Smart Ways to Maintain Your Hardwood Flooring

24-03-2018 | Amanda Cole |

People pick hardwood flooring for their homes because they’re not just classy and beautiful, but they’re also durable and long lasting.

But just because hardwood is inherently tough doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of it properly. Hardwood flooring can last for decades, but first, you need to know how to maintain it.

Here’s a list of what you should do:

  1. Handle spills as quickly as possible. You can’t just let it be and attend it “later”. You need to wipe it down, clean it up, and mop it as quickly as you can. The longer the spill remains unattended on your hardwood floor, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with a stain.
  2. Remove gum and candle wax carefully. What you must avoid is hacking at the floor to get rid of these 2 problems. If you don’t, you’ll end up just chipping your beautiful hardwood. Instead, you should rub the problem areas with ice cubes. The gum or candle wax will then turn solid, so you can dig at it carefully with a fish or pallet knife. When the gum or candle wax thaws and softens, use the ice cubes again before you continue with the pallet knife.
  3. Keep the flooring out of the sun. The UV light will cause the hardwood to fade over time. So you should perhaps use curtains and shades on your windows to keep the UV rays from hitting your floor. In fact, having furniture and rugs over the same areas of your floor for a long time can result in uneven discoloration. So you should rotate your rugs and furniture to cover different areas.
  4. Use a light weight vacuum. We already know not to use carpet beaters on hardwood floors, but even heavyweight vacuum cleaners can damage your hardwood flooring as you move the vacuum around. So perhaps you should stick with a lightweight model that won’t leave marks on your floor.
  5. Trip your pets’ toenails. Dogs and cats may like to scratch at things with their nails, and that’s a problem if you have hardwood flooring. So it certainly is a sensible precaution that you trim your pets’ nails regularly. You may also want to think about keeping them out of areas with hardwood floors altogether. It’s certainly better to be safe than sorry.
  6. Use a large welcome mat. A welcome mat encourages your guests to rub off the dirt from their shoes before they enter your home and step onto your precious hardwood floors. A large mat can certainly help with that. Also, the mat seems like a friendly greeting, and it’s a perfect complement to the warmth that your hardwood flooring brings.
  7. Don’t allow shoes at all, if it’s possible. Some people insist that guests with dirty shoes leave their shoes out and away from their beautiful hardwood, and there are even those who just won’t allow in any sort of shoes at all. If that’s the case, you may want to offer some sort of alternative footwear so that their toes don’t get cold.
  8. Avoid mopping with a dripping wet mop head. Just mop with the head only slightly damp. Too much water on your hardwood can cause it to warp or stain. You can clean stains off by adding a bit of vinegar to your cleaning water, but again you can’t go overboard. A cup of vinegar will suffice for every 4.5 liters of cleaning water.

As you can see, these maintenance tips are simple and don’t require too much effort. Don’t overlook them, and you’ll be blessed with elegant hardwood floors for many years to come.

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