Using the RIGHT Cleaner
The products you use to keep your floor looking and smelling clean can do more harm than imagined. Giving the area the refreshing citrus smell of lemons and oranges is not always healthy for the wood floor. There are so many different kinds of wood finishes and each one can require a different type of cleaner that it will work best on. It’s quite possible that you’re using a cleaner that has heavy chemicals in it that will damage the finish. So, make sure whatever your regular maintenance is, you’re doing it in accordance with the manufacturer of the wood.
Use a Welcome Mat
Sure, not having a welcome mat doesn’t seem like a big deal, but spending a few extra dollars on one is worth it when you have a hardwood floor. It’s your first line of defense against dragging in mud, water and debris on the floor. Without one, it will be like walking in with sandpaper on the bottom of your feet causing a lot of damage.
Trim your Pets Nails
Pets add so much love and companionship to the lives of their owners. The clickety-clack sound of their nails on a wood floor might seem cute and endearing, but long, un-trimmed nails can cause damage to the floor’s surface. So, keeping their nails trimmed is an inexpensive way to protect your floors and make your pets feel more comfortable—win, win!
Use Protective Pads on Furniture Legs
The legs of every piece of your furniture should have protective pads under them. Without them, the weight and movement of the furniture can easily scratch and dent the finish of the floor overtime. Also, make sure you aren’t dragging heavy furniture or appliances across the hardwood—always lift to move.
Avoid Wearing High Heels
High heels come in all different colors, designs and are considered a staple for many wardrobes. So, it’s unfortunate that hardwood floors experience damage from high heels that are of course unintentional but are obvious within a short amount of time. The thinner the heels are, the worse the damage on the surface of the floor. So, wait to put the heels on as you’re exiting the house and check them at the door when you walk in.
Be Careful With Vacuum Attachments
Vacuuming is an important chore for keeping dust and dirt off your floors and out of tiny cracks and crevices—but you have to make sure you’re using the right attachments. The beater bar on your vacuum can gouge wood floors. So, instead, use the hardwood brush attachment.
Don't Let Spills Sit Too Long
No matter how well you patrol, liquid spills are going to happen. You can limit the opportunity for damage by cleaning it up right away. The longer water, milk, orange juice or any liquids stay on the surface, the deeper the damage. Mop it up and follow up with a damp rug for any sticky liquids. It’ll keep your wood floor in great condition, even for homes that opt for wood in kitchen areas.
Also, if your pet has an accident on the floor and you leave it for too long, it will ruin the floor. Always clean it immediately to keep the damage to a minimum. If the accident happens on an area rug, make sure to clean and dry both the rug and the wood floor underneath.
Don't Use a Steam Mop
Don’t use one of the popular steam mops on the market on your hardwood floors. Using steam is like pouring hot water on your floor and using hot water is one of the worst things you can do to your hardwood floors.
Sweep Floors Regularly
Sweeping hardwood floors isn’t only a good cleaning tip, but it can also lengthen the life of your floors. Dust, dirt and other abrasive particles can scratch and dull the finish of wood floors once they’re underfoot. Tidying up often though, will keep them from causing lasting damage.
Be Mindful of Sun Exposure
Too much sun exposure can cause your wood floors to dull significantly faster than they normally would. Keep the blinds or shades drawn when the sun is at its strongest to limit discoloring and drying out the wood’s finish.