I have been a disobedient daughter. :-( My parents moved into a new house several weeks ago, and my Mom asked me for advice about how to clean and care for her new wood floors. Apparently she has been getting conflicting advice on how best to clean them.
Well, while I don’t have personal experience with cleaning wood floors, I have spent a good amount of time now researching it and have been surprised to find out it’s actually VERY SIMPLE. So this is for you Mom….better late than never? :-)
3 Simple Steps to keep your hardwood floors looking good!
Take your shoes off! When you walk on a wooden floor with dirty shoes, you are leaving lots of sand and dirt behind. These abrasive particles can ruin your wood floors. Position mats both outside and inside exterior doors to lessen tracked-in dirt. In snowy or rainy weather, include a boot removal area to avoid damage from water and de-icers.
Next, make sure to get rid of dirt and grime with a vacuum or dust mop before you attempt to wash a wood floor. Rubbing dirt into your floors is never a good idea. Dust the floor with a mop that has been treated with a dusting agent (or use a microfiber duster) to pick up dust, dirt, and pet hair.
For occasional deep cleaning (dirt, oil and grime will build up over time), the best solution for cleaning wood floors is one cup of vinegar mixed with one gallon of water. Immerse a clean mop into the solution and wring it until it is damp-dry. Mop the floor in the direction of the floorboards, so if the water dries with a bit of a streak in it, it will not be as visible. After mopping, use a soft, clean towel to dry it or let it air dry.
If you want to get a little creative….steep 1 bag of tea in 2 cups of boiling water and leave until it comes to room temperature. Remove tea bag and soak cloth in liquid, wring out then wipe floor clean. Dry with a soft cloth. The tannic acid in the tea will help bring wood to a shine.
Finally….after cleaning your hardwood floor, if you find any scratches, here’s a simple trick to try:
Take a crayon the color of the floor and rub it on the scratch to fill the gap. Turn a blow dryer on high, heat the area where the crayon was applied and buff it with a soft cloth.
Keep these simple wood cleaning tips in mind, and your wooden floors will sparkle all the time.