Tips on How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Keeping hardwood floors clean and polished can take some work. Floors handle traversing footsteps, spills, and scuffs. Cleaning hardwood floors involves more than just sweeping and mopping—it’s about the products you use.

Learn how to properly keep your hardwood floors looking brand new throughout the year.

  • Mopping Hardwood

To properly mop hardwood floors, use a microfiber mop that is only slightly damp with a mixture of water and hardwood cleaning product. Too much water can damage the wood, so always make sure spills are cleaned in a timely manner. For a natural cleaner, use ½ cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Please note that certain flooring finishes cannot withstand vinegar, so always test first.

  • Using Floor Wax

If your floors are looking a little worse for wear, use floor wax to not only deep clean floors but add shine as well. Floor wax adds slip resistance and protection to hardwood flooring. Floor wax is typically made from carnauba wax, which is extracted from Brazilian palm trees.

  • Taking Care of Scratches

If your floors have scratches on them, there are ways to lessen the damage. If the scratch is light, use fine steel wool to gently buff the spot. For deeper scratches, buff the area using lightweight sandpaper and rub mineral spirits on after sanding. To fill in large scratches, apply premixed wood filler to the spot with a plastic putty knife. Once dry, sand the filler with lightweight sandpaper and seal the area with polyurethane or varnish.

  • Removing Oil-Based Stains

To remove oil-based stains caused by cooking oil or greasy food, rub the spot with a soft cloth and dish detergent. Rub the detergent into the spot to break down the grease. If the spot is still there after rinsing, repeat the process with a non-abrasive scrubbing brush.

  • Prevention is Key

To prevent your nice hardwood floors from wear and tear, use preventive measures.

  • Use rugs in high traffic areas like the hall or the living room.
  • Consider keeping a shoe-free household—doing this can prevent bacteria, infections, and harm to your flooring.
  • Use wipes to clean your pets’ feet after walks outside.
  • Regularly clean points of entry to prevent dirt buildup.
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