How to Clean Hardwood Floors

There’s nothing like the rich, warm gleam of hardwood floors. To keep yours looking their best, a little TLC will go a long way. Check your manufacturer’s warranty for any special instructions, and follow these tips on how to clean hardwood floors.

Hardwood Do's

Wipe up spills right away with a soft, dry cloth.

Sweep, dust mop, or vacuum with the wand attachment. By doing this regularly, you keep dust and other gritty substances from collecting and getting ground into the surface.

Use felt protectors on heavy or sharp furniture legs to help prevent accidental marring.

Because it’s a natural material, wood planks can expand with excessive humidity. It’s best to keep your house at a relative humidity of 35 to 55%.

Shield the floor from direct sunlight to minimize fading or discoloration.

Protect against tracked-in dirt and moisture with a welcome mat made of natural, colorfast material.

Hardwood Don'ts 

To get an extra shine, you can use a safe-for-hardwood cleaner. But check labels carefully and avoid all oil soap cleansers or “clean and shine” products, because they can leave a dulling film.

Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, steel wool, kitchen scrubbies, wax or polish on your hardwood.

Avoid walking on floors with high heels, hiking boots, cleats or other hard-soled shoes, as these can scratch or dent the surface of the wood.

Moisture can damage the finish, so avoid water stains by being on guard against wet shoes, piles of damp laundry, and pet accidents.

Avoid using rubber, foam back or plastic mats, as these materials can discolor the wood.

Refinishing Your Hardwood Floor

If your hardwood floor starts to show excessive wear beyond normal cleaning, you might want to consider screening and recoating. “Screening” refers to the process of roughing up the polyurethane finish on the floor. This helps new coats of finish better adhere to the wood, rejuvenating the hardwood and prolonging the life of your floor.