Wooden floors add something special to any home, but the upkeep can be a little more difficult than carpet in some ways. When it comes to everyday spills and mess, it’s just a quick wipe with a cloth, rather than getting out the carpet cleaner, however, regarding general wear and tear, and the longevity of the wooden floors, you sadly can’t just leave it and hope for the best. If you don’t treat your hardwood right, it will end up costing you a brand new floor!
Keep it clean
As exhausting as it may sound, you really must keep on top of cleaning your hardwood floor – much more so than carpet or laminate. Sweeping or using a dry mop regularly will help prolong the life of your floor. Reduce dirt by keeping an entrance mat by the door and, avoid wearing shoes inside, and be careful when moving furniture not to scratch the surface. Look for a vacuum that works well on hardwood floors for daily whiz-arounds to keep it looking its best.
Don’t use soap
Although it might seem like the logical solution, soap will actually cause more harm than good to hardwood floors. Keep the soapy mop bucket for your linoleum, tiled or laminate floors, but steer it away from the precious hardwood.
Vinegar is key
Vinegar pops up in cleaning so often that it might as well be marketed as a cleaning product rather than one to be used in food! Instead of using harsh soaps, just a cup of white vinegar mixed with a gallon of warm water will work wonders. Use a cloth, slightly dampened, and work in small areas, making sure to dry it immediately using a clean cotton towel. There are specific cleaners for hardwood floors which are likely to smell a little nicer; however, vinegar will work just the same and costs a fraction of the price!
Avoid oil and wax
Again, this may seem counterintuitive but trust us. Applying wood polish, wax or oil to a floor that has a Swedish finish can cause a lot of damage to your lovely floors, as well as making them far too slippery! These types of hardwood floor are finished with a varnish which gives the floor a beautiful shine; however, the epoxy resin can be ruined with oils, polishes, and waxes so keep them away!
Try and stay dry
Too much water can warp the wood of your floor, so where possible, avoid soaking it with water, vinegar or cleaners. Make sure to dry the floor after cleaning and prevent water spots by drying any splashes of liquid that find their way onto the floor!
Get in the professionals
If you do need something done to your floors on a bigger scale, such as buffing, or the Swedish finish reapplying, it’s best to shell out for a professional to do this, rather than risking the health of your floor by doing something like this yourself.
The beauty of hardwood floors is more than worth the work that goes into keeping them looking their best. Not only that, but the cost of replacing it is pretty pricey, so it certainly pays to give it a little extra TLC.