Hardwood floors are at the heart of every well-built home. It symbolizes taste with a touch of modernity. Hardwood floors are in demand due to their sleek and classy look, their innate ability to keep the house warm, and the fact that they go well with all kinds of interiors.

Do you remember the time when you had installed hardwood floors in your home?

Remember how shiny and dirt-free it was?

With time the floor may have suffered some damage. Movement of heavy furniture and pets may have left their mark on the once shining floor.

We are aware that homeowners take great pains to maintain their hardwood floors. You cannot use a random cleaning solution for your hardwood floor as it may cause extensive damage.

With opinion divided over the best method, some claim that cleaning with water is good enough, while others recommend specialized cleaning solutions.

What adds to the complication is that different cleaning techniques and equipment work well for different hardwood floors. Also, cleaning solutions work best when they are used consistently and not just for one time results. 

This article will discuss 7 strategies that you can utilize to maintain and increase the life of your hardwood floors.

The methods are easy and will leave your floors clean and shining just as they should be.

1. Vacuuming: Easy and Effective

Some areas of your home gather dirt more easily compared to others. In high-activity spaces such as the dining room and the kitchen, it is highly recommended that you vacuum daily to keep the floors clean. As far as other areas such as living rooms and bedrooms are concerned, you can vacuum these on a weekly basis.

Vacuuming is the safest and easiest way to clean hardwood floors on a daily or routine basis. Not vacuuming the floor for more than a month can result in the increase of dust and allergens leading to breathing problems. 

If vacuuming seems like a difficult task, you could clean the space with a mop. However, make sure not to use too much water with a mop. Water is the worst enemy for any hardwood floor as it can wreak havoc on the wood and result in its decay. 

2.  Floor Cleaning Solutions: The ultimate option

When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, no one knows better than the manufacturer who built it from scratch. It is advisable to ask the manufacturer about the best methods to clean the floor. If a floor cleaning solution is recommended, you should go for it and stick to it on a long term basis. 

If the product suggested is way too expensive and does not fit your budget, you can purchase a floor cleaner on your own. Remember to use a floor cleaner which is mild, and without harsh chemicals or abrasives. Check the pH level of the cleaner to ensure it is neutral in nature. The recommended ratio of any floor cleaning solution is 1/4 parts of the solution mixed with 3/4 parts of water. 

3. Baking Soda: The Cleaning Elixir

Baking soda is rightfully called the wonder cleaning agent. If you spot thick grease and dirt on the surface of your hardwood floor, baking soda would be your best bet. With a slightly basic pH level, it is a perfect cleaning ingredient not only for floors but a variety of other household objects. 

Using baking soda for cleaning hardwood floors is a great idea as it attaches itself to grease and dust particles and wipes them off the surface. It also removes any unwanted odor that might linger inside the house.

4.  Vinegar: The natural stain killer

Vinegar tops the list of DIY home ingredients for cleaning hardwood floors. It is a natural abrasive and rinsing agent effective in eradicating hard stains from the surface of floors. If you have an old stain on your hardwood floor, vinegar could be your cleaning agent of choice.

For cleaning hardwood floors, vinegar can be mixed with an equal part of water and cleaning soap. Some people also mix vinegar with lemon water for optimum results.

However, vinegar has an acidic pH and can damage the polished layer of your hardwood floor if left on for long. When used with caution, vinegar is wonderful for any hardwood floor. 

5. Teabags: For Shiny Floors

You were not expecting teabags to be a part of this list, were you? You will be even more amazed on seeing the shine on your hardwood floors once they are cleaned with teabags. Teabags have tannic acid in them, which is a natural shining agent used to clean a variety of surfaces.

All you need to do is soak two to three teabags in a pot of boiling water. Let this mixture boil for some time. After cooling it down, pour this mixture into a bucket and dip a soft cleaning cloth into this mixture. Squeeze this cloth and make sure it is damp.

Use this cloth to wipe the surface of your hardwood floor. 

Make sure to dip this cloth into the water and dampen it every time you scrub. Using a damp cloth will help to dry the floor faster. After cleaning you will notice a luxurious sheen on the surface. Also, it is absolutely safe to use teabags to scrub your hardwood floor on a routine basis.

6.  Crayon Wax: For Gap filling

If you have hardwood floors at home you might notice a few cracks even after they are cleaned thoroughly. Crazy though it sounds, we suggest you dig into your kids’ art supplies for the solution. Pick a crayon that roughly matches the color of the floor, and use the crayon to fill in the cracks.

Next use a hot air dryer/ blower over the areas where you have used the crayon. The crayon wax will melt easily and fill the cracks evenly. After it melts completely, use a soft cloth and wipe off the excess wax from the floor. And, voila! Your hardwood floor is now crack free. 

7.  Microfiber Cloth: All-in-one

The holy grail for cleaning all delicate items, a microfiber cloth is a perfect solution even for hardwood floors. Every homeowner has a different preference when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.

However, a microfiber cloth fits into every possible scenario irrespective of whether you use water, vinegar, cleaning solutions, or prefer to keep it dry.

Most microfiber cloths are feathery soft. The tiny bristles on the cloth cling on to minute dust particles and remove excess dirt in just one sweep. You can find a wide array of microfiber cloths online or in your nearest home supplies store. 

A few more handy tips

While our compiled list for the 7 best ways to clean hardwood floors ends here, these are a few more tips to make sure that your hardwood floors last longer and stay beautiful for years to come.

Use Rugs and Carpets

Make sure to cover high activity spaces in your home such as sitting areas, the dining area and the living room with beautiful rugs. Rugs amp up the space of every home and protect the floor from wear and tear. Your hardwood floors undergo wear and tear when they are stepped on a lot. 

With kids playing on the floor and pets roaming around, a nice rug will make the space comfortable while protecting your hardwood floor. For areas such as the kitchen and the entrance, you can use woven or fabric doormats that prevent the floor from being slippery while protecting it well. 

Avoid wax and oils

Oil and wax-based products are a big no-no for hardwood floors. While the immediate impact of wax might be great, the long term outcome of wax and oils on hardwood floors can be disastrous. Wax-based products can penetrate deep inside the hardwood leaving it brittle from within. 

This can pose problems in cleaning the floor for years to come, and it reduces the overall life of the floor. The same applies to oil-based products which can leave grease marks on the surface of the floor, and make it ugly and harder to clean. 

Floor Coating 

Like any other home necessity, your hardwood floors also require consistent attention. While purchasing hardwood flooring from your manufacturer it is strongly suggested that you ask them how often the particular type of floor requires maintenance. 

Most hardwood floors come with a requirement of being recoated in every 7-8 years. Recoating and polishing your floor will keep it as good as new for years. 

Happy Flooring!

With the combination of the aforementioned cleaning techniques, and the Dos and Don’ts that we discussed, your hardwood floors will shine bright and stay strong for a long time. For wooden paneling on walls, check out these best wood paneling wall ideas.

Please tune into our blog from time to time for regular updates and solutions related to common home maintenance issues that every homeowner goes through.