Wooden floors are beautiful and in general, require minimal time investment for maintenance.
If you want to both keep your wood flooring clean and retain its appearance throughout the years, you should follow proper cleaning and maintenance procedures. To help you with prolonging the life of your flooring, we’ll give you a couple of tips below.
Before reading the below steps we also recommended checking the maintenance guide from the floor manufacturer.
10 Tips For Maintaining & Keeping Your Wood Flooring Clean
1. Place doormats at entryways
First up, place doormats at entryways – this will allow you to reduce the amount of dirt and dust that gets onto your wood flooring from footwear.
Needless to say, you should at least place a doormat near your front door.
2. Use rugs
Next, also consider covering your wood floors with a rug. Rugs will perform two functions – decorate your space and protect the floor.
Now, if you do decide to use a rug on your wooden floor, you will also need to be ready to clean it. And arguably, washing a rug can be a bigger headache than maintaining a wooden floor.
With that in mind, you could limit the number of rugs to areas that have heavy traffic, like hallways. This way, you’d minimise the number of rugs while protecting key areas.
3. Take your shoes off before entering
Shoes can bring a lot of dirt from outside, so it’s a great idea to take your shoes off after coming in. Ask your guests to do the same – this will allow you to minimise contamination and make cleaning up easier.
Don’t be barefoot through – wear socks or slippers to protect your feet from dirt. But do make sure to keep them clean too.
4. Stick felt protectors to your furniture legs
Stick felt protectors to the bottoms of your furniture legs. This will allow you to prevent scratches, especially from furniture that is moved around often.
Through use, regularly check the condition of the felt protectors as well. With stationary furniture, you probably won’t ever have to replace the protectors. As for furniture that is moved around a lot (like chairs), you may want to replace the felt protectors monthly.
5. Avoid sliding objects on the floor
Try not to slide objects on your wooden floor. Even if the bottom of your furniture is protected with felt, scratches and scuffs are still possible.
Rather than slide furniture on the floor, lift it and move it to the new location. And while relocating furniture, be sure not to drop it – otherwise, you’ll have to deal with much more serious damage than scratches.
6. Immediately wipe spills
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not wiping spills immediately. If you allow spills to dry or soak into the wood, they will be much more difficult to remove. Not only that, but dried spills may leave permanent stain marks on your floor.
Use a soft and slightly dampened cloth to remove fresh spills. You don’t need any cleaning products like vinegar – new spills can be removed easily with just a damp cloth.
7. Regularly sweep or vacuum your flooring
Daily sweeping and/or hoovering serves two purposes:
- You’ll reduce the risk of scratching the floors.
- You’ll be able to distribute your cleaning efforts over time and keep your flooring clean with just a quick daily swipe.
Regarding scratching – dust and dirt can scratch your flooring as you walk around your home.
Tip: Use the brush mode on the hoover nozzle! If you have a Henry (or other similar models) then you can flick the switch to use the soft brush function that will save your floor from scratches.
8. Vacuum the floors before mopping
This tip somewhat ties back to the previous one.
You should always dust the floors before mopping. If you mop your wooden flooring without any dusting, you will be moving the abrasive dust particles around its surface. And we already know that dust and dirt can scratch the floor.
9. Never use a wet mop
NEVER use a wet mop to clean your flooring. Your mop should be damp, never wet. If you leave pools of water on your wooden flooring after mopping, the wood will absorb the moisture. This can lead to swelling and staining, significantly worsening the aesthetics of your flooring and shortening its lifetime.
After dipping the mop into the water, wring it out until it’s damp. And after mopping, make sure that no water remains on the surface of the wood.
10. Use the right cleaning product for your wood finish
Finally, you should be very careful when picking cleaning products for wood cleaning.
Avoid household cleaners. Typically, the pH value of household cleaners is too high for wood flooring. Using a household cleaner on wood flooring may strip the protective finish or discolour the wood.
Use specialised wood cleaners instead, such as the manufacturer of the floor. If you aren't sure then Woca or the Ted Todd brand are high quality products to consider. Products like these will not only clean your floor but also protect its finish. Please feel free to ask us for more information if you require help.
If your wood flooring has a protective finish, then also read the cleaning label and make sure that it is intended to work with your particular finish.
Consistency is key to prolonging the life of your floors. It’s important to remember that a few scratches, marks, and scuffs can add character to wood floors so if you aren’t bothered by these things then it means less maintenance time whereas if you want to maintain a perfect floor it will take more time investment on the steps mentioned throughout this article.
For worn wood floors, you could consider buffing or sanding & sealing (also called renovation or restoration).
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