How To Clean And Maintain Natural Hardwood Flooring

Posted on: 23 February 2017

Not only do hardwood floors give a home a warm, welcoming appearance, they're generally easy to clean and maintain as well. While laminate flooring closely resembles real hardwood, it doesn't have the same beauty or durability. If your home currently has authentic hardwood flooring, even if it is a century or more old, you can  keep it looking its best by giving it a little TLC on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. 

If you have moved into a historic home and the original wood floors are in disrepair, they can most likely be salvaged with a professional refinishing job and a sealant, such as water-based polyurethane. After you've spent time and money on the renovation, simple daily maintenance and a few deep-cleanings a year will add decades of life to the hardwood. 

Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining natural hardwood flooring:

Daily Basis 

Depending on how busy your household is, you'll most likely need to sweep your wood flooring at lease once a day to remove dust, debris, old food and pet fur and dander. Not only will this keep your home clean and sanitary, it will also remove any object, such as stones or pebbles, that could scratch or damage the wood. 

As an alternative to sweeping everyday, you can use a dust mop instead, which features a microfiber-covered head that attracts debris. You can then simply remove the reusable cover and wash it with your laundry. Single-use, disposable covers are also available. 

Wipe up any spills, such as juice, milk or water, as soon as possible with a soft, absorbent cloth to prevent staining. You can also follow up with a general spray cleaner to remove any residue. Avoid wet-mopping or steam-mopping natural hardwood flooring, as the moisture can cause the finish to dull and have a cloudy appearance. 

Weekly Basis

On a weekly basis, especially if the hardwood flooring is in a high-traffic area, such as a living room or entrance way, vacuum it using the "bare floor" setting on your appliance. This will help suction out any hard-to-remove debris, such as cat or dog fur, caught between the floorboards. 

You can also mop the floors using a liquid cleaner formulated especially for hardwood flooring. Avoid using vinegar- or soap-based cleaners on the wood. 

Monthly Basis 

To keep your clean wood floors looking their absolute best, polish them on a monthly basis. Using a polish designed specifically for hardwood use will help renew the protective finish on the flooring.