Hardwood floors endure daily wear and tear – so cleaning hardwood floors regularly is a must. Imagine all of the dirt and debris being brought in from the outside on a daily basis. Add children and pets into the mix and you’re looking at a whole other level of messy.

Not only do dirty floors look bad, but they can be damaging to the wood itself.  Which is why it’s important to clean your floors regularly before it becomes a major undertaking.

Here are tips for safely and effectively cleaning your hardwood floors…

Sweep

Sweeping is the first step in cleaning your hardwood flooring.  Hardwoods need to be kept free of dust and debris that can scratch and dull the surface.

Use a broom or if you’d rather use a standard vacuum make sure it’s on the “hard floor” setting. This raises the vacuum, deactivates the brush roll and works only by suction. Be careful to always turn the brush roll off since it can scratch your floors.

Mop

Heavily trafficked areas should be cleaned at least every week or two.  One of the best hardwood flooring cleaners also happens to be inexpensive – a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar per gallon of warm water will safely and naturally clean your hardwood floors.  If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, good old Windex does a great job getting your floors clean and streak free as well.

You can use water only, but make sure to wring out most of the water out of the mop so it’s damp. Standing water on the floor can damage the wood. This is especially true for prefinished hardwood floors.  Be sure to avoid using harsh detergents or they’ll dull the surface.

Protect & Repair

No matter how often you clean your hardwood floor, scratches are inevitable, especially if you have pets.  For a quick fix you can try liquid scratch concealers. When they dry, they form a permanent seal that won’t come off during cleaning. Be sure to select a concealer that best matches the color of your floor’s finish.

If your floors are starting to look especially dull or have too many scratches to cover effectively with a “quick fix”, it might be time to have them refinished. It’s best to hire a professional to take on this task.  Contact Armstrong-Citywide for a free quote to get your hardwoods gleaming again.

Hardwood floors are an investment. Learning how to clean wood floors is one of the best ways to protect that investment. When you care for your hardwood floors properly, they’ll last a lifetime.