Hardwood floors are always in style, now seemingly more so than ever. However, the ideal look for hardwood is polished and gleaming, not tired, trodden and scratched. While you probably don’t have the time to tackle a detailed floor cleaning more than once every week or so, you should give your hardwood some TLC throughout the week to keep it looking warm and welcoming. Additionally, wood floors are not known for being cheap. If you want to keep them around for a long time, you need to maintain them.
The following tips on cleaning hardwood floors can help you spruce up your home’s look during the school or work week.
Think of all the things you bring into your home on your shoes: Dirt, pebbles, pine straw, gravel…the list goes on. Now think about what these things can do to the shiny surface of your hardwood floor. You’re talking, scratches, scuff marks and chips in the polyurethane coating.
To keep these items from getting kicked around your house and damaging your floors, you’ll probably want to do a quick floor cleaning a couple of times a week. If you have pets, you may want to consider cleaning hardwood floors as often as every other day. Good news: It’s not a very time-consuming task, and it’s pretty easy, too.
Many people sweep their hardwood floors because that’s what they’ve always been taught to do. The problem with sweeping wood floors is that it just kicks dust into the air. That dust will eventually settle right back down, meaning you’re really just spreading dirt and allergens around. Because of this, sweeping wood floors can be a waste of time and energy.
The best means of cleaning hardwood floors is to use a microfiber dust mop or a vacuum cleaner. As an added bonus, you probably only need to clean high-traffic areas — like foyers, living rooms and hallways — throughout the week.
When it comes to the best vacuum for hardwood floors, there’s no magic brand that you need to run out and purchase. However, you should be mindful of the beater bar. The beater bar is the part of the vacuum that’s covered in bristles and spins around. While this is great for stirring dust from the nap of carpeting, it can scratch the polyurethane coating on your hardwood floor or — even worse — damage the actual wood. Fortunately, there are vacuum models that come without beater bars. There are also some vacuums that allow you to disable the bar so that it doesn’t spin as you’re cleaning hardwood floors. If your model doesn’t offer either of these features, you can also use an attachment that’s specially made for vacuuming hardwood floors.
There are a couple of other things you can do to maintain healthy hardwood floors:
Invest in a floor mat: Having a mat right inside the door can help with trapping debris before it gets to your hardwood. For the best results, your mat should be long enough to take two to three steps prior to reaching the actual wood flooring.
Leave shoes at the door: Set a shoe rack by the door or take shoes off in the mudroom. If your shoes stay in the entryway, the dirt on the bottoms does, too.
That’s all there is to cleaning hardwood floors on a regular basis. It’s a quick and easy process that can keep your floors looking nice for years to come.