Hardwood floors can add warmth and beauty to any interior space. And if you have a home with hardwood floors, of course you want to take proper care of them. After all, hardwood flooring isn’t cheap—and despite its beauty, hardwood is also far from the most durable flooring material out there. For that those reasons, you’ll need to take some extra care when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to the best cleaning practices? We’ve got some tips to help make this household chore quick, easy, and effective. From there, you can keep your floors just as beautiful as they were when they were installed!

Why (And How Often) to Clean Hardwood Floors

Like any other flooring surface, hardwood accumulates dust, dirt, and debris over time. Not only can this debris take away from the natural beauty of your floors, but they can actually cause the protective sealant on the wood to wear down prematurely. This, in turn, can expose the wood to costly damage.

Dirty floors can also be an issue for those with respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma. The dust and debris that has accumulated on wooden floors can be easily kicked up and make its way into the air you breathe.

By simply taking the time to clean your floors regularly, you can keep them looking great and protect your loved ones. The frequency with which you should clean your hardwood floors will depend on a few factors, including how high the foot traffic is on your floors and whether you have any pets.

Ideally, you should be sweeping or vacuuming your floors daily to prevent the accumulation of dust, pet hair, and other fine debris. From there, mopping your floors can typically be done anywhere from once a week to once a month. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you’re comfortable with.

Best Practices For Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Ready to give your hardwood floors a deep clean? Follow these simple steps.

Start With Protection!

On wooden floors (and other hard floors), debris can easily make its way underneath furniture. For this reason, it’s a good idea to move furniture around in order to thoroughly clean your floors and have access to all those nooks and crannies. Before you move any furniture around, though, make sure your floors are protected! Chair and table legs, for example, should be covered with felt furniture pads to avoid accidental scratching of your wood floors when you move them.

If you don’t already have furniture pads on these items, have somebody help you lift and move these items rather than dragging them across the floor. You can also lay down a sheet or other old blanket, set these furniture items on top, and then push them around without causing damage to your floors if you don’t have access to furniture pads.

Vacuum or Sweep Loose Debris

From there, you’ll want to remove loose debris from your hardwood floors by using a vacuum or broom. If you’ll be vacuuming your floors, make sure the vacuum head is soft enough that it will not cause damage. If you’ll be sweeping your floors, avoid using a broom with hard and stiff bristles, as these can cause surface scratches as well.

Using a microfiber broom or duster is often a great way to remove loose debris from hardwood floors. Not only are microfiber pads soft and gentle on delicate floors, but they also attract dust and dirt effectively.

Create a Cleaning Mixture

While there are plenty of cleaning products on the market specifically designed for use on hardwood floors, old-fashioned soap and water is just as effective and more budget-friendly. If you decide to go out and buy a household cleaning product for wooden floors, that’s fine. Just make sure to do a “spot test” in a small and inconspicuous area of your floor at least 24 hours before you go on to clean your entire floor. This will ensure that the product doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration before you begin. Never use waxes or wood furniture sprays to clean wooden floors, as these can actually cause damage and leave a residue.

If you decide to make your own cleaning solution, all you’ll need is a spray bottle, your favorite gentle dish soap, and some warm water. From there, combine about a quarter cup of dish soap for every cup of water into a spray bottle. If you have a larger surface to cover or want to do a deeper clean, you can combine the same proportions into a bucket.

Mop and Rinse

When it comes time to mop your floors, your method will depend on whether you’re using a spray bottle or bucket. For smaller areas, simply spray a small amount of your cleaning solution to your floors, working in small sections from the outside corner of the room towards the door. Use a microfiber rug or cloth to work the cleaning mixture over the floors, removing debris and grime as you wipe/wop. Never use anything abrasive, such as steel wool or a scrub sponge, to clean wood floors.

If you’re using a bucket and mop, work in a similar fashion but be careful not to use too much cleaning mixture. After all, wooden floors are not waterproof (or even water-resistant, for that matter), so you want to avoid using so much cleaning mixture that it pools on top of the surface.

Follow up by “rinsing” any soap residue away with plain water. Otherwise, you could end up with an unwanted film over your floors that makes them look dull.

Dry Floors Thoroughly

Make sure your wooden floors are dried completely after you clean them. You can do this by drying them yourself with a microfiber towel, or you can strategically place fans to speed up the natural drying process. Opening up windows can also improve circulation and help floors dry faster.

Need More Help With Your Household Cleaning?

With a little bit of time and elbow grease, you can maintain your beautiful wood floors and keep them looking like new for many years to come. And if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the task of cleaning your floors, there’s nothing wrong with turning to a professional cleaning company for help.

At Cleaning Exec, we specialize in household cleaning services to make your life easier! Contact us today to set up your first cleaning appointment or to find out more about the specific cleaning services we have to offer.