Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest floors to keep clean. Keep in mind, the beauty of hardwood floors comes from it’s uniqueness, not uniformity, so wear and tear often makes them more beautiful. Also, a good polyurethane finish is very durable and you can easily wipe up spills and messes.
Dirt and Grit
Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage. Do not place rugs and mats directly onto hardwood floors for at least 4 to 6 weeks after installation or refinishing.
Use a brush attachment. Do not use a vacuum with beater bars because this can cause dents in your floor’s finish. Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the best way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.
Use a dust mop with a 12 to 18 inch cotton head and a mixture of vinegar and lukewarm water. Never use a dripping wet mop. A special dust mop treatment that is safe for hardwood floors can also be used.
Water and other Spills
Water and other standing liquids can damage a floor’s finish. Standing water can warp a finished floor. Starting at the edge and working toward the center, wipe up spills, pet accidents and other mishaps when they happen. If your floor gets water damage: Remove water, put fan on floor for 24 hours, then wait 6 to 8 weeks to see if floor will return to it’s original state. Your floor may need some repair work if after 6 to 8 weeks it has not returned to normal.
Furniture should be moved by lifting, not dragging. Felt protectors under furniture legs are a good idea to help prevent scratches in routine use.
Direct sunlight can cause discoloration over time. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect a hardwood floor from intense UV rays.
Shoes with exposed nails and heel supports will dent floor.