Are you ready for spring cleaning? Is cleaning hardwood floors on your list? A big part of floor care is making sure you spruce them up regularly – even more than once a year. Have you been remiss in the past? Now is the perfect time to start! Follow the guide below to make sure your flooring is in the best shape it can be, beyond annual spring cleaning.
Spring Cleaning Floor Care Tips
The good news about hardwood flooring is that it’s more durable than carpet and easier to maintain than tile. We’ve shared a few simple floor care tips in the past, but here’s a simple schedule for you to follow year-round so cleaning hardwood floors becomes second nature, and not just an after-thought when spring cleaning time comes around.
Setting Up Your Home:
- Dirt and grit are your floors’ worst enemy, so keep them away by using mats outside all exterior doors. On the inside of the doors, use a throw-rug or small section of carpet to prevent dirt, grit and sand from getting inside your home.
- Protect the hardwood flooring in the kitchen with area rugs. Place them at the stove, sink and refrigerator as these are the areas with the highest likelihood of spills. When you pick out the area rugs, skip the mats with a rubber or vinyl backing as they can trap water underneath them; instead, opt for cotton (which is also very easy to wash).
- Make sure the legs of your furniture have fabric glides so the various pieces can be moved without scuffing the flooring. We recommend grey, non-marking rubber casters, although some types of furniture might need barrel type roller casters. Make sure you avoid casters made from metals or hard plastics.
- Sweep or dust mop daily. Don’t use a household dust treatment; this can dull your floors’ finish, make the flooring very slick, and it can interfere with re-coating in the future. Also, use a quality 36” dust mop to “sweep” your floors. Never use a broom or anything with sharp bristles.
- Clean spills up promptly with a dry cloth or paper towel. If the spill is sticky, use a slightly damp cloth and then wipe the flooring dry with another cloth or paper towel.
- Keep the heels on your shoes in good condition. Any heels with the support rod exposed will dent your floors.
- Vacuum and/or dust mop. If you use a vacuum, a brush attachment works well.
- Check your furniture glides to make sure they are clean to prevent scratches.
- Make sure your door mats (both interior and exterior) are clean.
- Wash your kitchen’s area rugs.
- Because hardwood flooring can change color as it’s exposed to light over time, move area rugs occasionally to avoid an uneven appearance. Throughout the year, close the drapes on your windows when you’re not in the room.
- If your floors are waxed, you may want to consider re-waxing once a year. Ultimately, you may be able to extend this longer than a year if your hardwood flooring is taken care of correctly.
General Floor Care Tips
In addition to cleaning hardwood floors with the schedule above, keep these floor care tips in mind too.
- Whenever you install or refinish your hardwood flooring, check with the contractor to find out what types of cleaning materials to use. Different finishes require different products to maintain original quality.
- NEVER use Murphy’s Oil Soap, 409, ammonia, waxes or Pledge on your floors. These products build a layer of grime and oil that damages hardwood floors with modern finishes. Floors that have used these products will eventually have to be refinished instead of re-screened, which is significantly more expensive.
- If the floors have a non-waxed polyurethane or similar surface finish, you can use a damp mop to clean them, but NEVER pour water on your floors; it can fall between the boards and deteriorate the finish. Make sure your mop is damp to the touch – thoroughly wrung and not dripping.
- For wax-coated finishes, NEVER use water (even a lightly damp mop).
Want to know more about cleaning hardwood floors? Stop by our flooring showroom and ask our experts! And if you’re considering new floors or refinishing the ones you’ve got, make sure you contact us for a free in-home estimate today, too.
Photo Credit: Michael Bentley