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7 Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

7 Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors


Hardwood flooring can transform the look of an entire home, but it can look very unpleasant when covered in dust and dirt. Unlike carpet, you can't really mask the buildup of regular debris. By coming with a consistent routine, you can keep your floors shiny and beautiful for years to come. Below are seven tips to help you clean hardwood floors with no hassle.

Cleaning a hardwood floor

1. Make Quick Dusting a Habit

Try and make dusting your hardwood floor part of a weekly routine. The more frequently you sweep or dust the floor, the less often you have to deal with large buildups of dirt and dust. Also, before you start any deep cleaning, take a few minutes to sweep away any visible dirt and debris with a soft bristle brush or an electrostatic cloth mop.  

2. Use the Right Vacuum Attachment

Vacuuming your floors should also become part of your regular cleanup. Remember to use a special brush attachment to help prevent scratches and scrapes on your surface.

3. Stick to Wood-Cleaning Products

For a deeper clean, use a wood-cleaning product. Stick with an option exclusive to hardwood floors, since an alkaline-based cleaner with soap, detergent or baking soda will damage and dull the surface over time. A pH-neutral, water-based cleaner won't leave residue on your floors, and it increases the life and beauty of your hardwood. If your floors are polyurethaned, dampen a mop with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. For lacquered or shellacked surfaces, don't use water. It can stain the wood and cause buckling.

4. Mop Like a Pro

After you saturate your mop, wring it out thoroughly so the mop is damp but not wet. Avoid putting too much liquid on the floor. Once the ground is wet, make sure to mop going with the grain of the floor's surface. Wipe up excess water with a clean, dry towel because standing water will damage the floor. If there is any dampness left on the floor, turn on a ceiling or floor fan to speed up air drying.


Woman buffing hardwood floor

5. Buff Away

To lift soapy residue after mopping and make your floor shine, hold a soft cloth in your hand and use it to rub the floor gently in a circular motion. This should leave your floor sparkling.

6. Remove Scuffs & Marks

Try filling in scuffs and marks with a crayon in the same color of the floor first. If that doesn't work you may need to manually buff and wax the wood. Use fine-grade steel wool and buff the desired area in a circular motion. Steel wool is light and won't damage hardwood as much or as quickly as other buffers. Rub in a floor wax, and hand buff to lighten and brighten your floors for a shiny finish.

7. Prevent Future Damage

Reduce tracked in dirt and moisture by placing doormats inside and outside exterior doors. Floor protectors under furniture help prevent scratches. Putting rugs down in high-traffic areas can also help lessen everyday wear on your hardwood floor.