Between unexpected spills and daily foot traffic, hardwood floors endure a lot. To avoid long-term damage, it’s important to deep clean your hardwood floors every now and again. And now that spring is here, there’s no better time to do it. When properly taken care of, hardwood floors can last for decades. 

Luckily, cleaning hardwood floors is pretty straightforward. If your hardwood floors haven’t had a deep clean in a few months, then springtime is the perfect opportunity to refresh and revitalize them. Here are some basic cleaning steps for you to follow.

  • Step one: Use a vacuum or broom to remove surface dust and debris, such as pet hair.
  • Step two: Identify the type of finish that’s on your hardwood floors–either surface or penetrating finish.
  • Step three: Choose an appropriate hardwood floor cleaner based on the finish.
  • Step four: Use a hardwood floor cleaner and microfiber mop to remove stains and allergens. Remember to mop in the same direction as your floorboards.
  • Step five: Use a buffer machine or buff floors by hand to remove any scuff marks or scratches.

Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

  • Avoid any abrasive cleaners that can scratch or damage your floors.
  • Develop a floor cleaning routine and stay on top of it.
  • When mopping, thoroughly wring out your mop as excess moisture is bad for your floors.
  • Wipe up spills and messes the second they happen to avoid moisture damage and hard-to-clean stains.

How Often Should You Clean Hardwood Floors?

To maintain beautiful hardwood floors, you should sweep or dry mop daily to remove surface dust and debris. Once per week, you should run the vacuum over your floors, remembering to remove the vacuum’s roller brush to avoid scratching your floors. Once or twice per month, you should clean your floors with a damp mop and an appropriate floor cleaner. Around the five-year mark, you can think about applying a new coat of finish to your hardwood floors. And finally, remember to re-sand and refinish every 10 years.

Best Cleaning Tools for Hardwood Floors

There’s an endless supply of cleaning products on the market, but not all of them are ideal for the floor in your home. When it comes to brooms, choose one with soft, gentle bristles to avoid scratching. For mops, microfiber is your best bet. Most vacuums work well on hardwood floors; however, if your vacuum has a roller brush with hard bristles, you might want to remove it to avoid scratching the finish. 

Tips for Maintaining Hardwood Floors

Regular cleaning is the best way to preserve hardwood floors in your home. But, you can use a few other tricks to make sure your floors stay pristine for years to come.

  • Use carpet runners or rugs in high-traffic areas to avoid general wear and tear. These areas might include: in front of the sink, at your front door, and under the couch.
  • Place soft furniture pads on the legs of your tables, couches, etc.
  • Avoid dragging furniture–when possible; lift your items to move them.
  • Seek out manufacturers’ advice for cleaning and repairing hardwood floors.
  • Avoid wearing shoes, especially high heels.
  • If your floor starts to look dull, use a small amount of wax to restore its natural shine. Always spread the wax in the same direction as your floorboards and be careful not to over-wax.
  • Keep a scratch repair kit on hand for minor fixes in between buffing sessions.

Natural Remedies for Spring Cleaning Hardwood Floors

If you’re uncertain about the chemicals and ingredients in traditional floor cleaners, don’t worry. There are a few natural ways to clean hardwood floors using items you probably already have in your kitchen.

When diluted with water, vinegar makes an excellent substitute for floor cleaner—mix ½ cup of white vinegar with one gallon of warm water. Teabags can also be used. Simply steep a few black tea bags in a pot of boiling water. Once the mixture is cool, go ahead and mop the way you would with ordinary cleaner and water. Because of the natural tannins in tea, you’ll be surprised how shiny your floors turn out. Whenever you’re working with natural cleaning remedies, always check with the manufacturer of your hardwood floors to ensure they are appropriate for your specific type, as well as run a test on a small patch of floor to ensure your ratios are correct. 

Whether you look forward to spring cleaning or not, there’s no denying it–clean and sparkling hardwood floors make your home look immaculate. And LifeStyle’s Design Studios are stocked with an excellent selection of hardwood flooring options. Give us a call to learn more.