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How to maintain hardwood floors

Improper care of hardwood flooring can cause fading, scuffing, scratches. Moisture, dust, heavy objects and direct sunlight are the big offenders against your floor. They may cause it to lose its aesthetic appeal, luster and shine. While manufacturers now insure that the wood will have a long life, you need to do your part. Read on for our simple solution to the maintenance of hardwood floor.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Resources Required:
1. Vinegar
2. Distilled water
3. Soft-bristled broom
4. Vacuum cleaner
5. Dust mop
6. Dust cloth

The Method:
1. Start by using a soft-bristled broom to sweep away any hard debris or large dust particles.
2. Clean the floor with a dust mop to remove any remaining dirt. The mop should have a removable head with a width ranging from 10 to 20 inches. For better results, use a cleaning spray while mopping. Liquid stains should be immediately mopped up with a dry, soft cloth or they can left stains making the floor dull and ugly. If any residue remains, spray some cleaning liquid over the area, and then wipe it dry.
4. Use a vinegar solution to bring back the shine to a dull floor – take 4 parts of vinegar to 3 parts of water. You can adjust the quantities of vinegar and water according to the area of the room. Vinegar is also a great disinfectant, and its use insures that your floors are squeaky clean.
5.Let the floors dry completely once the cleaning is done. However, make sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight during this time. The harsh sun will damage its luster, making it dull and also accelerating its natural aging process.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does moisture affect my hardwood flooring?
A. Water, if left to dry on hardwood floor, can cause damage. It seeps into the wooden floor, damaging its texture and can initiate rotting.

2. How can I protect my hardwood floors from scratches and dents?
A. Make it a point to lift up your furniture when cleaning or shifting instead of pulling. This can cause scratches and dents, damaging the floor. You should invest in a protective floor mat and keep it under your furniture wherever possible.

3. How can I prevent dirt from damaging the floor?
A. Dirt can damage the finish of the floor. So,try to keep mats or natural fiber rugs at the entrance of any room to prevent dust or sand from coming onto the floor.

4. How can I remove stains from my hardwood floor?
A.To remove stains and sticky spots, use a damp cloth and scrub the affected area gently. If the stain is hard to remove, use a store-bought floor cleaner.

Quick Tips
1. If you have guests coming over, keep runners over the flooring in the high traffic areas. Runners look stylish and help in preventing dents caused by high heels or heavy shoes.
2. Contact the hardwood floor manufacturer and get a list of do’s and don’ts from him. Invest in some good wood care products for the upkeep of your floor.

Things To Watch Out For
1. Never drag heavy furniture across wooden flooring.
2. Try and discourage children from dropping heavy objects on the floor.
3. Oil-based soaps are a big no-no for hardwood flooring as they can leave the floor dull.
4. You should vacuum your floor once or twice a week to keep them clean.