This post is sponsored by Stanley Steemer. As always, all opinions and ideas are entirely my own.
Back when the main floor of our house was covered mostly in carpet, I yearned for hardwood floors. I was certain that making the switch to hardwood flooring would increase my quality of life dramatically. How could it not, I wondered, when keeping the floors clean would be so much simpler?
We did end up making the switch from carpet to hardwood on our main floor a few years ago. And now I have to laugh a little at how idealistic (or possibly naive) my beliefs were about what it would be like to have hardwood flooring! Because the truth is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s all too easy to cause serious damage to your hardwood floors. And I’ve already learned some of those lessons the hard way!
But I’d like to put that knowledge to good use by helping others to avoid making the same mistakes. So today I’ve teamed up with the flooring experts at Stanley Steemer to share some of the most common ways that people accidentally damage their hardwood floors. If you can avoid these seven pitfalls, it will go a long way towards keeping your floors in great shape!
7 Things That Can Ruin Your Hardwood Floors
1. Too Much Sunlight
The sun’s damaging UV rays aren’t only a threat to your skin—they can also be bad for your floors! Too much direct sunlight can cause your hardwood floors to become dull and discolored over time. On really sunny days, you can help protect your floors by closing the blinds or drapes against direct sunlight.
2. Using The Wrong Area Rugs
It’s important to know that certain types of rug backings can harm your hardwood floors. Certain rug backings can stain or discolor your flooring, while others can trap gases that warp your floors and ruin the finish. When you’re shopping for an area rug to put over your hardwood, make sure that it’s safe for use on hardwood floors!
3. Vacuuming With The Brush On
Many vacuums now feature an attachment designed to be used on hardwood flooring. Be sure to use it whenever you clean your hardwood floors! If you don’t have a hardwood flooring attachment, just be sure to turn off the brush or beater before vacuuming hardwood. While a brush or beater is great for cleaning carpet, it can easily leave behind marks or scratches on hardwood flooring.
4. High Heels & Pet Nails
It’s always a good idea take off your shoes before walking inside, it’s especially important when it comes to high heels and hardwood floors. Heels can scratch hardwood flooring, and even leave behind indentations if the heel has a small surface area. Pet nails and claws can also scratch up your floors (as I can personally attest to thanks to my grandpuppy Milo!) so be sure to trim them often.
5. Using The Wrong Cleaning Tools
The way you clean your hardwood flooring can have a huge impact on its appearance and lifespan. Avoid using abrasive tools or harsh cleaning solutions, which can easily damage your flooring. The safest technique for cleaning hardwood is to sparingly apply a mild cleaning solution with a soft microfiber mop or mop pad.
Beware of using cleaning products like oil soaps to clean certain types of hardwood flooring. Many modern types of hardwood flooring have a finish that doesn’t require waxing. Using oily or waxy cleaners on these floors can leave behind a residue buildup that can be extremely difficult to remove. (I recently experienced this very issue with my own floors, and I had to resort to the tedious work of removing it all by hand on my hands and knees!)
Bonus Tip: Stanley Steemer doesn’t just offer services—they have great cleaning supplies and tools too! If you’re in need of a new mop or a better cleaning solution, check out their Hardwood Floor Cleaning Kit on their products page. It includes both a residue-free hardwood cleaner and a reusable microfiber mop!
6. Sliding Furniture Around
Always take the time to lift furniture when you’re moving it around on hardwood floors. Sliding your furniture is a quick way to scratch up your nice hardwood floors! And make sure to add felt furniture pads to anything that rests directly on your floors as an added safety measure.
7. Not Getting Professional Help
Around once a year, I take my car in to have the interior cleaned and detailed. It helps preserve the value of my car over time, and makes it easier for me to keep it clean afterward! You can experience the same sorts of benefits from having your hardwood floors deep cleaned by the professionals at Stanley Steemer. Professional services like these aren’t a luxury—they’re part of responsible ownership and maintenance!
When your Stanley Steemer technician(s) arrive for your appointment, they’ll start by identifying exactly what type of flooring you have so they use the best methods to clean it. After vacuuming up any loose soil, they’ll use a pH-balanced cleaning solution, hot water, and a gentle, high-speed scrubber to extract all of the grime out of your floors. And once they’re clean, your technician will even make sure they’re perfectly dry using a fan and a microfiber mop! This eliminates any chance of water damage and leaves your floors ready to walk on.
And you can get even more out of your Stanley Steemer visit by coupling your hardwood floor service with an area rug cleaning. That’s exactly what I did, because once I saw how clean my floors looked, I couldn’t stand the idea of covering them up with my dusty, dirty area rugs! Their quick cleaning treatment left my rug looking brand new, and it ended up looking great against my super clean floors!
I hope the seven tips I’ve shared today prove as useful to you as they have been to me! Armed with the knowledge we need to avoid these pitfalls, we’ll all be able to keep our beautiful hardwood floors in tip-top shape for years to come! :-)
What’s your best tip or trick for cleaning and maintaining hardwood floors?