Everyone wants to have a beautiful home. One of the most important components for making the home elegant, cozy and stylish is surely flooring. When it comes to flooring, there are a lot of options to choose from: tile, laminate, carpet but nothing compares to timeless hardwood floors, because they go with any décor and enhance the look of your home. Hardwood floors surely look great, but it is important to know how to clean them correctly. In this article you will find easy and efficient steps and tips to keep your beautiful floor spotless.
How to prevent hardwood floors from getting dirty?
First things first, we have to mention that although it is not hard to clean the hardwood floors, we still need to take some preventive actions in order to avoid dirt and damage. It is a good idea not to wear shoes on hardwood floors as they can scuff hardwood and cause wear and tear over time. Another good idea is to buy a floor mat. If the mat is inside the door, it can help with trapping debris before it gets to the hardwood. But, of course, despite of the preventive actions, the floors still need to be cleaned.
Creating a Cleaning Routine
Firstly, you should try to create and maintain a cleaning routine. You will need to examine how much traffic your floors get. As a general rule, hardwood floors should be swept or vacuumed at least weekly and mopped every one to two months. In high traffic rooms, such as kitchen and living room, sweeping or vacuuming the floor daily and mopping the floors once or twice a week will do the job of keeping the floor clean.
There are times when maintaining a routine gets really hard and we are in a need of some deep cleaning. Dust mopping cannot remove the dirt and grime, which can build up over time. In those cases, you will need to use some kind of a cleaning product, which you can buy or make by yourself. The important thing is to always follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
The process of cleaning
The process of cleaning the hardwood floors is not difficult. Firstly, you will need to remove all the dust, dirt, pet hair, etc. either by sweeping or by vacuuming. But, in case of vacuuming, pay attention not to use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment as it can damage the surface of the floor.
When you remove all the dirt from the surface, you can start mopping with a hardwood floor cleaning mop. Or you can also use a damp cloth. Again saying, It is important to use a damp cloth, rather than a wet one, because the water is the worst enemy of the hardwood floors and it can damage the surface. For the same reason, you should work your way around the entire floor, cleaning one small area at a time. If you come across a spot, which needs a quick touch-up, clean it with a paper towel and wipe dry.
When you are done with the small area allow the floor to dry while cleaning another area. When you are done mopping with a cleaning solution, rinse the mop with clean water and damp mop the floor again in order to remove the cleaner.
Lastly, to avoid water damages, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe up excess water from the floor. One tip to dry the floor quickly is to turn on the ceiling fan or dry the floor with a microfiber cloth. One more important thing to remember when cleaning the hardwood floors is to clean the room top to bottom, meaning that you should clean the floor last.
Removing Scuff Marks and Scratches
Unfortunately, dirt is not always the main problem when cleaning hardwood floors. There might be cases when you need to remove some scuff marks. Luckily, they can be removed as well. For light scuffs, buffing out with a sock or a clean, fuzzy tennis ball is enough. In order to remove heavier scuffs, you can apply some baking soda to a damp cloth and gently rub the mark until it disappears. You should rinse it with a damp paper towel and dry afterwards.
If your hardwood floors get any scratches, you can try using liquid scratch concealers. Pay attention to choose a concealer that matches the color of your floor’s finish. You can also restore the shine with some floor polish, which will also protect your floor from wear.
Now, let’s talk about the cleaning solution & products. It is very easy to find many different kinds of cleaning solutions & hardwood floor cleaning machines on the market. Always try to use a product, which is recommended by the floor finisher. The important thing is to remember that you should not use straight ammonia, alkaline products or abrasive cleaners, since they might damage the floors. Also, avoid using harsh detergents, because they can dull the surface. If you are not sure what kind of cleaner to buy or simply do not want to pay extra money for this kind of a product, you can always make your own cleaning solution.
Make your own solution!
There are several ways to make a cleaning product. One of the easiest ways is to use a plain soap and water. Use ¼ cup of mild soap (you can use a dishwashing soap) with one bucket of water.
If this solution is not strong enough, you can try using water and vinegar, since vinegar can cut through the grime that builds up on your wood floors.
If you do not want not want to use water on your wood floors or if water is not recommended for the type of floor finish that you have, you can use vinegar and vegetable oil. In this case you will need a spray bottle to apply the mixture to the floor.
Another rather surprising way to clean the hardwood floors is to use tea bags. You can brew a couple of bags for cleaning purpose and you will be surprised by the shine they can add to your floors.
In conclusion, cleaning the hardwood floors is quite easy. If we take into consideration the above mentioned tips and steps, we will maintain a beautiful floor, which will last for a lifetime.