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Protect Your Hardwood Floors With Proper Maintenance

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If you have hardwood floors in your home, proper care and maintenance is essential to keep your floors looking their best. Although hardwood floors are easy to maintain, they do get dusty and need special attention to prevent scratches and stains. Here are some helpful cleaning tips to help you keep your hardwood floors looking great.

hardwood floorsVacuum Regularly

Hardwood floors should be vacuumed at least once a week. If dust is left on the floor for long periods of time, grit and fine dirt particles can damage the floor’s finish. With an upright vacuum, use a high setting so rotating brushes in the vacuum don’t scratch the floor. Don’t use additional attachments with rotating or bristle brushes that can scratch the wood and finish. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, use a floor dust mop or microfiber sweeper that will easily pick up the dust.

Clean Up Spills Quickly

Any spills on your hardwood floor should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Acidic liquids and liquids that contain chemicals can damage your hardwood floors very quickly, eating into the surface of the wood. If liquids stay on your floor too long, they can cause the wood to warp, crack or split. Protect your floors from standing water by placing trays under indoor floor plants and using a stain resistant, protective finish product on the floor. Don’t use cleaning products that contain ammonia or bleach as they can discolor the wood.

Wax Your Floors

Hardwood floors should be waxed on a regular basis using a wax that’s recommended for the floor. With normal daily use, you only need to wax your hardwood floors about twice a year. If you’re using a paste wax, the wax should dry to a white color before you buff the floor. If there’s a varnish or polyurethane finish on the floor, be careful to use waxes that are recommended for those finishes, otherwise you may damage the floor or strip the finish. Wax should only be applied after floors have been thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed.

Protect Your Floors

With hardwood floors, daily wear-and-tear will eventually wear down the finish You can protect your floors by using area rugs in heavy traffic areas and rooms that are used daily. In the entry, use a rug or runner that’s four to six feet long so there’s enough length to adequately walk-off dirt and moisture on the bottom of shoes. Use non-slip pads under rugs, but make sure they don’t have a foam or rubber backing that can stick to the hardwood floors. For best protection, make sure you clean under the rugs periodically and use reliable, residential home cleaners that provide professional cleaning techniques.

Image courtesy Boa-Franc via Flickr

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Grace Turner

Thursday 7th of January 2016

I just moved into a house with hardwood flooring. I wasn't aware that you still needed to vacuum hardwood floors. I thought it wouldn't be that hard to take care of it but it looks like there are quite a few things that you need to do in order to keep it looking good. How often should you wax your floors?

Alaina Bullock

Thursday 7th of January 2016

Hi Grace! I try to follow the general rule of twice a year with regular use.

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