Caring For & Cleaning Hardwood Floors

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How to care for hardwood floors

Caring for & Cleaning Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood floors are beautiful, durable, and desirable. They add value to your home and make each room’s coloring a little warmer. The variety of colors and styles for hardwood floors are all over the map, but one thing is true for all of them: keeping them clean and cared for is a great investment!

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Routine Care

Keep them dry: Wipe up all spills on your floor immediately. Wood is porous, even though it is sealed, and liquid will absorb into the wood. Absorbed moisture can lead to rotting wood and nasty looking molds.

Keep it dusted: Dusting your floors about once a week a great idea. You can even use a vacuum without the beater bar or a Swiffer dry cloth, but make sure to get up the grime as often as necessary, so the dust doesn’t get ground into the coating.

Use protection: Always make sure to cover the bottoms of chairs and sofa legs with those little fabric or plastic pads. It will keep furniture from scratching your precious floors.  When moving items on hardwood it’s best to lift them rather than drag them across the floor.

Take care with hard spills: If you have a hard spill, like chewing gum, tar or candle wax, you have to be very careful with the removal, or you can damage the floors. Make sure to ice the stain until it’s hard, then scrape carefully with a credit card or a plastic scraper. Do not use metal scrapers or blades on your hardwood floors!

No paws: If you have furry friends, make sure to keep them off of the hardwood floors as much as possible. Lay down area rugs or put up baby gates to keep their scratchy nails off of the floor. Also, since your four-legged friends have little traction on hardwood, it can also better for them to keep away from wood flooring.

Know your floors: Each type of hardwood flooring has its own do’s and don’ts. Make sure you know if your floors are wax, surface, or acrylic, and the special cleaning instructions they each have.


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Avoid abrasives: When cleaning your floors, avoid anything highly abrasive, such as steel wool, harsh chemicals, and rough clothes. Only use soft cloths and tools designed for hardwood floor use.

 Pick up Dirt:  Clean up dirt and dust before washing so small particles don’t scratch the surface.  This is best done weekly or even more frequently if you have pets or children.

Washing:   The best ways to wash your hardwood is to use a product specifically tailored for hardwood.  Prepare product according to package directions.  Use a damp mop making sure that you don’t spill or leave puddles on the floor.  Turning on your ceiling fan can help the floors to dry a little quicker.

With these tips, your beautiful hardwood floors will stay beautiful for years to come!

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Flooring is the important part which can increase the beauty of your home. And compare to other material hardwood flooring material is the best option for your flooring. For basic care and cleaning process you should mop once a week, clean the entire process with the clean water. Use soft cloth to blot spills. Also sweep, dust or vacuum the floor regularly. For better look clean the floor with R2X hard surfaces floor cleaner. In your blog the way you explained the cleaning process is really beneficial.

  2. I have been considering installing hardwood floors in my home soon. So, I liked that you pointed out that you need to keep those floors dry. That would be a good thing for me to know if I do get them in my home.

  3. Thanks for the article! My wife and I have always used a hardwood floor refinisher in Upper Arlington, where we’re from, and it’s worked very well! It’s nice to read about how we can take care of it on our own, so thanks!

  4. Very helpful tips. I always find my floors dirty and I have to clean them over and over again. I understand that so far I have absolutely not been maintaining my floors the right way and that is the problem. Anyway, thanks for the information, I will use it.

  5. I think that hardwood floors look great, and are awesome in houses. I agree with the article about sweeping, and removing dust from the floor. That kind of stuff I have noticed shows up more on uncarpeted floors.

  6. Thank you for the help. My wife and I are hoping to get hardwood floors installed in our house soon. I assumed that washing was one of the best ways to clean them thoroughly. But, how often do you think the floors need to be washed to maintain them properly?

  7. The tips seem to work quite good for me. I just got my kitchen and living room floors finished in a nice hardwood with cherry color. I’m in love with my new floors and I’m now searching for some good care tips. Your suggestions are very helpful and I’m definitely having them on mind when I have to clean my floors. Thank you foe sharing all this nice info :)

  8. cleaning up your hardwood floors is very much essential and that too on regular basis. Some time ago, I got hardwood floors installed at my home and from that very day, I am taking care of it with all my concern. Well, thanks to you guys for writing such an informative blog on it about hardwood floorings.

  9. Wonderful tips. I am having my hardwood replaced in a week and these tips will be essential once the new floor is in. Thanks so much!

  10. Nice Blog!! This site has lots of advantage.We found many interesting things from this site. It helps me in many ways please keep it up the effective work.

  11. Wood Flooring is one of the best way to improve the looking of your house interior. The snapshot in this blog with hard wood flooring is looking great. After getting through your post I got some tips to maintain wood flooring. Thanks for sharing…

  12. Someday I want to have hardwood floors in my kitchen. They look great, but can take a beating. The routine care tips are great. The one about hard spills helps, because I don’t think I would have thought of putting ice on the stains before trying to take get it out.

  13. I have lived with hardwood flooring my whole life and I gotta say, Holly, my dad needs to see this! He has let the animals roam the house for as long as I can remember, and now that I am moved out he has nobody to wax the floor anymore. I would imagine the sooner he either puts the animals out during the day or buys them little kitten mittens, the better, for his flooring.

  14. We just moved into a brand new apartment, and we realized that the wood floor has been getting scratched here and there. After reading, we will need to make sure to cover the bottoms of chairs and sofa legs with fabric or plastic pads. Hopefully this will keep our floor from sustaining any more damage. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I am thinking about getting hardwood flooring in my main room. I didn’t know that my dogs could potentially scratch or damage the floor. Also, I like what was said about “hard spills.” My son is rather messy, so I will make sure to take proper precautions. Thanks for the tips!

  16. When my son and his family moved in for a few months I didn’t want to have our newly installed floors damaged, so we had to take precautions with his dog. He got little shoes for the dog to wear any time they let him on a hardwood area. It worked out great and was a funny sight to see! Thanks for your other great tips. I’ll be using them!

  17. We have hardwood in our living room and my dog slides all over! Keeping her off of the floor is a good idea, it will keep her safer and stop her nails from scratching the surface! I will have to get plastic pads to put under the feet of all my furniture. Thanks for the tips!

  18. Thanks for the tips! I’ve been contemplating changing my carpet over to hardwood flooring, and this makes it seem like the maintenance would be much easier. Carpet is a lot of work to keep clean, and it still feels like it’s never all the way there. I’ll definitely add “simple to clean” to my pro list. Great article!

  19. Thanks for the information. I’ve been thinking that it’s time to redo my flooring. I think I’m going to follow your tip about having hardwood flooring. I’ll make sure I take really good care of it, just like you suggested. It seems like the best way to do that would be to keep it clean. Do you have any other tips for me?