Cleaning Hardwood Floors

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated October 19, 2015)

In one of the houses I lived in growing up, there was hardwood everywhere, even underneath the carpeted areas. This was great and greatly added to the quality and value of the home. We had hardwood in many places throughout the house, and it needed to be taken care of for it to look good. If you're lucky and have hardwood in your home, you'll need to maintain the hardwood for it to still look good. If you don't, then the hardwood actually might take away from the overall sophisticated look of your home, so clean your hardwood and do it well!

Cleaning hardwood actually isn't that difficult and just takes some time and thoroughness. The key to success in cleaning your hardwood comes in the preparation work. If your prep work before the actual cleaning is done well, then your actual cleaning will be a breeze.

Before you pull out the rags and mop, clear the room of all furniture. Move the tables, chairs, and rugs from the room, leaving the hardwood area clear and exposed. (Remember, when you do move the furniture, don't drag it on the hardwood because it will scratch it.) Once the furniture is cleared out, go ahead and sweep the area well. Make sure you sweep up all the larger pieces of food and general dust and debris from the floor; having to mop up large pieces of who-knows-what is no fun, and pretty gross.

Once you've swept, go around the floor with a canister vacuum, and vacuum out all the corners and along all the baseboards. When you mop, mopping in the corners is really hard, so make sure you clean those out well before you start. Once the corners and baseboards are all vacuumed, take some hot water mixed with a hardwood cleaning solution and a rag and wipe down all the corners and baseboards. Because mopping in these areas is so hard, wiping it out by hand saves your frustration and having to live with a semi-clean hardwood floor.

Now that your prep work is finished, you can actually mop your floor. I use the term "mop" with care, because you need a special kind of mop. You need a mop that wrings out; a sponge mop works best for this. With hardwood floors, you can't have any standing water on the floor; otherwise, the hardwood will warp and won't be good anymore. The sponge mop, however, works so that you get an even, light layer of water on your floor. The trick about mopping is that if you've done the prep work well, then the actual mopping aims at getting the grit and general dirt off the floor, ensuring the cleanest hardwood possible.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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