Proper hardwood flooring maintenance and care is as important as making that
decision to invest in one, and simple maintainence will keep your floor looking
beautiful. Both cleaning and attention to damage prevention play an important
role to the longevity of your investment. Here are some things to consider.
Never let water stand on your floor, or use wet cloths for clean up. Not
only will water dull the luster of your floor's finish, if left to soak in,
it can cause warping and eventually ruin the wood. Wipe up any spills immediately
with a soft, dry cloth, starting at the edges of the spill and working your
way toward the center.
Gritty dirt and dust can also damage your hardwood floor. Tracking dirt,
dust, and grit can ruin the finish and cause scratches that can only be repaired
by having the floor refinished.
Sweep your floors at least daily. Find a broom with exploded tips to trap
dust and dirt, not simply spread it around. Dry Swiffers and untreated dust
mops can also be helpful in keeping dust, dirt, and grit under control.
Not only sweep, but vacuum frequently, using a canister vacuum with special
hardwood floor attachments. Never u se an upright vacuum with beater bars,
because they can cause dents.
Place bristle type doormats at the different entrances to your house to
help stop dirt and grit from ever making its way to the hardwood. Clean them
Keeping small rugs in areas likely to have spills (like around the kitchen
sink) will help protect your floor from water damage. Be careful to never let
even a slightly damp throw rug sit on the floor. And beware of throw rugs with
rubber or vinyl backing. It might seem like a good idea, but you need to check
to determine if they will affect your floor's finish. Some materials in the
backing can react with certain floor finishes, discoloring or causing the finish
to become dull.
The UV rays from sunlight shining through the windows can cause discoloration
over time. Move your area carpets or throw rugs from time to time to keep a
uniform appearance in the floor's finish. Protect your floors by using sheer
blinds, drapes, or curtains to limit exposure.
Affix glides made of felt or some other fabric under the legs of furniture
to prevent scratches. Clean the glides regularly to ensure that dust and
grit do not become embedded, and make sure they haven't become loose or fallen
Use non-marking rubber casters instead of plastic or metal, and it is a good
idea to lift furniture when moving it to prevent scratches in the floor's surface.
If shoes are worn on the floor, make sure there are no exposed nails or
metal heel supports on shoes that could scratch or dent the floor. Keep in
mind that high heels can dent the floor. Check shoes with soles that have deep
treads to ensure that any trapped dirt or gravel won't scratch or dent the
From time to time,you will need to spot clean and area. Keep a spray bottle
of a mild, manufacturer-recommended detergent on hand. (Keep away from children
and pets!) Wipe up mess immediately with a dry, clean towel.
Then, spray small amount of floor cleaner on dirty area, and wipe clean immediately.
This will remove any sticky or greasy residue.
Never, ever use common household products like all-purpose household cleaner,
window cleaner, steel wool pads, or aeresol furniture polish to clean your
floor. A lot of people might think Pledge or similar products are alright to
use. THEY ARE NOT. Pledge will make your floor dangerously slippery and oily,
steel wool is way too rough on finish, and the other cleaners can also cause
dulling or damage to the surface. Never use Murphy's oil soap or wet Swiffers
to keep a hardwood floor clean. Wet Swiffers can damage hardwood, and Murphy's
will leave a residue build-up and dull any hardwood floor surface appearance.
All the wood in your home will contract or expand according to the moisture
in the air, including your floors. This is characteristic of wood because wood
is a product of nature, and its natural quality is what makes it desirable.
When the air in your home becomes extremely dry, your floor will lose moisture
and contract. On the other hand, on those humid summer days, your floor will
absorb moisture and expand slightly. As humidity stabilizes, hardwoods return
to their original dimensions. Air conditioning in summer and humidifying in
winter will keep your home's humidity comfortable for both you and your floor.