Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homes today because of their durability, ability to get easily restored and environmental profile. They also add to the aesthetics of the house and enable you to keep the cold weather under control. However, it needs regular care and cleaning to maintain its gorgeously elegant looks.
There are a number of ways and means by which this purpose can be achieved like:
- Vacuuming the floor: This is an essential part of hardwood cleaning and should be done even if the floor is swept every day. The reason being that the grit in even the finest of dirt accumulated on the floor gently but surely abrades it. Vacuuming the floor with a felt surface or a brush is ideal for hardwood floors while beater bars and rotating brushes should never be used.
- Using a no-wax cleaner: It is always better to use a no wax floor cleaner specifically meant for wood. Spills and dirt should first be wiped up then the residue needs to be cleaned using the floor cleaner. This should be diligently done in case of a waxed hardwood floor as it is sacrilege to mop waxed hardwood floors.
- Annual waxing: Hardwood floors need to be waxed once a year so as to maintain their shine and protect them from damage. But there are certain rules which need to be followed when using wax or restorers on a hardwood floor. They are:
-> Use only wax on a wax finish hardwood floor.
-> Hardwood surfaces which have a finishing of shellac, polyurethane or varnish should never be waxed as it makes the floor dangerously slippery.
-> Before using restorers, it is important for it to be tested on a small area of floor first to check if it peels off. Only when you are sure that it won’t should it be used on the rest of the floor.
- Using doormats: Doormats help to keep most of the dirt out of the house. Hence they should be strategically placed outside as well as inside the door. This will ensure that people rub their shoes before coming inside. In fact using an extra long doormat inside the door is an ideal way to keep off moisture and dirt.
- Protecting high-traffic areas: There are invariably some areas in your house which experience heavier footfall than others. These areas of hardwood flooring needs to be protected. The use of area rugs will not only help to reduce wear and tear but also add an element of beauty to the decor of the room.
- Keeping out certain things: There are certain things which can damage hardwood floors like nothing else can. These should be essentially kept out but when found inside should be immediately cleaned in a way that no residue remains. Some of these things are:
-> Hairspray and furniture polish damage the floor by clouding its finish. They should be first wiped with a damp cloth and then sprayed with a non-ammonia window cleaner for its complete removal.
-> Rain and water stain hardwood floor and cause extensive damage due to seepage and hence should be absolutely avoided. Extra care needs to be taken to reduce damage caused due to water by:
- Wiping up any droplet of water found on the floor immediately,
- Closing doors and windows beforehand when rains are expected,
- Keeping trays under potted plants kept inside etc.
Hardwood floors are beautiful investments which, if taken care off, can be passed on to forthcoming generations. Hence schedule daily, month and yearly maintenance of your floor to keep it looking new and shiny for years to come.