Caring For Your Hardwood Floors

Congratulations, you made the investment of installing an attractive hardwood floor.  The following is a list of easy to follow ideas to help maintain the floor’s beauty.  Solid hardwood floors are one of the easiest floors to keep clean.  The beauty of hardwood comes from its uniqueness.  Often, wear and tear makes them look more beautiful, depending on the look you want to achieve.

  • Dirt/Sand:  These gritty substances are your floors worst enemies.  Like sandpaper, they can cause the finish to dull, scratch and dent.  Place a bristle type mat at all entrances/exits to trap the dirt/sand.  **Caution:  Wait 4-6 weeks after installation or re-finishing before placing mats onto hardwood floors.
  • Sweeping:  Brooms are a great way to effectively collect dirt/sand.
  • Vacuuming:  Always use an attachment with some sort of brush at the end when vacuuming.  The brush will help protect the floor.  DO NOT use a vacuum with beater bars, as this will damage the surface.
  • Furniture:  Dragging furniture across a hardwood floor will also damage the floor, therefore picking up the furniture to move it is suggested.  Also, applying felt pads is a great idea, but keeping them free of dirt/sand will be very important.  A good suggestion would be to clean/vacuum the felt pads whenever the floor is to be cleaned/vacuumed.
  • Shoes:  Placing the bristle mats at the doors will catch a lot of the dirt/sand, but will not always collect all of it.  Spending an extra moment to wipe your shoes will be advantageous.  Many times, depending on the shoe, the heel could dent the surface.
  • Sunlight:  Direct sunlight over time, can cause fading and discoloration.  If this could be a problem, close blinds or draperies at the prime “Sun” time to protect from intense UV rays.
  • Spills:  Water and other standing spills can damage the floor’s finish and warp the wood.  Immediate cleanup is very important in maintaining a great look.  If your floor gets water damage, wipe up the water/liquid as soon as possible and place a fan in front of it to help it dry faster.  A good idea would be to place an area rug by all water areas such as kitchen/bathroom sinks, dishwasher and also in front of the refrigerator’s ice/water dispenser.
  • Cleaning:  After sweeping or vacuuming, use a dust mop with a cotton head to pick up any remaining dust.  If there are areas that need to be washed, use a mixture of vinegar and warm water with a tightly squeezed out mop or rag to wash the areas.  Never use a dripping wet mop.  Also, never use Murphy’s Oil Soap, as this product will leave a residue build up and a dull appearance to the floor.  

Taking early precautions will help maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors for many years!