Proper Care and Cleaning for Hardwood Flooring

January 13, 2020 8:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the major conveniences of hardwood flooring is how easy it is to clean and maintain over time. It doesn’t attract and retain stains and debris as readily as carpet, and it’s not as difficult to clean as tile and grout, for example. But hardwood’s reputation for easy maintenance is only true if you’re doing it right.

Too many people treat the wood flooring in their Santa Cruz, CA home like it can stand up to anything. And while it’s resilient, there are some things that it just doesn’t weather well—namely, poor cleaning practices. Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do to clean your hardwood flooring the right way.

Don’t use chemicals and harsh cleaners

What do you do when your toddler spills something on your hardwood floor and it dries as a sticky spot? How do you deal with surface shoe scuffs? What’s the protocol for general filth?

For most people, it’s convenient to reach for an all-purpose cleaner and scrub away. Unfortunately, this is one of the fastest ways to strip away the value of your hardwood. Harsh chemicals mar the surface, discolor the wood and can even penetrate the flooring to warp planks. Think you’re being responsible in using natural citrus or vinegar? Think again! These harsh cleaners will have the same effect and are bad for your wood floors.

What about waxes and oils? Nope. Keep them far away from your wood flooring. Over time they’re not much better for your floors. Instead of simple screen sanding and re-staining, waxy buildups and oils often require more intense sanding to refinish floors.

What’s a homeowner to do? The smartest thing is to use approved cleaners from brands like Mohawk, Shaw and Armstrong. Check with your flooring contractor or the brand supplying your flooring for a list of approved products that are safe for the type of hardwood you’re walking on.

Sweep and mop properly

There’s more to keeping wood flooring looking great than using the right cleaning products. A few everyday tips can actually reduce the wear your flooring sees and improve its longevity with fewer deep cleanings required.

How simple is wood floor maintenance? Try sweeping every couple of days. That’s about it! This ensures dust and other debris aren’t able to accumulate on the planks. Swiffer dusters are the pinnacle of ease, and pushing one around your floor takes only minutes.

For spills, make sure to sop them up with a paper towel right away. For more tenacious buildups or spots, use a moist rag and wipe in a circular motion. Don’t let water sit, though—that’s bad for the planks.

Proper protection is better than frequent care

The key to good floor maintenance is simply being attentive. Wood flooring is one of the easiest flooring materials to clean and maintain, but Santa Cruz, CA homeowners have to be diligent about that maintenance. As a final tip, The Wholesale House recommends making liberal use of rugs and runners in heavily trafficked areas, as a way to both cut down on exposure to debris and make your maintenance tasks as simple as possible!

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