When it comes to your regular cleaning schedule or spring cleaning, you must know how to correctly clean and care for your hardwood floors. As hardwood is a large investment for your home, you will want to ensure that its superior quality and beauty will be preserved! So, let’s begin!
One easy and relatively inexpensive way to keep your floors looking new is to use furniture protectors on all of your heavy or frequently used pieces of furniture. This will prevent anything from office chairs to the heavy sofas from unnecessarily scratching your floors.
When purchasing a vacuum, try to locate a lightweight vacuum that does not have wheels that can scratch the hardwood. Also, avoid using a vacuum that has a beater bar as it may lead to scratches or dents. You can also use the standard broom but another, more efficient, way to easily rid your home of the dreaded hair and dust bunnies, is dry mopping with a micro-fiber mop. This will not only clean the floors safely but also protect them from receiving another wash.
Avoid washing your floors and leaving generous amounts of water! The standing water can cause cracking and swelling along the joints. The swelling will not return to normal, and your floors may eventually need to be replaced. As you are mopping the floor should be drying quickly, and there should not be puddles of water. If it is humid, consider turning on fans or open a window so that the floor will dry quickly.
With any type of floor, it is important to avoid using harsh chemicals, including the age-old concoction of Vinegar and water! Over-time the lasting effect of these products leads to the breakdown of the floors’ protective finish. This causes the hardwood to become dull in appearance due to the shine being worn down
Instead, use a floor cleaner that is pH neutral, Wickham’s biodegradable cleaner, or ask your flooring manufacturer for their recommendations.
Another important tip, contrary to what steam mop companies lead you to believe, most hardwood manufactures will tell you to never use a steam mop on your hardwood floor. Steam mop usage is largely discouraged due to the considerable heat and moisture that embeds water deep into the hardwood, causing significant damage to the hardwood floors.
Humidity is important to control as it is often the first thing to be checked in a warranty claim. Luckily, humidity is easy to maintain! Ideal humidity levels should be maintained at 45%-55%. If the humidity drops too low, then the hardwood starts to dry out, causing the flooring to split. When the humidity becomes too high, the boards can become full of moisture, causing them to swell. A humidifier can combat the low humidity levels, and de-humidifier or even the air-conditioning can help the high humidity levels.