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How to Properly and Naturally Take Care of Hardwood Flooring

Hand cleaning hardwood flooring with a rag, likely dusting the floor.

Keeping your hardwood floors clean is a simple combination of keeping dust and grit off the floor and keeping the finish looking its best. A properly sealed hardwood floor shouldn’t need a great deal of waxing or polishing. In fact, waxing may ultimately dull your floor even more. Here are a few tips to keep your floor looking new:

Vacuuming Hardwood Flooring

Grit and debris can damage your hardwood floor over time by scratching the finish. Do your best to keep your floors free of any objects that will work down into grooves and scrape away at the finish. Vacuum frequently with a hardwood-friendly vacuum cleaner to keep debris and dust picked up.

Dusting Hardwood Flooring

A simple way to keep the finish on your floors looking shiny is to use a gentle combination of white vinegar and water to mop the floors. One cup of vinegar to a gallon of water ought to do it. If you’ve picked up the dust and dirt regularly, a simple mopping should clean without dulling the finish.

Avoid Using Too Much Water When Cleaning Hardwood Flooring

Putting too much water on a finished floor will lead to spotting. Too much water on a floor with an old or ineffective finish may damage the wood. Do your best to keep your floors dry and free of spills. If damp mopping to remove dust dulls the shine on the finish, buff up the floor with a towel wrapped around the mop head.

Repair the Finish

If the finish on your hardwood has been stained by moisture or oil, you may need to try a combination of chemistry and mechanical removal. For example, very fine steel wool can be used to clean up an oil-based stain. However, depending on the finish, you may need to use a bit of mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to finish the job. Both of these chemicals are flammable, so be certain to follow all directions on the container.

Consider Refinishing the Hardwood

Even the best finish will wear out over time. When deciding how to clean hardwood floors naturally, if you find that your finish is so worn that your floor, even when spotless, looks dull and tired, it may be time to refinish the floor.

Final Thoughts

A properly finished and sealed hardwood floor should last for decades. Preventing damage from grit, keeping the dust picked up and supplementing your regular cleaner with an antibacterial product should give your floor the cleaning boost it needs.