Hardwood floors add beauty and function to your home for years to come. Proper cleaning and maintenance will prolong the look and durability. The best first step is to be proactive.

Here are 4 preventive tips for keeping your hardwood looking its best

  • Invest in good rugs with underlying pads. Place these in high traffic areas. Large areas like living rooms and dens do well with thick, well-padded rugs which also add much to the design of your space. Rugs with pads in front of entryways help keep dirt and grime from damaging your hardwood.
  • Make it a rule of thumb to have everyone remove their shoes before coming into the house. High heels and cleats can put dents in the hardwood. But even everyday shoes hold grime and dirt that can show up as scratches over time.
  • Keep pet hair under control. Did you know even fine pet hair can cause hardwood scratches over time? Brush Fido and Fifi regularly, disposing of the hair. Vacuum furniture where the hair might collect unseen.
  • Everything in its place: Especially for busy families, this is a challenge. Children’s toys, games in hard boxes, cleats laying around and more. These signs of a happy, busy family can make your hardwood floors cry! These minor messes cause scratches over time so invest in some cubbies and baskets to have a home for every little item, as much as possible.

Once you have a good handle on prevention,

follow these easy tips to keep your hardwood’s lovely look.

Deep clean

If you are the proud first owner of your hardwood, congratulations! Your hardwood came with manufacturer’s instructions on proper cleaning. Simply follow these for fail-proof cleaning methods that will render great results. If you can’t put your hands on the paper copy, check out the manufacturer’s site for an electronic copy, call the store where you purchased the flooring or call the manufacturer directly. These steps are worth the time to protect your investment for years to come.

If you inherited your hardwood, you can also do an effective and safe deep clean. Choose a floor cleaner made especially for your type of wood: natural, artificial or engineered (a combination of natural and artificial). You can find these cleaners at big box home stores or many flooring stores. If you prefer to use a natural home cleaner, vinegar can’t be beat. Mix ½ cup of vinegar to each gallon of water. Use a soft-top mop to apply to your hardwood. No rinsing required. This vinegar-water solution is a great option for allergy sufferers or natural enthusiasts.

Spot clean

Be mindful of the products or materials you use to spot clean your hardwood. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works wonders for shoe skid marks, crayon and more. This is a good first try before using other products because it runs simply on a little water. If you need to pull out heavier artillery for tougher stains, try wood wax recommended by the manufacturer.

Routinely clean

Brooms, mops and vacuums: Sweeping is a no-brainer for all surfaces, but how do you safely vacuum hardwood? It’s definitely possible! You’ll want to use your machine’s brush attachment. Using machines with beater bars will damage the hardwood. Use a soft-bristle broom and be sure to replace once a year or as needed as the bristles can become frayed. Mops with microfiber heads do well for hardwood.

If you are looking for a certified and licensed flooring contractor in Foley, Alabama, or the surrounding area then contact W&W Flooring and Design. We provide a wide range of flooring services including flooring installation, flooring repair, and complete flooring replacement. Call us today at 251-970-5244 or visit www.wandwflooring.com. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and follow @WandWFlooring on Twitter!

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