If you’ve recently had new hardwood floors installed in your home, it’s likely that you’re ecstatic about the warm look of your abode. Surely, that’s a feeling that you’d like to maintain. So, you may be asking yourself, how do I best keep my hardwood floors clean? Well, it’s always a good idea to keep your floors clean to ensure that they aren’t damaged by mold, discolored by stains, or downright dirty. Fortunately, hardwood floor maintenance is rather easy. Here’s what you can do (as well as what you shouldn’t do!) to keep your floors looking their best for decades on end.

The Don’ts

First thing’s first, let’s cover some of the things that you shouldn’t do if you have hardwood floors. While you may be tempted to use a wood furniture cleaner on your floors, you shouldn’t. These cleaners are often made of chemicals that may leave your furniture looking its best, yet they’ll make your hardwood floors extremely slippery. Plus, these cleaners don’t protect your floors the way their floor-cleaner counterparts do. You could end up damaging your floors, if you don’t slip and harm yourself!

In addition, you should always be wary of spills. While a spill is usually easy to clean up, if it goes unattended it can create problems and cause damage. Clean up spills quickly and appropriately (you can read more about the proper techniques below).

If you’re opting to use a vacuum for a light cleaning of your hardwood, make sure you aren’t using a vacuum with a spinning brush head — the brush head can scratch your hardwood, especially if there’s a rock or other object stuck in the head. Only use a hand attachment for your vacuum, and only use a head with a soft contact surface (no hard plastic, and again, avoid heads with rollers). It may be better to simply sweep or mop your hardwood, in lieu of vacuuming.

Day to Day Cleaning

When it comes to regular cleaning, hardwood floors are easy. Simply dust or sweep your hardwood floors as needed, and give them a deep cleaning when necessary — your cleaning routine will vary depending on how much traffic your floors endure, how many pets you have, how many children are in the house, etc., etc… and how often you can get to cleaning those floors with your busy lifestyle.

When it’s time for a deep cleaning, sweep up your floor first to get rid of any larger dust and debris. Then, use a hardwood floor cleaner to lightly spray your floors — make sure you follow the instructions on the container, since you may have to dilute your cleaner before application. Then, use a floor cleaning pad or a microfiber mop to clean your floors. Never use too much cleaner, and make sure your floors are dry within a few minutes of cleaning. If they aren’t, you’re using too much liquid as you clean.

If you’re uncertain about the right hardwood cleaner to purchase for your particular floors, speak to your floor installer, or the manufacturer of your hardwood floors — they’ll point you in the right direction.

Tip: If you have furniture strewn about your hardwood floors that you’ll move regularly as you clean your floors, then it’s best to place furniture pads under the legs of your pieces of furniture, to make moving these items easy (most lighter items can be moved by one person), and to prevent scratching your floor.

Cleaning Up Spills

It’s bound to happen. You’re going to spill something on your hardwood floors. Don’t fret. Cleanup is quite painless. With most spills (ranging from milk to wine), you’ll simply need to wipe up the mess as fast as possible with a rag or some paper towels. Then, use your hardwood floor cleaner to clean up any leftover residue.

With oil spills (like cooking oil), you can use some diluted soapy water to clean your floor after you sop up most of the oil. Dish soap ought to do the trick. Again, don’t use too much soap as you’re cleaning, and make sure your floor is entirely dry when it’s clean. After you remove all of the oil, you can utilize your hardwood floor cleaner for one final cleaning — your floor cleaner also ensures that your floors are protected.

Count on First Quality Interiors

Well, we hope we’ve helped you to make the most of your hardwood floors. We’re always here for all of your flooring needs, and we can guide you to the right hardwood floor cleaner if we’ve installed a floor in your home. We provide floor installations throughout Charlotte, including carpet, vinyl tile, laminate flooring, and hardwood floors. Learn more about our flooring products, and reach out to us if you have any questions!