Hardwood floors from National Floors Direct

How to Clean Hardwood Floors: A Quick Guide

Did you know that hardwood floors can last over 100 years if they are properly taken care of?

The first step to keeping your hardwood floors lasting a long time is to learn how to keep them clean. When you expose a hardwood floor to dirt, it can get scratched and dull.

Keep reading for the top tips that you can use to get your hardwood floors sparkling.

What Is Hardwood Flooring? 

Hardwood floors are cut from trees that take longer to grow. This results in wood that is denser and sturdier than the ones found in faster-growing softwood tree varieties.

You will have many types of flooring material to choose from when you decide to install hardwood floors in your house. The most common hardwood floor wood types are oak, cherry, and maple, but you can find exotic wood floors made from wood like teak and Jarrah too.

New hardwood floors can be more expensive to install than other types of floors. Despite this, their longevity and unique style can make the price tag worth it. 

Starting With a Sweep 

You spend a lot of time each day walking on your floors so they are bound to get a little dirty. This is especially true in high traffic areas like hallways, the kitchen, and the living room. Breaking out the broom is a great first step to cleaning your hardwood floors.

The bristles on a broom are soft enough to not ruin the floor’s finish. Doing a daily sweep keeps the majority of the grime away, which will save your floor from potential scratches.

When a broom won’t cut it, a vacuum can suck up any larger debris and makes sure all the nooks and crannies of your room are clean. Don't let the roller brush on your vacuum down when you are vacuuming or you could risk damaging your floor. 

Mop It Up 

After you pick the dust up, it’s time for a deep clean with a microfiber mop. Make sure to wring out as much of the water out of your mop as you can before you start. Hardwood floors absorb water so too much on a mop can cause the wood to warp or buckle. 

Mopping in small sections will help keep your floor protected from any standing water. You can even put the water and soap solution in a spray bottle and spray the floor as you go for more precise cleaning.

Mopping the high traffic areas of your house once a week should keep them looking clean. You can get away with mopping areas that you don't use as often once or twice a month.

A Word About Cleaning Solutions 

One of the best assets of hardwood floors is how durable they are. Despite this, you will need to use the correct cleaning agents on them or you could cause them damage. You should avoid many common cleaning products as they can take the shine off of a wood floor.

When choosing a cleaning product for your floor, it is best to choose one with a neutral pH level of seven. If you choose a cleaner that is too acidic, it can cause your floor to get streaky. 

Oil-based cleaners and waxes can also have the opposite effect on your floors if you try to clean with them. These types of cleaners can leave a residue on your floors that can show unwanted smudges. 

Using a simple mixture of four parts water with a few drops of dish soap is all you need as your hardwood floor cleaning solution. You shouldn't use a vinegar solution or harsh chemicals on your floor as it can harm them.

Protecting Your Hardwood Floors 

One way to protect your hardwood floors is to use doormats and rugs. A doormat can protect the entrance of your house that sees wet shoes and dirt on a day-to-day basis. Hallway runners are another excellent choice to limit wear in this area of your house.

The wooden legs on furniture can be trouble for your floors during cleaning. Consider adding furniture pads to the bottom of your sofas, chairs, tables, and other furniture to keep your floors safe and sound.

A standard thickness for a hardwood flooring plank is 3/4 of an inch. At that size, you can refinish a hardwood floor many times in its life making it a worthwhile investment.

Other Helpful Cleaning Tips 

If a spill happens, you need to clean it up as quickly as you can get to it. You can use a soft cloth to gently lift the spill and remove any residue to keep your floor in tip-top shape.

Steam cleaning your floor can do more harm than good. This type of cleaner is a great choice for tile, linoleum, and vinyl floors but over time can warp your hardwood floors.

Choose high-quality brooms and mops to get your cleaning job done. A cheaper alternative can scuff your floors causing them to get dull.

If an accident does happen, you can buy scratch concealers the same color as your floor to hide the spot. In a pinch, you can draw in the scratch with a crayon the same color as your floor and heat up the wax with a hairdryer to blend it in! 

Having Clean and Long-Lasting Hardwood Floors Can Be Easy

Your hardwood floors add character and charm to your house, so it's important to protect your investment by keeping them gleaming. With a few easy steps, you can preserve your floors for years to come.

Here at National Floors Direct, we can help you with all of your hardwood flooring needs!

Click here to learn more about the beauty of hardwood floors and to get your free estimate for your own hardwood floors!