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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Hardwood Floors

Messner Flooring Blog

Maintain hardwood floors with Messner Flooring

Hardwood floors are special not only for their look and durability but also because they are easy to clean. While hardwood flooring brings uniqueness and beauty to your home, it can take a beating between daily wear and tear from everyone living in your home, including our four-legged friends. From getting spilled on, walked on, having mud and dirt tracked all over it, danced on, sat on, and jumped on. However, with proper care and maintenance, your hardwood floor can last a lifetime.

Daily Habits for Maintaining Hardwood Floors

1. Remove Shoes at the Door

To keep your floors in tip-top shape, we recommend that you take your shoes off at the door. When you walk on wooden floors with dirty shoes, you are leaving lots of mud, dirt, and sand behind. These abrasive particles can dull the finish and damage your floors. Another good rule of thumb is to keep throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching the floor.

2. Use Rugs and Mats Strategically

Placing rugs and mats in high-traffic areas is a smart move. These can capture dirt and moisture before they reach your hardwood floors. Be sure to clean these rugs regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt that could eventually find its way onto your floors.

Cleaning Techniques for Hardwood Floors

3. Regular Sweeping and Vacuuming

One of the easiest ways to maintain your hardwood floors is by sweeping or vacuuming regularly. Use a broom with soft bristles or a vacuum with a floor-brush attachment to avoid scratching the surface. This routine removes dust, dirt, and pet hair that could damage the finish.

4. Damp Mopping

While hardwood is a durable flooring option, cleaning and care are key to maintenance. Keep water off of them, wipe up stains immediately, and avoid using harsh cleaners and even vinegar that may strip the finish, causing the wood to dull over time. When mopping, use a damp (not wet) mop and a cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors. Avoid excess water as it can seep into the seams and cause damage.

Stain and Spill Management

5. Immediate Action on Spills

Accidents happen, and when they do, it’s crucial to act fast. Wipe up any spills immediately to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood. Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to blot the spill and avoid spreading the liquid further.

6. Gentle Stain Removal

For tougher stains, use a hardwood floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. Apply the cleaner to a cloth rather than directly to the floor to control the amount used. Gently rub the stain, and always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the cleaner does not damage the finish.

Long-Term Maintenance Tips

7. Recoating and Refinishing

Over time, the finish on your hardwood floors may wear down, especially in high-traffic areas. Recoating the floors every few years can restore their shine and provide an additional layer of protection. Refinishing, which involves sanding down the surface and applying a new finish, can be done every 7-10 years, depending on the level of wear and tear.

8. Humidity Control

Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Maintaining a consistent indoor humidity level (ideally between 35% and 55%) can help prevent the wood from warping or gapping. Use a humidifier in the winter and a dehumidifier in the summer to keep levels stable.

Avoid Common Mistakes

9. Using the Wrong Cleaners

Avoid using harsh cleaners, including ammonia, bleach, and vinegar. These substances can strip the finish and damage the wood. Stick to products specifically designed for hardwood floors.

10. Ignoring Small Repairs

Small issues like minor scratches or dents can turn into bigger problems if ignored. Use a wood filler or a touch-up kit designed for hardwood floors to address these imperfections promptly.

Messner Cares About the Care of Your Hardwoods

Hardwood floors add unparalleled beauty and value to any home. With the proper care and maintenance, they can remain stunning and durable for generations. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you can keep your hardwood floors looking their best, no matter what life throws at them.

Caring for your hardwood floors at Messner

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