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Dos and Donts of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

In a recent poll sponsored by an appliance care company, 65% of those surveyed said that their cleaning skills left room for improvement. We know that cleaning your hardwood floors can be quite the task especially if you live in a large house or apartment. Though a big task, we encourage you to do that cleaning in order to maintain the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floors. Let’s delve into the dos and don’ts of cleaning hardwood floors, to help you preserve their natural charm, no matter the spills and wear and tear of kids and critters. 

The Dos:

Regular Dusting: One of the easiest and most effective ways to care for hardwood floors is to dust them regularly. Dust and debris can act like sandpaper, causing small scratches over time. Use a microfiber mop or a soft-bristle broom to sweep away unwanted dirt and dust. 

Use a Damp Mop: When it’s time for a deeper clean, damp mop with a hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure your mop is only slightly damp, as excessive moisture can warp the wood. Always follow the cleaning product’s instructions for best results.

Protect High-Traffic Areas: Place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas like entryways and hallways to reduce wear and tear on your hardwood floors. These protective barriers can catch dirt and prevent it from being tracked onto your beautiful floors.

Trim Pet Nails: We love our furry friends, so if you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to prevent scratches on your floors. Scratches from their claws can accumulate over time and dull the surface of your wood.

Wipe Up Spills Immediately: Water and hardwood floors don’t mix. Always wipe up spills promptly to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and causing warping or staining.

The above list represents important “dos,” given that fewer of us are performing regular cleaning these days! The research shows that regular cleaning is down from 56% in 2022 to 41% this year, according to the Dyson Global Dust Study.

The Don’ts:

Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. These can strip away the finish and leave your floors vulnerable to damage. Stick to products specifically designed for hardwood floor care.

Say No to Steam Cleaners: While steam cleaners are effective for some types of flooring, they can cause irreparable damage to hardwood. The intense heat and moisture can cause warping, cupping, and discoloration. Stick to dry or damp cleaning methods instead.

Skip the Vinegar and Water Mix: Despite being a popular DIY cleaning solution, a mixture of vinegar and water can actually harm hardwood floors. Vinegar is acidic and can gradually break down the finish, leaving your floors susceptible to damage and dullness.

Don’t Drag Heavy Furniture: Though it’s tempting, when rearranging your furniture, never drag heavy pieces across the floor. We love those little furniture sliders you can get at your local hardware store. Use these furniture sliders or do your best to lift and carry furniture to prevent unsightly scratches and gouges.

Hardwood floors are a valuable and beautiful addition to any home, and caring for them properly and regularly is essential to ensure they stand the test of time. By following these dos and don’ts of cleaning hardwood floors, you can maintain their natural elegance and keep them looking great for years to come. A little care goes a long way in preserving the timeless appeal of hardwood flooring.

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