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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

April 23, 2013 by | Jennifer | There have been 0 comments

Hardwood floors can add instant style to any room--as long as they’re not covered in boot prints, dog tracks, and dust bunnies. The good news is that hardwood floors are much easier to clean than carpets and rugs. Here are a few basic guidelines on keeping your hardwood floors clean, fresh, and sparkling with style.

Plan ahead for cleaner floors

Home design magazines always feature pristine rooms, without any evidence of the outside world. But you live in a home, not a magazine, where pets, kids and friends are constantly tracking their outside mess all over your real-life floors. If you plan ahead for the inevitable mess, you can go a long way toward stopping it before it starts.

  • Place boot-scrapers and a big welcome mat on the porch to encourage foot-wiping. Continue the trend inside, with generous rug in the entryway to keep mud and water off your hardwood floors.
  • Designate an area just inside the door where you can remove shoes, coats, and outdoor after entering. Be sure to provide a good, waterproof spot to stash dripping umbrellas--puddles of water are a hardwood floor’s worst enemy.

Quick touch-ups maintain cleanliness

If you wait until your floor has footprints and sticky spots everywhere, you might become overwhelmed by the task of cleaning your hardwood floors. Instead, do quick touch-ups every day or two. It makes cleaning much more manageable and prevents long-term damage, such as scratches and nicks, from accumulated dirt and dust scraping against your hardwood floors.

  • Sweep the floor with a broom a few times a week or whenever you notice dirt and dust underfoot. You can also vacuum hardwood floors, using a “bare floor” setting, or adjusting the height of the vacuum brushes so that they don't’ scratch the surface. The hose attachment works well for getting dust and dirt out of crevices.
  • If there’s a muddy blotch or a spilled drink, wipe it up with a damp--not dripping--cloth and dry it well.

Deep clean to restore shine

Periodically, you’ll want to get the full surface area of your hardwood floors clean and shiny. That’s fine, but make sure you use a damp mop--never one that’s so wet it will leave pools of liquid on the floor.

  • Use cleaning products that are designed for the type of finish you have on your floor. Most modern floors are covered with a polyurethane type finish, but some older floors have a wax finish.
  • Not sure what type of finish you have? Do a simple spot test in a hidden area, such as the inside of a closet. Place a drop of water on the floor and wait for about 10 minutes. If it beads up, it’s polyurethane; if the finish turns white, it’s probably a wax finish. Read the labels on your cleaning products, and select one designed for your type of hardwood flooring.
  • Don’t use a steam cleaner; these types of mops blast too much moisture into your hardwood floor. Hardwood Floors Magazine recommends against steam cleaners to avoid ruining your hardwood.

If you can master these guidelines, your hardwood floors should provide you with many years of beauty and style--even when the outside world does its best to disturb your pristine hardwood floor panorama.

This post was posted in Douglas Fir Flooring, Care & Maintenance and was tagged with Douglas-fir, Douglas fir flooring, douglas fir floors, flooring stains, flooring finishes, maintaining wood floors, maintaining fir floors, pet stains, removing pet stains, hardwood pet stains, hardwood flooring

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