How to Keep Hardwood Floors Clean and Shiny

Interior, horizontal, living room toward stairway, fireplace and windows, Nasser residence, Clayton, Georgia; Montana Log Homes

You may have spent a lot of money buying beautiful hardwood floors for your living room, bedrooms and elsewhere. The challenge now is to keep them nice and shiny without fading into decay. Here are several tips on how you should properly clean your hardwood floors to maintain their longevity:

Sweep or Vacuum Daily

You should sweep or vacuum the hardwood floors on a daily basis to keep the dust off the varnish. Dust gathers on your floorboards every day. Unless it’s cleaned off, dust can settle and cause discoloration and damage to the floors. You should especially sweep or vacuum the floors in high-traffic areas, like entrances or play areas.

Mop or Scrub Floors on a Weekly Basis

In addition to sweeping the floor, make it a habit to mop or scrub the hardwood floors. You should mop at least once a week for your hardwood floors to remain clean and shiny. You can use floor scrubbers too if desired. However, make sure these are gentle on the wood and does not damage the exterior.

Choose the Right Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Not all vacuums are created equal. Most vacuums are designed to clean carpets, so you might want to find the right type of vacuum for your hardwood floor. The wrong vacuum may inadequately clean the floorboards or even cause damage. For hardwood floors, canister vacuum cleaners are generally recommended over others. Dedicate the same scrutiny when buying automatic scrubbers for hardwood floors too. Some scrubbers are intended for tile floors and may damage the sealant on hardwood floors.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Floor cleaning chemicals can do more damage to your hardwood floors than good. Do not use tile cleaner solution on hardwood floors. Tile cleaners are typically harsh and can damage the delicate varnish and sealant with frequent cleaning. Buy a floor cleaner specially formulated for hardwood floors. It’s recommended to try an organic method to hardwood floor cleaning. You can easily make a non-damaging cleaning solution at home by combining equal parts of vegetable oil and white vinegar. Mix the solution thoroughly and use it as you would a regular cleaner to scrub the hardwood floors clean. If you make the solution in advance and store it, make sure to shake the bottle before each use. Oil usually separates from the vinegar when stored. Also, use the solution quickly before the oil goes rancid.

Limit Waxing

Some homeowners obsessively wax hardwood floors to keep them looking shiny. Waxing should be strictly limited to maximum two times per year. Otherwise, the wax will build up on hardwood floors and make the finish look dull. So, avoid over waxing hardwood floors. You should buy a specially formulated wax buildup remover to make dull floors look shiny again.

As a final tip, never mop a dirty hardwood floor. The floor needs to be swept and vacuumed clean before you mop it. If you mop a dirty floor, the mop will leave ugly streaks and residue once you are done. The idea of mopping is to remove stains that are setting that cannot be removed by sweeping. So, you need to sweep to remove the outer layer of dust and debris first.