Cleaning and Caring for Your Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors 101

Finding a simple and effective way to clean your hardwood floors is an important step in effective hardwood floor care. Keep in mind that when you are cleaning your hardwood floors, you are not actually cleaning the wood. You are cleaning the protective polyurethane finish on top of the natural wood. This means you must be careful with the products you choose to clean your floors to avoid damage to the top coat.

The Scoop on Cleaning Hardwood Floors

With so many cleaning products on the market today, it can be challenging to select a product that will clean your hardwood floors without damaging them. For example, just because vinegar and water work great in your bathroom doesn’t mean you should use them to clean your hardwood surfaces. Vinegar will break down the protective top coat and eventually allow water to seep into the wood, which may cause warping and swelling.

Luckily, there are great products on the market that are made specifically for cleaning hardwoods. Good Housekeeping tested some cleaners and released a list of the best ones. Flowers Flooring is a big fan of the top product on their list, a cleaning spray by Bona. We also recommend Shaw’s kid and pet-friendly hard surface cleaner. If you have new hardwood floors, be sure to investigate any warranty restrictions. Using a non-approved cleaner, could void your warranty.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Step-by-Step

When cleaning your hardwood floors, follow these simple steps:

  • The first step to cleaning your hardwood floors is to prep them. Use your favorite dust mop, broom, or vacuum cleaner to get all the dirt up. If you use a vacuum, ensure the beaters are off so as not to damage the floors. It’s also good to get into the habit of frequently sweeping up the little bits of debris and dust from your floors in between thorough cleanings. These little particles have the ability to scratch the finish over time.
  • Second, find a pH-neutral cleaning solution that will be gentle on your hardwood floors. Many cleaning solutions, such as homemade vinegar and water solutions, are acid based and will break down the finish on the surface of your floor. Over time this will reduce the shine and leave a dull appearance. Using vinegar and water on your hardwood floors can also lead to swelling and discoloration.
  • Next, spray a fine mist of the cleaning solution onto your floor in small sections. Be sure to avoid spraying too much liquid on your hardwood floors. You do not have to soak them with a cleaning solution to get a good clean. Most dirt and spills should wipe up easily without too much scrubbing from the hardwoods.
  • Finally, use a dry microfiber mop or cloth to wipe up your cleaning solution and get the grime off your hardwood floors. While traditional mops can work, they tend to leave an excess of water on your floors. Water is not your friend. If you do use a traditional sponge mop, make sure it is dry to start and that you wring it out frequently. You should not have to rinse a good floor cleaning solution with water after you spray. Be sure to let the floors air dry completely before walking on them. They should dry quickly if you have been sparse with the cleaner.

Show Your Hardwood Floors Some Love

Hardwoods are durable and never go out of style. If you take care of your floors, they will look beautiful for decades. Cleaning and caring for your hardwood floors is as simple as following these tips, which will help maintain the beauty and look of your floors.

About Flowers Flooring
Flowers Flooring is your family flooring specialist with two locations – Cornelius, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC. Both locations service a 100-mile radius from the showroom. Both locations specialize in flooring sales and installation, including carpet, laminate, hardwood, sand & finish, hardwood restoration, vinyl plank, vinyl tile, rubber flooring, tile floors, tile showers, tile backsplash, area rugs, interior painting, and more. To reach the Cornelius, NC location please call (704) 445-7750 and to reach our Winston-Salem location, please call (336) 660-0977. Please be sure to inquire about our current promotion and financing offers.