Keep your hardwood floors beautiful with these six tips.

If you have hardwood floors in your home, consider them an investment. Not only are they beautiful, they also add value to your home. As such, it is important that you clean and maintain your hardwood floors properly to ensure their beauty continues for years to come.

Dirt can’t hide on hardwood floors like it can on carpeting, so cleaning them can seem like a lot of work. The good news is, once you get into a routine of caring and maintaining your hardwood floors, it won’t seem like such a chore at all.

Sweep or dust daily

Your first line of defense against scratches in the surface of your hardwood floors is dusting with a microfiber cloth every single day. Microfibers have soft texture that traps dirt, hair, and other debris with static electricity that won’t damage your floor’s surface. Sweeping with a broom helps get rid of larger debris, but regular brooms only push dirt around.

Vacuum and mop once a week

Vacuuming and mopping helps remove hard-to-reach dirt in corners and crevices. Keep in mind, however, that a hardwood floor’s surface is delicate and requires a gentle touch. If your vacuum has a rotating brush, disengage it before vacuuming, and keep a close eye out for damage caused by the wheels.

Wet mopping should be conducted after vacuuming. Remember, however, that water and hardwood floors do not mix. Lightly mist the floor with a hardwood floor cleaner and mop over it to leave behind a clean, shiny surface.

Polish floors once every couple of months

Polishing your hardwood floor not only cleans the surface, but it also refreshes and renews its protective top layer. When you polish the floor, you are actually treating the top protective layer (sealant) and filling in any light scratches and dings that may be present.

Refinish every 3 to 5 years

Hardwood floors require specific maintenance in order to remain beautiful. Part of this maintenance is a complete refinish of the floor’s surface. Refinishing the floor takes away all of its old sealant and stain and replaces them with fresh coats so the floor looks as good as new. Conducting this vital step helps protect your floors and keeps them beautiful for many, many years.

Use the right tools and cleaning agents for the job

As stated before, hardwood floors are delicate, and thus, need T.L.C when it comes to cleaning. Soft cloths, dry mops and other gentle tools are best to avoid scratching the surface during routine cleaning.

When it comes to the type of cleaners to use on your hardwood floors, avoid water, vinegar, soap-based and wax cleaners and steam machines. Water and vinegar only dull the finish over time, while wax and soap cleaners leave a cloudy residue. Steam cleaning machines are a big no-no because they use excess water and heat to clean the floor’s surface, which can warp the wood.

Protect your floors

Besides daily and weekly cleaning, it’s important you protect your hardwood floors as much as possible from ground in dirt and excess moisture in between. Ideally, everyone who enters your home should take off their shoes, but since that isn’t always going to happen, you have to take other steps to protect your floors.

Place over-sized welcome mats at entryways to help clean guests’ shoes of debris and moisture. Put down long area rugs in high-traffic areas, but avoid using ones with rubber or non-skid backing as they trap moisture underneath.

Using the six tips on how to clean hardwood floors above will help you clean and maintain your home’s hardwood floors and keep them beautiful for many years. Get in the habit of conducting these steps to make cleaning your floors less like a chore.