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Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

Updated on December 10, 2011

Hardwood flooring comes in a wide variety of styles and deep, luxurious, rich colors or light and airy hues. Wood flooring is available in an array of woods including cherry, maple, bamboo, oak and many types of exotic woods. Hardwood floors are a long-lasting, versatile and durable flooring option in any room of the house. Hardwood floors match almost any interior design style, which makes decorating easy. Wood floors are easy to maintain and clean and can be sanded and refinished if damage occurs. The long list of benefits makes the financial investment worthwhile. If the hardwood floors become stained or dirty, follow the guide to bring your floor back to “like new” condition.

Routine Cleaning

Move a soft dust mop over the wood flooring every day to pick up the dust and dirt. Avoid using a vacuum to clean wood floors because the wheels on the vacuum can leave marks on your floors. If the vacuum cleaner has hard plastic wheels, they may leave scratches on the hardwood floors. Dirt and dust on the wood floor is like having little pieces of sandpaper rubbed back and forth over your floors. Walking on the bits of dust and dirt grinds the particles into the flooring surface and leaves behind small scratches that will lead to deeper, larger scratches.

Washing Hardwood Floors

Once a week, clean your floors with a damp mop to remove grime, sticky spills and cat or dog fur. Pour warm water into a bucket and dip a sponge mop in. Wring as much of the water as you possibly can, so the mop is barely damp. Never use a dripping wet mop on hardwood floor. Water causes the finish to develop into a white hazy surface. Too much water can cause the wood floorboards to swell up and twist, causing the nails to pop. Move the damp mop over the whole floor. As soon as you are finished mopping the floor, dry it completely with a large, soft rag.

Stains on Hardwood Floors

To clean tough stains, add one gallon of water to a bucket and 1 cup of white vinegar. Submerge the sponge mop into the white vinegar and water solution, squeeze out as much water as possible, leaving the mop damp, not dripping. Run the damp mop over the whole floor. Rub the mop vigorously over areas that are sticky or grimy. Dry the hardwood floor fully with a large, soft, clean rag.


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