Now that you’ve invested in new wood floors, it’s time to learn how to take care of them. Caring for hardwood flooring is a simple process as long as you use the right products and follow a few easy steps! Here’s how to clean and protect your newly installed hardwood flooring.
Protect your hardwood floors
At the very least, you need an entry rug or some kind of mat at your door to trap dirt and debris before it hits the floor. And if you have a shoe closet or rack at your front door, even better!
A nice doormat will also prevent scratches from anything that’s on the bottom of your shoes, especially if you’re in a habit of walking around without taking them off. It’s just good practice to kick off shoes as soon as you get home so the dirt stays in one place instead of tracked everywhere throughout your house.
It’s great for bare feet, but hardwood flooring is not always scratch-proof—that is why it needs protection. Chair pads and leg protectors will keep splintery furniture legs from ruining all of your hard work and investment in a beautiful wooden floor.
If you allow pets inside (especially dogs), then they might track in dirt and mud with their dirty paws onto your hardwood floors—which could result in puddles, slipping hazards, moisture problems, water stains and more over time. To help reduce this risk (and mess), try keeping some booties or socks handy for them when needed!
Wipe up spills quickly: Water is one of the biggest enemies of hardwood floors–if it is allowed to sit on top of the wood, water can warp and splinter your floorboards. If you spill something on your hardwood, use a damp cloth or wet paper towel to wipe up the mess–do not soak the floor! If you are using a liquid cleaner, be sure to rinse off all residue before replacing furniture.
Do not allow any liquids or spills to remain on your floor for an extended period of time; if left alone, these substances can seep into your boards and cause irreparable damage.
Remember: A soft cloth will prevent scratches from forming on top of your newly installed hardwood planks! Using a microfiber cloth? The absorbent material will pick up dirt and grime without leaving behind streaks or lint that may irritate pets with sensitive paws or show up in family photos!
Use furniture pads
Use furniture pads to protect your floor. If you have metal or plastic glides on your furniture, they can scratch the surface of your hardwood floors. We recommend using felt pads (which are relatively inexpensive and easy to find) instead. Felt pads will also allow you to easily move your furniture around if needed without scratching up the floors. Remember to replace these when they become worn or dirty!
Move big pieces of furniture around periodically so that you don’t end up with indentations in the floor under heavy items such as a couch or piano. This is especially important for older hardwood floors which may dent more easily than newer ones.
Sweep or dust daily
An excellent way to avoid scratching your hardwood floors is to sweep or dust mop them daily. Removing dust and dirt from the floor can help in avoiding scratches on the finish.
You can use a soft bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar for this job.
However, make sure that you do not use a wet mop, as water is the most significant enemy of these floors.
· Do not go for steam mops if you have installed hardwood flooring in your home. As steam reduces moisture and also kills bacteria, many people like steam cleaning methods, but it is usually not recommended when it comes to hardwood flooring. Instead of mopping, use a dry cloth or vacuum cleaner to remove dust and dirt. For more stubborn marks, you can use mineral spirits.
· Forget waxing the floors! Waxing isn’t good for hardwood floors because it makes them slippery when they get wet, so it’s much better to avoid this habit altogether.
· Use a carpet protector mat – The best way to protect your floor is keeping dirt and debris off its surface! A carpet mat will help prevent those unwanted items from entering your house and leaving damage on your flooring.
· The best way to maintain the finish of your floors is to clean them properly. This means using a cleaner approved for use on hardwood floors, and avoiding the use of vinegar, soap-based cleaners or any other product that may damage the floor’s finish.
Think twice before vacuuming your hardwood flooring
It’s a problem many of us have encountered. You’re happily vacuuming away with your trusty upright cleaner when you accidentally scratch your hardwood flooring. What’s the cause? It’s most likely your vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum cleaners with beater bars are designed to clean carpet fibers, but they can damage hardwood flooring by scratching or destroying the protective finish on the wood.
The solution is simple: if you have a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar, simply remove it before you begin cleaning your hardwood floors and any other type of smooth surface. If possible, purchase a vacuum that comes with soft brush attachments and use them on your wood floors instead of the beater bar.
Re-finish every 5 years
Hardwood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home, but it takes maintenance and care to keep it looking clean, shiny, and new. Like the rest of the house, hardwood floors need to be cleaned on a regular basis. It’s also important to keep up with refinishing every few years. Refinishing hardwood consists of sanding down your hardwood floors before either staining or dying them again. Doing this will restore their shine and luster as well as prevent against moisture damage from seeping in through cracks and crevices in the wood. This can make it easy for water damage to occur throughout your home if left unattended for too long!