How to clean hardwood floors: must-know tricks

Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Hardwood floors are an investment in time and money, and you want to do everything you can to ensure that they last a long time. When it comes to maintaining and cleaning your hardwood floors, it takes a bit more than floor mopping to keep the floors looking their best. The following are some of the floor house cleaning tips and natural cleaners you can try to get the job done.

1. Hardwood floors and preventative maintenance. You can save on your hardwood-floor cleaning time with some smart preventive maintenance. A simple idea is to position floor mats both outside and inside doors to help lessen the tracked-in dirt that comes in. And in rainy and snowy weather, make sure to have a boot removal area to help avoid damage from water and de-icers. You can also prevent marks on the floor by using floor protectors underneath furniture and by using area rugs in play areas to help ensure that the children's toys don't scratch the floor.

2. Hardwood floor basic care. You can speed up the cleaning process of doing your hardwood floors by first dusting the floor with a mop that has been first treated with a dusting agent to help pick up the dust, dirt, and pet hair that might scratch the hardwood floor surface. For weekly or biweekly floor mopping and cleaning, vacuum the hardwood floors with a floor-brush attachment that is on a vacuum cleaner or an electric broom. Make sure not use a vacuum that has a beater bar attachment, which can scratch a wood floor's finish. For quick floor dusting, use the house cleaning tips of using a disposable electrostatic cloth. You can also save money by using both sides of the disposable cloths.

3. Deep cleaning hardwood floors. House cleaning tips for dirt, oil and grime build up that happens over time and aren't completely removed with your weekly dust floor mopping. For occasional deep cleaning that you might do in the spring or just before the winter holidays, you can use a wood-cleaning product that is diluted according to the label instructions. Try saturating a sponge or a rag mop in the water, then wringing it out almost dry, so that the mop feels only slightly damp to the touch. For floor mopping uses a damp-mop on the floor, being careful to prevent any standing water on the floor. Rinse the floor with a clean mop that is dampened in clear water, but only if the cleaning product requires it. Wipe up any of the excess liquid because standing water can damage hardwood surfaces. If the weather is humid, turn on a ceiling fan or the air-conditioner to help speed up drying.

4. House cleaning tip for removing marks on hardwood floors. Think about your hardwood floor's finish before trying to remove any marks. If the stain on the hardwood floor is on the surface, your hardwood floor probably has a hard finish, such as that of urethane. If the stain on the hardwood floor has penetrated through to the wood, the hardwood floor probably has a soft oiled finish which is quite common in older homes whose floors have not been refinished and then resealed. A house cleaning tips are to wipe surface stains from a hard finish with a soft, clean cloth. You never want to use sandpaper, harsh chemicals, or steel wool, on such a surface because they can permanently damage the hardwood finish. You will find these floor house cleaning tips on the Better Homes & Gardens site. On the site, you will find natural cleaners, house cleaning tips, decorating, home improvement, beauty, pets, vacations, gardening, entertaining and more. **

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