, first determine how your hardwood floors are sealed. To quickly check which type of sealing you have just rub your finger across the floor. If you don’t leave a smudge then your floors are surface sealed. If you do leave a smudge then your floors have been treated with a penetrating seal or finish.
Surface-sealed floors are the easiest to clean, just mop up with soap and water. Make sure to use damp mop rather than a soaking wet one, and make sure to dry up your floors after mopping to prevent soak in.
For penetrating seal, finished, and even untreated floors do not use a mop. Just vacuum and sweep regularly to prevent dirt buildup. Then once or twice a year, you will want to strip off the old wax and put on a new layer. To remove the old wax, use a wax stripper or mineral spirits and rub into the wood and wipe off with a clean cloth and let dry. Then apply a thin coat of wax and let dry. Add a second coat for extra protection. Finally buff the wax with a cloth or buffing machine, but make sure to buff in the direction of the wood grain.
Sometimes you just want to spot clean marks and stains. For dark spots and pet stains, rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax then rinse with a damp cloth. You can use the same method for water marks as well. For oil stains, rub the area with dish soap and rinse with a damp cloth. Make sure to never use sandpaper or harsh chemicals on your wood floors because they can damage the finish.
As long as you proactively prepare your high traffic areas, regularly sweep or vacuum, and properly clean based on your wood finish then your hardwood floors will continue to radiate for many years.
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