How To Clean Hardwood Floors
With all the new hardwood floor finishes, new wood species along with the improvements in engineered wood floor construction homeowners are using hardwood floors throughout much of their homes today, including in kitchens. Although the hardwood flooring finishes are much more durable and easier to maintain than the old waxed wood floors homeowners still need to regularly care and clean thier hardwood floors.
Since hardwood floors are a big investment it is always best to use the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products. If you are in doubt about the type of hardwood floor finish you have try cleaning in a small, obsure area first to make sure you don't ruin your wood floors.
General care and cleaning tips for hardwood floors
- Don't Damp Mop - Water and hardwood floors don't mix! Use only the manufacturer's recommended cleaning products on your hardwood floor.
- Vacuum Regularly - Small stones, mud and gritty dirt tracked in from outside can scratch the finish of your wood floor's finish. To help combat this use long bristle welcome mats placed at all outside entrances for people to wipe their feet on before entering onto the floors. Also, vacuum using a soft bristle brush attachment.
- Use the Proper Chair Glides - Narrow wheels, sharp wooden legs or metal furniture legs can scratch and dent hardwood floors. Any furniture that rests directly on top of a hardwood floor should have felt protectors, or furniture coasters under all it's feet. For extremely heavy objects such as a piano, use wide, non-staining rubber cups. Purchasing floor protectors is cheap insurance for protecting your hardwood floor investment.
- Don't Use Oil Soaps - There are many over the counter oil-based soaps and wax based cleaning products that may damage or dull the finish of your wood floor. The best suggestion is to only use the manufacturers recommended cleaning products on your hardwood flooring.
- Never Wax a Urethane Floor - If your hardwood floor has a polyurethane finish never use a paste wax on the floor's surface. A paste wax may form a sticky film on your floor and allow tracked in dirt to stick to your wood finish. Polyurethane finishes will not adhere to any wax and adding a fresh coat of polyurethane to your floor will be very difficult.
- Wipe Spills Immediately - when accidents happen and some liquid gets spilled on your hardwood floor, you should use a slightly damp white cloth, or paper towel to immediately clean up and dry the effected area. For more difficult spots, follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning procedures.
- Always follow the manufacturer's recommended procedures and recommendations.