The best way to preserve the beauty of your hardwood floors is by regularly cleaning them. Follow these three simple steps to keep your hardwoods clean, shiny, and looking brand new.
Step 1: Dust and Vacuum
Remove all loose dirt and dust before you wash your hardwood floor. Take a dry mop or broom to the entire hardwood area and baseboards, then vacuum the perimeter of the room.
Step 2: Choose a Cleaning Product
All hardwood flooring manufacturers have recommendations for specific products to use for different flooring types. If you want to use a professional product but don’t know the manufacturer of your floor, you can always contact a local flooring expert who can help you determine the best product to use. For people who want to make their own cleaning product, there are few options for you to try:
Vinegar and Water: Take one gallon of warm water and add a ½ cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. You can also add a few drops of essential oils for smell.
*Vinegar is an age-old floor cleaning agent, but it is also acidic and can dull floors over time if you use too much.
Dishwashing Soap and Water: Take a bucket of warm water and add no more than a teaspoon of dishwashing soap.
Step 3: Clean Floors
There are a few ways to clean hardwood floors, but regardless of how you clean your floors, it is important to use minimal cleaning solution. Always make sure your mop or cloth is wrung out and barely damp. Also, always work on small areas at a time so that you can dry each section with a clean cloth before the floor air drys.
Hands and Knees: Though no one willingly wants to get down on their hands and knees to clean the floor, this is a highly recommended way of cleaning hardwood. Take a damp cloth with your cleaning solution, and clean a small section of the floor in circular motions. Wipe the area dry with a clean cloth before the area air drys. You can also put the cleaning solution in a spray bottle and lightly mist the floor, wiping each section dry before you move on.
Mop: Place your mop in the cleaning solution and ring out the water until the mop is almost completely dry. Clean a small section of floor at a time, washing the floor in the same direction as the grain. Wipe the area dry with a clean cloth before it has time to air dry.
*Pro Tip: Use a microfiber cloth to wipe the hardwood floor clean for either of these cleaning methods. It will leave your floors shiny and streak free.
Top image credit: Designpad Architecture