Wood floors do add a touch of class to your home. Modern wood floors are easier to maintain as they are well finished. Just a few adjustments to a normal floor cleaning routine will help maintain this type of floor. Clean wood floors are the result of constant care and attention to the flooring over a period of time, else the wood will start to degrade and look dull.
Collect your weapons against dust, dirt, and stains – a dust mop, a wet mop, a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Keep a bottle of your favorite wood floor cleaner ready. You can also use vinegar and water to make your own hardwood floor cleaner.
First, remove all the carpets and furniture out of the way. Install pads on the furniture so that they don’t leave marks on the floor. These also make them easier to move. Wear soft heeled shoes when you are getting ready to clean the wood floors. Keep children and pets out of the way so that they don’t track in new mud and stain the floor while you clean wood floors.
The cleaning routine
Regularly sweep the floor using a dust mop, preferably with a microfiber head. These can trap dust, pet hair, dirt etc. You can also consider vacuuming the floor at least once a week if you have children and pets. Use a soft brush or microfiber brush attachment for the vacuum cleaner.
Mop up and clean any spills and stains at once, so that it doesn’t seep in and make it difficult to remove the mark. Just use a dry cloth to remove the spilled milk or other liquids, then clean the floor with a damp cloth. For deeper marks, you can use a floor cleaner or a mix of vinegar and water. After cleaning up the mess, be sure to mop up any residual wetness as this can damage the wood fibers.
Periodically, give a deep cleaning to your floor. First, use a dry mop or vacuum cleaner. Then, add a little floor cleaner to a bucket of water and dip your wet mop in this solution. Wring the mop so that it is only damp and does not drip water. Use this to clean your floor, going with the grain. If you do not have a wood floor cleaner, just make your own, adding half a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. After mopping the floor, use a soft dry cloth to remove any wetness.
Place hard, coarse doormats like coir doormats at entryways from outside the house. Ensure that everyone who enters the house wipes their feet on the mat before they step inside. Place indoor doormats at doorways into rooms. All these help reduce the amount of dirt and grime deposited on the wooden floor.
Use good rugs or carpets to cover high traffic areas in any room with a wood floor. Sweep off any dust or dirt before they get ground into the floor by people walking over them. For scratches and deep marks, after cleaning the area, use a floor wax or even just a wax crayon to cover the mark. Then use a blow dryer and a soft cloth to work in the wax into the crack and buff it.
If you have older wooden floors which do not have a protective coating of a good sealant, avoid cleaning these with water, even damp cloths. Use steel wool and floor wax to clean and then cover up the scratch or mark. For deep cleaning of old wood floors, consult an expert.
Modern hardwood floors typically have a protective shield in the form of a sealant. So, cleaning the wood floor and maintaining that rich look is very easy if you stick to a regular dusting and cleaning routine. Just take precautions like using doormats, mopping up spills immediately, and keeping the floor clear of dirt and grime.