Are your floors at home made of hardwood? Do you know how to take care of them?
Hardwood floors add a warm and earthy feel to your home. Hardwood is durable and makes beautiful floors; with proper maintenance and care, they will last for quite a number of years. You can keep them in their lovely shape and look if you know how to take care of them. First, know the kind of hardwood your floors have before you decide on what kind of specific care to do, check sites like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardwood or ask experts in custom wood flooring.
There are proper ways of cleaning your hardwood floor; here are some tips that will help:
Dust your floors daily
Dusting will prevent scratches on the floor; scratches on the floor diminished the shine on them. You can also get a vinyl membrane or covering for your hardwood floor done by a professional, about whom you can find here. Daily dusting and mopping will lessen the dirt and allergens in your home. Microfiber mops and dusting material will help as the fibers will reach into the pores and crevices of the wood and lift the dirt and dust from them effectively.
Do not use water or too much liquid on your hardwood floors since hardwood is highly absorbent. Use pH-neutral, biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning ingredients and materials to keep your environment safe and at the same time protecting your floors from damages. Check This Out, a wonderful resource, on getting the best cleaning service and products if you are unable to figure it out yourself.
Polish at least every quarter only
Use polishes that are water-based and non-toxic and polis only one in every quarter. Water-based polishes will not leave any marks on the floor and they will prevent over-cleaning or over-polishing your floors, taking away the natural shine or finish of hardwood.
More Hardwood Floor Care Tips
- Also avoid cleaners that are soap-based on your floors.
- Use natural rubber rugs in the entries or in high-traffic areas
- Use protector on furniture legs and do not use high heels.
- Use proper cleaning tools – microfiber mops are suggested.
- Immediately wipe off spills to avoid leaving stains that will become permanent.
- If your floor has a hard finish, the stain will stay in the surface, but if it is finished with soft oil, the stain will penetrate the wood. To wipe off the stain in hard finish, wipe it with a soft and clean cloth. Do not use sandpaper or steel wool or harsh chemicals as it this will damage the finish permanently. For soft oil finish, stain the wood, wax, and buff the spot to match the rest of the surface.
- In removing pet stains and dark spots, rub the spot with number 000 steel-wool, and then wax the floor. If the dark stain remains apply vinegar or bleach then soak for an hour. Rinse by wiping off with a clean damp cloth.
- In removing heel marks, rub it off with fine steel wool and then apply floor wax.
- Oil-based spots or stains can be rubbed off with a soft cloth with dishwashing detergent to lift of the grease then rinse with water. Make sure though that your pets and children are kept out of the room until you have rinsed the chemical. Let it dry then smoothen with sandpaper.
- White stains or plain water marks can be taken out by rubbing them off with number 000 steel-wool and then apply floor wax.
- If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed.
- Temperature in your homes must be maintained at a level where it is not too cold nor too hot, avoid humidity.
- Tea can also be used in cleaning your hardwood floors; the tannic acid in it will leave a beautiful shine. Put two tea bags in boiling water, let it steep for several minutes and then the liquid into bucket and use this to wash the floor. Use a clean cloth and soak it and wring out the excess tea and use the damp cloth on the floor.
- Cracks can be covered with a crayon; rub it on the scratched surface then blow dry on high heat and then buff with a soft dry cloth.
Very Dirty Hardwood Floors
Dip an old cloth in water with soap and wipe the floorboards one by one, wipe the excess water and dirt off with dry cloth. Make sure that no water seeps into the cracks, crevices, or gaps between each floorboard. If the dirt is stubborn and remains, rub off using soft-bristled brush then wipe with soft cloth.
How About Steam Cleaners?
The nature of hardwood is that it is very absorbent. Exposure to liquid will cause it to twist, warp, plump, and mold. Steam cleaners uses steam from boiled water so there is always that possibility that the vapor will seep through the cracks and crevices of the wood and this will lead to issues in the future. Molds can form due to the vapor which dripped through the cracks and crevices.
However, there are some companies who have designed steam cleaners suitable for use with hardwood. These cleaners have a function that wipes out the excess moisture on the floor as it moves along; it absorbs water and leaves the floor dry. And with floors properly sealed, these steam cleaners can help clean without harming the floor or leaving issues that will cause damage to it sooner or later.
So if you use a steam cleaners or steam mops for hardwood floors, make sure that the cracks on your floor are covered. Test the durability and thickness of the seal by dripping water on its surface. If the water sinks into the wood or spreads out, it means the seal is not to be trusted and you need to redo the sealing process. If the water beads up immediately, it means the seal is strong.