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How to Clean Wood Floors

Clean regularly to prevent problems from occurring
Read Time: 3 minutes
Jul 11, 2022
Hardwood floors can look really nice in your home if you keep them well-maintained. If you don’t clean them often enough, however, they can start to look dull and dusty. Plus, dust can make hardwood floors slippery and could trigger allergies, which means that keeping them clean is also a safety issue. To keep your floors both safe and shiny, it’s important to clean them regularly as well as when spills occur.

Step 1

Clean up Messes Immediately

a cereal bowl overturned on a hardwood floor surrounded by spilled milk and cereal If you spill something on a hardwood floor, clean it up immediately. Spills and other messes can be very easy to clean up so long as it’s done right away. If you leave water or anything else sitting on the floor, it can cause water rings to form or even stain your floor. This can happen within a few minutes of the mess occurring.

Tip: Use a Damp Cloth to Rinse After Cleaning

You can use a cloth or a paper towel to clean up the mess itself. However, once that’s cleaned up, it’s a good idea to wipe the area down with a damp cloth or a mop. To prevent streaking, make sure that you’re wiping with the grain of the wood, not against it.

Step 2

Sweep or Vacuum Daily

a person wearing blue house slippers sweeping a hardwood floor with a broom Hardwood floors should be swept or vacuumed at least once a day. This will help to keep any crumbs or grit particles from scratching the floor. If you have rugs on top of your hardwood floor, don’t forget to clean underneath them.

Tip: Turn off the Carpet Features on Your Vacuum Cleaner

If your vacuum has a carpet roller brush or a beater bar, make sure to turn that feature off before vacuuming your hardwood floors. This will prevent the vacuum cleaner from either scratching the floor or scattering debris around.

Step 3

Use a Dust Mop Once a Week

a person using a dust mop to clean hardwood floors Once a week, you should use a dust mop on your hardwood floors. A dust mop is a dry mop, like a Swiffer, that is used to capture dust. Dust-mopping your floors weekly can help to capture any dust particles or dust bunnies that build up despite your sweeping and vacuuming. This is especially important if you have pets because their hair can accumulate quickly.

Step 4

Use a Damp Mop Every Three Months

a damp mop being used to clean a hardwood floor Once every season, you should clean your hardwood floors with a damp mop. You may need to do it more frequently if you don’t sweep regularly or clean up spills quickly enough. The mop should be damp, not sopping wet. This is because too much water could harm the sealant on your floor and ultimately damage the floor. Also, make sure to mop with the grain of the floor, not against it.

Tip: Use Distilled Water If You Have Hard Water

If you live in an area with hard water, like Florida, then you should use distilled water to mop your floors. The minerals present in hard water could dull your floor’s shine.

Step 5

Call a Professional

There are several reasons you might need to call in a professional. The first is for cleaning, whether because you don’t want to or didn’t have the time to do the regular cleaning yourself. Having your floors periodically cleaned by a professional, even if you are keeping up on the maintenance, can help your floors to last and look better for longer. The second reason for calling a professional is if your floors have been damaged. They may require refinishing or even repair, depending on the extent of the problem. In the worst-case scenario, they may need to be replaced. A professional can diagnose the problem and carry out the work that needs to be done.

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