Hardwood floors are popular with homeowners and for a good reason. They are stylish, warm and durable, lasting several decades. In addition to that, they add value to homes. Moreover, their maintenance is easy in comparison to wall to wall carpets. In spite of these features, if they are not well-maintained they will lose their beauty. It is a good thing that with simple cleaning routines you can keep your hardwood floor in good condition and looking lustrous. Here are tips on how to maintain hardwood floor.
1. Protect the Wood From Liquids
Hardwood finish keeps the wood protected from gentle scratches but you have to protect the wood from liquids. It is difficult for the wood to get damaged unless by liquids or major scratches. To do this effectively, avoid spills, and when they occur wipe them immediately. Also when cleaning the hardwood surface, always use a wet mop to clean it. Also use cleaners, that are specifically formulated for cleaning hardwood floors, other products may be harsh and contain ingredients that can dull the hardwood finish. When cleaning hardwood floors never use a steam mop or carpet cleaning machine because it may expose the wood to liquids.
2. Clean Hardwood floors appropriately
Clean food, liquids, stains, and other contaminants immediately they get on the floor, the longer they stay on the floor they get ingrained on the surface. The floor needs to be thoroughly cleaned regularly and before waxing or polishing. First, sweep or vacuum clean the floor to remove any dust and dirt, then use a wet mop and a commercial hardwood floor cleaner. Alternatively, you can use a solution of dish soap and water or vinegar and water to remove any stains on the floor. Then, wet mop with water only to remove any soap or vinegar residue and then dry it completely.
3. Hardwood floor Polishing or Waxing
Your floor will needs regular polishing or waxing with hardwood specific products. Noteworthy, using the wrong wax or polish may dull or harm the hardwood finish.
If the floor has a protective waterproof finish then you can polish it while floors with penetrating finishes need to be waxed. Therefore, check with the manufacturer to know how your hardwood floor is surfaced.
Polishing is a DIY process that doesn’t take a long time, it is inexpensive and it restores the shine of the floor. You need a wood floor polish recommended by the manufacturer and a mop which has a microfiber cleaning pad. After polishing, give it an hour or two or longer before allowing the room to be used again.
To wax a hardwood floor first ensure you use the recommended wax by the manufacturer and a microfiber cleaning pad. Simply apply the wax evenly on your floor and give it some hours to dry.
How often you polish or wax depends on how much traffic your hardwood floor experiences on a day to day basis. But generally, once or twice a year is good enough. Ensure that you use the right waxing or polishing product to avoid your warranty from becoming void.
4. Protect the Floor From Scratches
There are a few measures you can take to prevent scratching your hardwood floor. First, avoid using outdoor shoes indoors because hard soles will wear and tear the floors quickly. Instead, use socks or indoor slippers on the floor. Also, furniture can damage the wood, to prevent this, use stick-on protectors on the feet of your furniture, it helps especially when the furniture has to be moved.
Additionally, use rugs in certain parts of your home to protect the hardwood from the impacts of heavy furniture.
Besides that, avoid using rolling chairs on hardwood floors because they tend to damage the floor.
5. Dealing with Light, Minor and Major Scratches
You cannot protect your hardwood floor from all scratches for example scratches from your dog or your kids’ activities. In such a case, deal with the scratches depending on how deep they are. For light scratches, after cleaning the area, a new application of protective coating will suffice. For minor scratches, first, clean the area and then rub the area with steel wool following the grain of the wood, after that polish or wax the floor. It is highly recommended to call a hardwood flooring expert for major scratches.
6. Calling in a Hardwood floor Professional
After some time your hardwood floors will have undergone wear and tear which may require refinishing. Refinishing hardwood floors is necessary after a while say ten or twenty years. And to have it refinished, it is advisable to call in a professional.