Hardwood floors can be a beautiful addition to any home, but there are some maintenance challenges of which to be aware. Like tile and other solid surfaces, hardwood floors are typically more sanitary than carpet, but they still need to be cleaned properly.

Unlike other flooring types, hardwood requires special treatment to ensure a long life. If you notice your hardwood floors starting to get dull or grimy, rest assured that a simple cleaning can whip them back into like-new shape.

In your heavy traffic areas, such as the kitchen or dining room, you should sweep daily. Less trafficked areas will probably only need to be mopped once or twice a month.

Here are a few tips on how to clean a real hardwood floor:

  • Vacuum or dry mop the floor first to get rid of extra surface dirt or dust
  • Damp mop the flood, going with the grain, with water or a water-based cleaning solution (avoid heavy chemicals, which can strip your floors seal over time)
  • Dry the floor and buff with soft cloth

You can find special, micro fiber dry mops at most home-supply stores. These mops are perfect for cleaning up when you’re in between deep cleanings.

People who aren’t used to hardwood floors may not understand the added lengths needed to properly maintain them. Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors:

DO:

  • Use plain soap and water
  • Use a cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer

DON’T:

  • Use oils, waxes or furniture polish. Oils can leave behind a residue, furniture polish can make the floor super slippery and waxes are difficult to properly apply
  • Use abrasive, chemical heavy cleaners such as ammonia or alkaline products
  • Use too much water. Ringing out the mob thoroughly before mopping will help ensure excess water doesn’t seep between the cracks and damage the floors.

Proper mopping techniques for hardwood floors

Remember, water is your hardwood floor’s worst enemy. Make sure to wring the mob completely before cleaning the floor. A little bit of water will go a long way.

Dip the mob into your water or cleaning solution, wring thoroughly and mob with the grain. When the mob bucket water starts to get dirty, replace it with clean water and repeat. Once you’ve finished, it’s a good idea to go back over the floor with fresh water, especially if your cleaning solution has harsh or heavy chemicals.

And don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease. If a spot needs serious attention, get down on your hands and knees and use a cloth.

For more information on proper hardwood floor maintenance, contact the experts at UB Hardwood & Flooring today.