The one thing that brings the whole room together is the flooring. So far, there’s hardly any floor finishing that beats the beauty of a hardwood floor. It has a timeless appeal. It is an elegant home staple that makes the home feel warm, special and natural. Who doesn't dream of achieving that for their space?
And it is surprising how many people completely overlook the hardwood floor, because of its initial cost of installation. It’s a bit more expensive than the rest such as the carpet. Regardless, you reap very great benefits that totally outweigh what you initially invested. Good things don’t come cheap. If you already have the floor though, you don’t want to be among most that overlook the necessary maintenance of the floor.
You’ve invested much, therefore it is only normal for you to expect your floor to look as good as new for as long as possible. Being proactive will make a huge impact on its longevity and appearance. Therefore, starting by cleaning it regularly is a great first step. Sadly, that is where most of us make mistakes that are ruining the floor. We do it so innocently, but it doesn’t have to be the same. We got you because we know how cleaning errors are so easy to make. That is why we will unveil some of those that are totally damaging your floor.
Using excess water on your hardwood floor is the biggest mistake you can make while cleaning. Sure, it may look like it needs a pool of water after days without washing, while it will definitely leaving the floor clean but damaged. Especially if you had no idea and keep doing it regularly. Water gets into the cracks between planks and causes swelling which damages your floor. Gradually, if your floor has been exposed to water, it will start rotting and growing mold. Little water goes a long way on floors, besides; you will use less effort to clean it anyway and still having it sparkling. You can also just use a dry mop to get the job done. Moreover, if the floor is stained, try spot cleaning. Deal with that the stains first by spraying the affected areas, then moving to mop the entire mop.
Using Harsh Cleaners
After investing much on the hardwood floor, many homeowners would want to maintain its look by cleaning it with harsh cleaners to rid any visible or invisible stain. While your actions are appreciated and meant for the greater good of the floor, you are totally damaging the finishing. The cleaners contain chemicals that eat away the layers of your finishing, leaving it looking drained and pale. For starters, you might want to deal with a stain as soon as it happens. It is much easier removing them, in fact, all you’ll need is a disposable wet wipe. Blot spills immediately with an absorbent cloth. You actually don’t need to use any cleaner, just use a few drops of your dish-washing soap and your floor will be the cleanest on the block while preserving its beauty.
Using Steam Cleaners
Steam cleaners are a sworn enemy of the wooden floor. The excessive heat and moisture will not only ruin your finishing but also the wood beneath. By the time you realize, because it happens gradually, the damage is done and you will need a whole new floor.
Using Vinegar or Ammonia
Vinegar has earned it’s placed in our hearts by coming through in many ways during cleaning emergencies. It is, however, the biggest mistake people make when using vinegar as a remedy to clean their hardwood floor. When laundering, vinegar is preferred to other detergents because it is milder. Yet in actual fact, when it comes to floors, vinegar is acidic and will eat away at your finishing. Ammonia will also have the same effect as vinegar, giving your floor a blotchy look. Therefore avoid using any of these two directly or cleaners containing them.
Pouring Products Directly
It might not look harmful in any way while doing it but, it actually is. Besides, you should know that the cleaning product will still be effective when mixed with water in a bucket. You will, in fact, have an easier time getting rid of the suds. Just like water, any other excess liquid is absorbable to your wooden floor. Moreover, the cleaning products might pose more harm considering the chemicals they contain.
Using wax on your floor is meant to give it more gloss, but tends to attract dirt. Dirt, just like clutter always makes your home look uncared for. Therefore, you will need to clean for frequently. To avoid all that, abstain or irregularly use wax on your floor. Running a floor buffer has the same effect.
Using the Wrong Mop
Did you know that not all mops are suitable for cleaning the wooden floor? That is how special your wooden floor is. Some mops will easily scratch and ruin your wood. Therefore, use only those meant for the wooden floor. It is also essential for you to use clean mops. It sounds like common sense but it is worth mentioning. Dirty mops will scratch the floor with debris from the previous cleaning plus it defeats the whole purpose of cleaning in the first place. Using a vacuum with the wrong attachment will severely scratch your floor in seconds. Therefore, ensure the correct head is on the vacuum before cleaning.
Let us know which of the cleaning mistakes you are guilty of. For a tip, to maintain your hardwood floor longer: You can enforce the ‘no-shoe-inside-the-house' rule. You don't need to wear shoes inside the house with a wood finishing. It will not only ensure your floor is clean for a longer period but also preserve it by reducing the scratch caused by the debris. Placing mats on high traffic areas will also go a long way. Ensure you also have a place-mat beneath your pet's water bowl.