The holidays are just around the corner. While this may be the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also one of the messiest. Between holiday parties and that joyfully messy Christmas tree in your living room, your hardwood floors will take quite a beating over the next few weeks. Now that you’ll be cleaning your floors more often than usual, it’s important to make sure you’re using safe cleaning solutions to protect your floors and keep them looking like new.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Hardwood FloorsWhen it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, there are some basic rules you need to follow regardless of what type of finish you have.
- Don’t use waxes, furniture sprays or oils. Wax takes quite a bit of time to apply, and it makes it harder to recoat your floors later on. Oils leave an unpleasant residue behind, and furniture sprays will only make your floors slippery.
- Don’t use abrasive or harsh cleaning products, like ammonia. Abrasive cleaners may scratch your finish, and harsh cleaners may dull the surface.
- Do use a cleaner that’s designed for hardwood floors. There are plenty of cleaners on the market, but you may need to test out a few before you find one that works best on your flooring. Before buying a cleaner, make sure that it’s compatible with your floor’s finish. If you can’t find a cleaner you like, warm soapy water will do the trick. Be sure to use a mild, pH-neutral soap, like dishwashing soap, or Murphy’s Oil Soap (don’t worry, this soap doesn’t actually contain any oil).
- Do use the right tools when you clean. Soft, fibrous cloths work best. Microfiber is a great option as it will pick up surface dirt with ease, but won’t scratch your floors in the process.
Safe Hardwood Flooring Cleaning Tips
- Vacuum or sweep under the tree often. If you have a live Christmas tree, you may need to do this daily. Make sure that you use an appropriate vacuum to prevent damaging your floors. Lightweight upright and canister vacuums work best.
- Notice new scuff marks on your floor after a holiday party? Don’t panic. Just add a dash of baking soda to a damp sponge, wipe over the scuff mark and watch them disappear.
- Water tracked in from snow, sleet and rain can wreak havoc on your floors. Place mats in front of your doors to keep your floors dry.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent damage.