Regarding floors, there is no doubt that wood is everyone’s favorite. Whether we are talking about appearance, thermal comfort or resistance, hardwood flooring is the ideal solution for living rooms, bedrooms and even hallways.
But for all the benefits it offers, this type of floor is even more pretentious in terms of maintenance, so we offer you some simple rules to keep in mind if you want to have your shiny new floors for a long time.
How to clean hardwood floors?
Many people are just waiting to replace their carpets with hardwood flooring because they think it’s much easier to clean and maintain. To some extent, they are right.
Dusting and vacuuming
Once you install a hardwood floor, you shouldn’t any problems with dust or other solid remains. They are easy to remove with a soft broom or a special wooden floor vacuum cleaner.
Carefully choose these tools to clean, so as not to scratch the wood surface. And if you want to keep a wooden floor always clean and shiny, it is recommended to vacuum or remove dust daily.
Washing hardwood floors
When it comes to washing, the maintenance of the hardwood flooring begins to become a bit more difficult. The main cause is that one of the greatest enemies of wood is water, which obviously is an essential ingredient for any wash.
From the very beginning you must remember that you don’t have to use too much water to wash the hardwood floor. You will need to buy a special solution to clean it and mix it with water as instructed on the label. Under no circumstances should you apply the solution directly on the hardwood floor.
It’s not a good idea to use any mop for washing. It’s better to buy a microfiber mop, which will be much gentler with the hardwood floor. But many consider that the best solution for hardwood is using a microfiber or cotton cloth. Even if the cleaning becomes more tiring, you will have more control over washing and you will be able to obtain a shinier floor.
Whether you use your mop or cloth, don’t forget to squeeze it well to remove excess water before you start the cleaning.
If you want to maintain constantly that beautiful shine of the hardwood flooring, it’s recommended to treat your floor with a special wax. You should do this once a month, after vacuuming and carefully washing the floor.
Again, the “cleaning tool” recommended for this operation is a soft cotton cloth. Consider specialists’ recommendations when choosing this product, but especially the instructions on the label.
If your hardwood flooring needs to undergo heavy traffic, it’s recommended to apply wax treatments even twice a month.
You won’t have to worry if, over a year or so, the hardwood floor accumulates some minor scratches. These can be easily removed by doing an annual varnish.
You will need only a special varnish and a large brush with which to apply it. Remember that you have to buy a colorless varnish, so the wood can maintain its color.
Also, don’t apply the varnish on the floor until after cleaning it very well.
How do you clean the exterior floor?
If you have used wood to build floors outside the house (verandas, terraces, etc.), you will have to pay special attention to these finishes. Even though outdoor wood is made to be more resistant, it is constantly subject to the elements, but also to a larger amount of dust coming from outside.
Dust the floor outdoors at least twice a week to remove leaves, earth and other debris. For more cleaning, you will have to wash the wood with a special solution, just like in the case of hardwood floors.
Exterior wood is made to withstand water, but has other feared enemies: insects. You have to be careful to eliminate them before they become too many. If you observe this phenomenon, you will have to apply an insect repellent treatment.
Other tips for hardwood floor maintenance
In short, here are some ideas that will help you maintain your floor as good as new:
- Put carpets at the entrance of each room. You will do extra work to clean them, but you will better protect the hardwood floor because some of the dirt remains stuck to the carpets.
- Don’t ignore the legs of the pieces of furniture. The furniture weight can damage the floor in time, so you should put small pieces of cloth under the wooden or metal legs of furniture, so that they don’t scratch the floor in time. Also, avoid dragging furniture or other heavy objects on the floor.
- Try not to get water on the floor. If it infiltrates, water can cause the wood to swell or even rot.
- If you run out of cleaning solutions, use alternative cleaning methods. Pouring a quarter of a cup of vinegar into five liters of water will create an ideal solution to remove grease, while lemon oil will make the hardwood floor shiny again.
You now have all the information you need to extend the life of your hardwood floor for as long as possible.