Whether you have new or existing hardwood floors it is important to take care of them so they stay looking beautiful for as long as possible. When a hardwood floor is maintained properly, you ensure the investment in time, money and care are totally worthwhile.
The first step is to know what you have. Whether you installed a pre-finished floor or had a company finish the wood on site, knowing this information will help in understanding how to clean and maintain them.
If you have just installed a pre-finished floor, visit the manufacturer’s website! Familiarize yourself with the companies recommended cleaning products. A manufacturer typically produces cleaners specifically for the hardwoods you installed.
If you had a company install unfinished wood and finish this on site, it is important for you to know what finish they applied. Never use any cleaning product that has wax, oil, detergent or soaps in the ingredient list. Overtime, those products will cause your floors to look like they have a cloudy film on them and the build-up on your floor may prevent you from being able to apply another finish in the future.
Never clean your floors with vinegar, as it eats away and eventually strips your finish.
A regular sweep and vacuum is the first step to minimizing scratches and scuffs.
When needed, pass a damp mop on your floors. If the water sits longer than one minute, make sure to ring the mop out more.
The hotter the water, the better! Hot water evaporates quicker which is great because you never want to allow liquids to sit on your floor for a longer period of time.
- Use a throw rug in your entranceway! This will help minimize the debris left on your floors.
- Spill something? Wipe it up immediately.
- Use felt protectors under chairs and furniture. The last thing you need is a big gouge in your lovely wood floors!
- Avoid shoes in the house (especially high heels). The less you track into your home, the better!
- Always use a humidifier in the winter.
- Hardwood in your kitchen? Drop mats will be your new friend.
Hardwoods are actually easy to maintain and the beauty of being surrounded by the warmth of wood make whatever care you have to do worth the effort. Make sure to do your homework and you will have gorgeous floors for years to come!