How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors

Last updated on July 14th, 2022

When it comes to flooring options, hardwood floors are on top of the list. There’s nothing that quite compares with the beauty of wooden flooring, with its natural grains and texture imparting a lovely warmth to your home. And while hardwood floors can last for decades, they will need to be looked after with care.

Do note that wooden laminate floors are not the same as hardwood flooring, which is harvested from trees and is a natural product. Wooden laminate floors, on the other hand, are composed of a synthetic material that simulates the surface appearance of wood, with an inner core of resin and fibreboard.

Here are easy DIY tips to clean your hardwood floors and keep them looking as good as the day they were first installed! Let’s begin!

1. Sweep and Vacuum

Make sweeping or vacuuming the floor a daily routine, so that your floor stays dust-free. A robot vacuum works well too—it will pick up fine dust that a broom could miss, and will also suck up any dirt that is lodged between the planks and joints of flooring. To avoid scuff marks while cleaning, always ensure that you use the ‘hard floor’ setting that deactivates the brush roll on your vacuum cleaner.

2. Mop Regularly

Follow up with a well-squeezed mop that’s damp and not wet. You’ll want to avoid getting too much water on the floor, as it will affect the wood in the long run. The best cleaning solution is water—even mildly acidic or alkaline cleaners will, over time, remove the shine from the surface of your floor. Use a mop with a microfiber attachment that is gentle on the wood and keeps it polished.

3. Use Deep Cleaning Products

Regular cleaning takes care of the surface, and maintains the cleanliness of your floor. However, a deep clean is needed at least once in six months, to access all the areas that are not usually cleaned on a daily basis. A deep clean can remove heavy build-up of dirt and grime from below the sofa, for example.

Deep cleaning solutions are available that are powered by hydrogen peroxide, which cuts through oil and dirt build-up and get your floors sparkling in no time. Look for cleaners that are asthma and allergen free; you want to reduce your problems and not add to them! Follow the instructions on the bottle and clean small areas at a time, changing the cleaning cloth after each section.

4. Apply a Coat of Polish

Once a year or as often as you’d like, you can apply another coat of polish to bring back lustre and add new life to the floors. Any scratches or stains on the floor can be sanded and removed. Sanding sometimes removes the surface colour, but you can use a wooden furniture touch-up solution to get back the original staining and ensure that the sanded surface blends in perfectly.

Once the entire floor is cleaned up and polished, applying a coat of lacquer or melamine on the floor can get it shining like new! By doing this, you will be adding a layer of extra protection, and extending the durability of your floors for many years to come.

Do Remember:

1. Preventive measures will go a long way toward keeping your floors clean! To avoid tracking dirt into the house, remove wet shoes at the door, and put down coir mats with hard bristles in your foyer.

2. Never wear shoes with spurs or sharp, pointed heels inside the house. Also, never roll suitcases on a wooden floor; the wheels can damage the surface.

3. In children’s play areas, put down area mats so that toy cars and roller skates don’t damage the floor.

4. If there is any sticky spill, it should be tackled immediately and not left to set, or the surface of the floor can get damaged.

5. Never ignore wet spills either—mop them up at once. It’s a good idea to keep a mopping cloth near all the entrances to your home, so that wet spills and tracked dirt can be tackled immediately

6. Never use solutions of vinegar or baking soda to clean the floor on a daily basis. Acidic or alkaline cleaning products can severely damage the wood over time. Keep your cleaning solution pH-neutral. Clean water is ideal.

7. Sweep your floors every day and clean them at least once a week with a mop that is damp but not wet. Vacuum as often as you need to keep dust from settling into corners.

8. Wood floors should be deep cleaned at least once in six months. You can re-polish or use a wood restorer or revitaliser to fill in cracks and restore the deep shine, once a year or more often depending on your usage.

9. Natural wood tends to shrink or expand with extreme changes in temperature. This is why flooring planks are always laid with tiny gaps in between, to allow for miniscule dimension changes. Deep cleaning will take care of the dust and dirt that could get lodged in between these gaps.

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