Wood floor cleaning tips are an essential part of keeping these gorgeous floors beautiful. Unfortunately, these timeless and stunning floors wear down and lose some of their beauty over time from heavy foot (and paw) traffic or from a variety of other factors.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep wood floors looking like the day they were installed. Plus, these wood floor cleaning tips are applicable for all types of wood floors, including hardwood, engineered wood, and laminate. There are some differences among these floors, however, so homeowners should always check with the flooring manufacturer or local flooring professionals for specific wood floor cleaning tips.
Use rugs to keep floors looking like new.
Rugs are a wonderful addition to décor, and a valuable part of efforts to keep damaging debris off wood floors. Put simply, area rugs add both form and function to a space.
Door mats by exterior doors and rugs by interior doors catch stones that scratch and wear down the wood floor finish. Before placing rugs by doors, homeowners should consult local flooring pros to find out when rugs can be placed over the floor and if any protective coverings should be laid under the rug to protect the floor (and prevent rug movement).
Regularly sweep or vacuum wood floors.
The most important preventative measure that any homeowner can take is to remove grim and grit from their wood floors. Over time, debris scratches floors and everyday grime wears down the finish. A regular sweep or vacuum removes both of these culprits, though vacuuming should be done with care.
Vacuums can be hard on wood floors, so it’s important to choose a vacuum that is meant for wood floors. Unfortunately, vacuums with rollers and abrasive bristles can damage floors. The best vacuums have soft bristles, and some have no rollers at all. Fortunately for homeowners, flooring manufacturers typically recommend vacuums that are easy on their floor and hard on dirt and debris. (A local flooring store professional is also a good resource when vacuum shopping and can provide lists of manufacturer-recommended vacuums.)
Use manufacturer-approved cleaners.
When wood floors need more than a sweep or vacuum, it’s important that homeowners use cleaners approved by the manufacturer (especially if the floor is new). Unfortunately, using a cleaner not recommended by the manufacturer can void the warranty if there are any issues with the floor.
If the wood floor is older, homeowners should test the cleaner on an area that is not visible to guests. Often, the flooring in a closet is a good testing spot for cleaners.
Add felt pads to furniture.
Furniture and heavy items look great in a room, but can scratch and damage wood floors. After wood floors are installed, homeowners should add felt pads to the bottom of furniture (including tables). When it’s time to rearrange furniture, every piece should be picked up or moved by placing cardboard underneath.
Keep towels and rags nearby for easy clean-up.
Moisture is the number one enemy of wood floors because standing water warps floors and causes them to buckle. (There are waterproof wood floors that are available for busy households.) The best way to prevent damage from moisture is to avoid standing water and keep towels and rags nearby for fast clean-up.
Even after mopping, minimal moisture should be left on the floor; in many cases, a dry mop is recommended. Homeowners should also avoid using steam cleaners which can damage and stain wood floors. When homeowners take preventative measures and establish a regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance, wood floors can look as beautiful as the day when they were installed.