How to Clean Hardwood Floors and Keep Them in Shape

Keeping hardwood floors in good condition requires a regular maintenance program. Sweeping, dusting or wiping dry with a mop every day is the best way to clean and maintain them. High-traffic areas should be cleaned with a damp mop twice a month. If you spill something on the floor, it's best to clean up the stains immediately instead of dragging out the mop.

For quick clean-ups, spills and stains can be taken care of right away. If my cat throws up on the floor or my daughter leaves paint on the floor, we clean them as soon as we see them, says Maker. Vacuuming regularly will also help keep your floors looking clean and beautiful. We usually clean our hardwood floors once a month, Maker adds.Old, unfinished hardwood floors should be wet cleaned very infrequently, if at all.

In most homes, hardwood floors should be cleaned at least four to six times a year. To remain stable, they must be kept in an environment with consistent humidity and temperature levels. Most factory-applied and on-site finishes for hardwood floors are not designed to withstand extreme humidity temperatures.Floor installer Michael Dittmer, who lives outside Chicago, sends a robot vacuum every day to monitor his entire first floor. It's important to note that most floor manufacturers' warranties are void if steam mops have been used on the floor.

These can be great for tile or vinyl floors, but ammonia, vinegar or petroleum-based cleaners, even when diluted, are too harsh for hardwood floors. A steam cleaner will make your floors look clean and shiny, but moisture added to the floors can cause the same and worse problems than scrubbing with a damp mop.When vacuuming hardwood floors, use a vacuum with smooth (clean) rubber wheels and turn off the brush or mixer bar. This will leave your floors clean and conditioned while bringing out the veins in the wood without leaving any residue.

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