Hardwood floor is an attractive and durable solution for every home. With a reputation for being tough, it might seem that these floors are resistant to any damage that homeowners’ abuse might do to them. However, this is not really true. These floorings will only last if the homeowner adequately treats them. And this doesn’t imply excessive cleaning with any chemical. While cleaner equals healthier, it doesn’t mean that any way of cleaning is suitable for your flooring. Here’s how to properly clean and protect hardwood flooring.


High heels and a hardwood floor.

Different ways to clean and protect your hardwood flooring

After your belongings have arrived safely and intact to your new home, thanks to the professional crew from Zippy Shell Louisiana, you want your new hardwood flooring to remain intact for quite some time as well. If you’re going to keep your floor beautiful for decades to come, keep in mind that treating it with proper care is the first step.

However, there’s some debate about the right way to clean this type of flooring. While professionals have the products and methods they use, these methods remain unknown to most people.

Everyday upkeep

For everyday upkeep, choose a dust mop, a broom, or a vacuum cleaner. However, disengage the beater bar, or use the “bare floor” setting. Clean with a vacuum that’s designed for this type of flooring. And use a soft floor nozzle. While a wand attachment is a good idea, brush rolls and carpet beaters can damage your flooring.

Moreover, steam cleaning is never the right choice for wood. Steam is essentially water, and you don’t want it anywhere near your hardwood floor. While steam cleaning might be an option for vinyl, tile, and linoleum, here, it’s out of the question.

Deeper clean

Deeper clean can include a flat-head mop. A microfiber cloth or terry cloth mop cover is preferable. By moving with grain, clean all the accumulated dirt. Use only a tiny amount of cleaning supply, about one teaspoon per 4 square feet. Also, there is no need to rinse.

The deepest clean however would be to hire a professional hardwood floor cleaning company. Their machines are able to pull out far more dirt than any flat-head mop ever could.  

Mopping with water is not recommended. At most, you should use a damp clean cloth, thoroughly wrung out, instead of a wet cloth. Standing water can find its way between boards and tiny tears in the varnish, and the moisture will damage the floor. As wood is an organic material, if mixed with water, swelling and decay will follow.

Cleaning solution

As you’ve noticed, it’s essential to control the amount of cleaning solution. For this purpose, you can use a spray. However, the question remains; which cleaning product is best to use? While some recommend plain soap and water, it’s safer not to violate the floor’s warranty and choose a product designated for hardwood.

Avoid aggressive products like ammonia-based cleaners, detergents, bleach, and abrasive soaps. Oils and waxes are not a good idea for your floor either. Wax makes re-coating complicated, and oils leave a residue. Steer clear of acidic substances, such as vinegar, as well. And while furniture spray can make your upholstery look new, you shouldn’t use it on your hardwood floor. Creating a slippery surface out of your floor is not a safe choice.

Remove pooled water

Water can get on your floor in many ways, not just mopping. Any leak in your house, your pet shaking off, or drink spill should be cleaned as soon as possible. Pre-finished wood flooring is more susceptible to this kind of damage, as seams are usually not tight enough to hold back pooled water.

Protect your floor by limiting traffic

Without a doubt, there are many upsides to hiring professional cleaning services. However, while professionals might clean more thoroghly than you ever could, it’s up to you to protect your hardwood flooring in the interum.

This type of flooring can stand up against regular traffic. However, try to protect it against any abnormal impact and traffic. Kids can, unfortunately, sometimes damage your floor with toys or permanent markers. Try to keep wheeled toys away from your floor, as sometimes, wheels can pick up tiny rocks. The same goes for kids’ and adults’ shoes. As a matter of fact, it’s might be best not to allow shoes into your home. High heels should certainly be avoided. Finally, don’t ever slide furniture legs or large, heavy boxes.

Pets and floor protection

The fact that we love our pets doesn’t have to exclude the fact that we love our floors too. Trim your pet’s nails, as long nails can scratch the varnish.

If you have one or more dogs, installing an extra hard type of hardwood flooring might be a good start. Mats and rugs where your pets regularly lay or run provide adequate protection.

A dog lying on a hardwood floor.

Mats, rugs, and runners

Even if you don’t have kids or pets, mats, rugs, and runners are a great way of protecting your hardwood flooring. They can stop dirt and water from reaching the floor. For this reason, consider laying them in high-traffic areas and areas where a spill might happen, such as the spot in front of the kitchen sink or in front of the dishwasher. However, avoid vinyl or rubber backings since they trap moisture.

Mudrooms and entryways are also high-traffic areas, as well as interior hallways. Certain places in your living room are also the areas you might want to protect. And mats and rugs are not only here to protect your floor. They can provide an attractive decoration and make a home feel cozier.

Carpets in a room with hardwood flooring.

When sanding your flooring

While sanding your floor does revitalize it, it can also weaken the boards. Hard sanding removes an amount of wood, as well as the top-coat. For this reason, you shouldn’t do it frequently. If you follow the previous tips and clean and protect hardwood flooring properly, there won’t be a need for frequent sanding in the first place.