Hardwood flooring is known for its legendary durability and its long-lasting good looks, but that all depends on proper care. Just as carpet will quickly wear out when not vacuumed regularly, your hardwood floors will start to show their age pretty fast if you do not take care of them.
No matter what kind of material you choose for your hardwood flooring installation, it is important to follow the specific care instructions of the manufacturer. From the right cleaning supplies to use to what to avoid, the manufacturer can help you get your new hardwood floors off to the best possible start.
Once those hardwood floors are in place, it is just as important to keep up with their care. Regular cleaning is essential, since tiny particles of dirt can create scratches and indentations on even the hardest and highest quality wood.
The best way to clean your hardwood floors is with a soft mop. Invest in a quality mop that is comfortable and easy to use, then pair that mop with a microfiber pad. Microfiber is great for cleaning hardwood floors, since the electrostatic action will attract tiny particles of dust and dirt and whisk them away. The microfiber will also attract microscopic dust particles, dust mites, allergens and other contaminants that could trigger respiratory infections and allergy attacks.
Make sure the microfiber pad you choose is machine washable, as that will lower your costs and help you keep up with the task of keeping your hardwood floors clean and sparkling. A good microfiber pad will improve with age, gaining even more ability to pick up dust and dirt with each subsequent washing.
Cleaning your hardwood floors regularly using a mop and a microfiber pad is the best way to keep them looking good, but knowing what not to do is just as important. You should never use a soap-based cleanser on your hardwood floor, since doing so will strip the natural oils in the wood and leave the surface looking dull. You should also avoid steam cleaning or waxing your hardwood floors, since those applications will leave a buildup that could mar the surface and detract from the natural beauty of the wood.
A small amount of water is fine for your hardwood floors, especially if you are dealing with a stubborn stain or tough spill. Just be sure to avoid vinegar and water, since the harsh acid will strip the oil out of the flooring and harm the beautiful surface.
Taking care of your hardwood floors properly is your responsibility, and it is one you should take seriously. Putting down a new hardwood floor is a big job, but a properly maintained floor can last for decades. If you want your own floor to last, the care tips listed above can help you get started – the rest is up to you.