Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Clean and gleaming -- it’s the state that we all want our hardwood floors to be in. Regular cleaning and maintenance goes a long way toward preserving your home’s hardwood floor, and it’s a means to ensure and invest in the longevity of the home’s presentability and value, whether as a place of dwelling or an investment. Keep these things in mind to keep your wooden floors in good condition.

Do take note of the finish.

Certain substances can damage your hardwood floor depending on the type of finish applied.There are two basic types of finishes: a surface finish, and a penetrating seal. Surface finishes look hard and glossy, like an extra layer of plastic on top. Penetrating seals, meanwhile, are acrylics, oils, and waxes with a satin or matte finish, which penetrate the wood and leave its texture rough to the touch. Vinegar and ammonia are especially harmful to polyurethaned wood.

Don't use harsh chemicals.

Keep away from synthetic cleaning products, especially harsh soaps, detergents, or bleach-based substances designed for other surfaces, such as tile or linoleum. Use all-natural, organic products instead. Two cups of olive oil (or vegetable oil) mixed with juice from one lemon have been proven to work wonders on hardwood. This concoction should clean and restore shine to the wood in one stroke.

Don't use water.

Water, likewise, will damage and cause discolorations in your hardwood floor. At most, use only a barely-damp, microfiber flat mop to wipe away dirt and debris from a wooden floor. Mop along the grain in the wood. Buff the floor with a soft cloth afterwards.

Do vacuum with a bare floor attachment.

Vacuuming is much more efficient at removing dirt and dust from wooden floors. Unlike sweeping with a broom, vacuuming gets to the dirt between boards and in the tiny grooves in the wood. Use a bare floor attachment on the vacuum to keep it from scratching the wood.


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