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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Posted on: December 24, 2021
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By: Mike Abatiell

Hardwood floors can create a warm, inviting atmosphere in any room. They’re durable, but they require different care than other types of flooring, so it’s important to know how to properly clean them. With the right care, they can stay in great condition and last for decades.

From pet hair, to spilled soda, to scratches and stains, a lot of different things can make your floor look less than amazing. Let’s go over various ways to clean your hardwood floor and keep it looking beautiful!

Sweep or Vacuum at Least Once a Week

Use a broom or vacuum to clean up dust, dirt, and pet hair. Make sure to avoid using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar because that can damage your floors. If you’d rather not sweep, a dust mop can work just as well to clean debris. This should be done at least once a week, but high traffic areas such as hallways might need to be cleaned more often.

Mop Your Floors Regularly

Mopping is an important part of keeping your hardwood floors clean. Just remember to use floor soap that works for hardwood floors. You don’t want to use the wrong floor soap and accidentally damage your floors, so check the product’s label before using it.

Alternatively, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water as a natural way to clean hardwood floors (plus many other surfaces in your home)! Simply dilute a 1/2 cup of white vinegar with a gallon of lukewarm water to make a natural, cost-effective cleaning solution.

No matter which cleaning solution you use, you’ll follow the same steps to mop your hardwood floor. First, dip the mop into a bucket filled with the cleaning solution. Next, wring out the mop so it’s only slightly damp. Then, mop your floor while being careful not to leave any standing water behind. Standing water can damage the wood surface, so if you notice any, make sure to wipe it up as soon as possible. After mopping, it’s best for the floors to dry as quickly as possible. To speed up this process, you can turn on the ceiling fans or open your windows. If that isn’t working well enough, you may want to use a towel to wipe up the excess liquid on the floor after mopping.

Treat Scratches and Stains as Needed

Before attempting to treat a scratch or stain on your hardwood floor, it’s important to figure out what kind of finish it has. Try contacting the flooring company that installed it and asking for details. If this isn’t an option for you because you purchased an older home that already had hardwood floors, then try figuring out the year that the flooring was most likely installed. Next, type “hardwood floor finish” along with that year into a search engine to find out what kind of finish was likely used on your floor.

It’s important to know the finish that was used on your hardwood floor, because it affects how the scratch or stain should be treated. Scratches on some hardwood floors can be treated with fine sandpaper followed by the right stain and finish. Other times, using a wood floor product specifically made for scratch repair will do the trick.  As for stains, you can often remove them by rubbing floor wax into the area with steel wool, but it’s best to test an inconspicuous spot first.

Deep Clean Your Floors to Make Them Shine

If there’s built-up grime on your floors that sweeping and mopping isn’t cleaning up, it’s time for a deep cleaning. Use a cleaning product that’s specifically made for wood floors, then follow the same mopping instructions mentioned above. This should really make your hardwood floors shine!

Protect Your Floors from Potential Damages

Taking preventive measures can protect your hardwood floors from potential damage.  Being careful with your floors can also help keep them cleaner, which means you’ll spend less time tidying up! Here are some ways help your floors stay clean and protected:

  • Use outdoor and indoor mats for your home’s entrances to reduce the amount of dirt getting tracked inside.
  • Have everyone take off their shoes upon entering the house – especially when it’s raining or snowing.
  • Use floor protectors under furniture to prevent scratches.
  • Keep pets’ nails trimmed.
  • Put rugs in high traffic areas. 
  • Immediately wipe up any excess fluid on the hardwood floor.

In addition to cleaning your floor, making an effort to prevent damages will help keep it in great condition.

We’ll Help Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking Beautiful

Whether you already have hardwood floors or you’re thinking about getting some installed, the team at Abatiello Design Center is here to help! We’re Vermont’s preferred flooring company and have successfully completed more than 2,000 projects.

If you currently have hardwood floors, but cleaning isn’t making them look the way you want, it might be time to get them refinished. Our hardwood refinishing services will make your floor look shiny and new again. 

If you’re building a new house or upgrading the floors in your current home, we can install beautiful hardwood floors for you. During the process, our experienced team would also be happy to install any other new flooring you’d like. Contact us to schedule a flooring consultation today!

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