Cleaning can seem like a chore, but it is especially important for protecting your home and keeping the space inviting for friends and family alike. In the case of hardwood floors, regular cleaning is the best way to maintain your flooring and make it last for years. It is not too difficult to clean solid wood flooring, and if a few simple steps are followed, the time required to do such a chore will be greatly reduced.
As with anything, prevention is the best way to cut down on the cleaning time and make the chore less of an effort. A welcome mat at the front door where people can rub the dirt off of their feet will keep much of this dirt from entering the home. Having a rule to keep wet shoes on the front porch, in the garage, or anywhere else besides the hardwood floor itself will prevent mud and water from staining or warping the floor.
Even with such precautions, your hardwood floors are bound to get dirty and steps will have to be taken to clean them. First of all, hardwood floors should be swept on a weekly basis with a soft broom that will not scratch the finish of the floor.
It is also recommended that homeowners have their floors vacuumed with a lightweight vacuum cleaner and brush when it is deemed necessary to do so. Heavy vacuums and attachments can dent and ding a floor when they are dropped, use caution with them.
Mopping with a damp mop is another step that should be followed on a consistent basis. The key here is a damp mop and not a mop that is soaking wet. Otherwise, the water will damage the floor, causing it to warp or allowing stains to set into the wood. Many people will recommend that you add vinegar to the water in order to help cut grease and grime.
This is a useful suggestion provided that the proportion of vinegar to water is watched carefully, as too much vinegar will dull the hardwood floor. Half a cup of vinegar to half a gallon of water is a good measure to follow if this cleaning method is chosen. White vinegar is the type of vinegar that should be used because it will not stain, and the mop water should be changed as soon as it begins to get too cloudy.
Persistent stains or grease spots are going to require a professional cleaner such as oil soap. There are many brands available to the homeowner, and you should experiment in an inconspicuous area of the floor in order to make sure that the soap you have chosen does not stain the wood or leave a residue behind.
With a little care, cleaning hardwood floors is not difficult and rewards the homeowner’s efforts with a space that is inviting and relaxing. Keeping hardwood floors clean is the best way to maintain your flooring and preserve any investment you have made into this aspect of your home.
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How to Clean Hardwood Floors — do-it-yourself site with tips on hardwood floors and cleaning them
Cleaning Hardwood Floors — step-by-step directions for cleaning hardwood floors