How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are among the most luxurious flooring options. The natural beauty of hardwoods in various grains, colors, and textures makes these floors an excellent choice for any room in your home. They also have the added benefit of being easier to clean and more durable than other types of wood or tile. Even so, hardwood floors will eventually collect dirt and grime, which can dull the wood’s luster or cause unsightly scratches. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up the beauty of hardwood floors in your home when they need cleaning.

Sweep with a Hardwood Floor Broom

When it comes to keeping your hardwood floors looking great, regular sweeping with a hardwood floor broom is an essential part of the process. If you are using a traditional push broom, be sure to go over your floors in long passes from one side to the other. This will ensure that all dirt and dust have been removed without creating holes or scratches on your flooring. When choosing a hardwood floor broom, look for a model with bristles that are soft enough to protect your flooring while firm enough to remove stubborn dirt and grime.

*Tip:  If you have pets or small children in the home, you may want to consider a hardwood floor vacuum instead of a push broom. This will allow you to clean your floors more regularly, which will help prevent dirt from becoming embedded in your flooring.

Deep Clean Hardwood Floors Using a Steam Cleaner or Professional Service

For the most thorough cleaning of your hardwood floors, you can use a steam cleaner or hire a professional service to deep clean them for you. A steam cleaner uses pressurized steam to scrub your hardwood floors, lifting dirt and stains at a molecular level. Steam cleaners are more effective than traditional cleaning agents or mops because they don’t require the use of chemicals that can damage your flooring over time.

For professional-grade deep cleaning, you will need to hire a service that uses industrial strength equipment and highly-trained technicians. A professional service will not only help remove ingrained dirt and grime from your floor but can also repair water damage caused by leaky pipes or improper cleaning that has stripped the finish off of your hardwood floors.

*Tip: If you have previously used a chemical cleaner for your floors or are worried about the chemicals in your finish, you may want to have a professional service check the condition of your floors before using a steam cleaner. They can also clean your floors with soap and water if they are made from unfinished wood.

Use Quality Floor Scrubbing Tools

For those hard-to-reach areas on your flooring, you should use special tools designed for the job. Never use steel wool or sharp scrubbing tools on your hardwood floors; this will only scratch the wood and dull its appearance. Instead, use a plastic floor scrubber brush with soft bristles that can remove stains without causing damage to your wood.

Remove Set-in Dirt by Scraping it with Plastic Hardwood Floor Scrapers.

Dried-on dirt can be difficult to remove from hardwood floors, especially if it has been allowed to sit on your wood flooring for a long time. In this case, you will need special cleaning tools known as plastic hardwood floor scrapers with blades made of plastic or carbon steel. Wood scraps from hardwood floors can damage the finish on your flooring, so using tools made specifically for this purpose will help ensure that you don’t cause any lasting damage.

*Tip: Never use steel wool or sharp scrubbing tools to clean your wooden floors; these types of cleaning tools require pressure to remove dirt from the wood’s surface and could cause permanent damage.

Protect Your Hardwood Flooring with Chemical-Free Cleaners

When shopping for a new cleaner or polish to use on your hardwood floors, it’s essential to look for products that can clean without using chemical cleaners. Some cleaning solutions will contain chemicals that can damage the wood, while others may strip the finish off of your hardwood floors. Before you purchase a new floor cleaner, please read the label to ensure it is safe to use on your wood flooring. Look for labels that say it is “safe for all types of floors” or “nontoxic.”

*Tip: If there are children in the home, you may want to avoid cleaning products that contain chlorine in the ingredients. Chlorine isn’t safe for children to be around, and you will want to avoid accidentally spilling it on your flooring. Also, some wood cleaners can emit fumes that cause respiratory problems if they are used too often or painted quickly.

Restore Your Wood Floor's Finish

If your hardwood floors have lost their luster or shine, you can use a nontoxic sealer to restore the finish. To clean your hardwood floors with a polish that will also protect them, try using a soy wax-based cleaner that contains all-natural ingredients. Natural waxes and oils penetrate deep into the wood’s surface and help prevent moisture damage and water stains. Many of the best hardwood floor cleaners contain soybean oil, so be sure to select a product with this ingredient to restore your floors’ natural luster.

*Tip: Adding a coat of protective wax will also help protect your wood flooring from future damage caused by spills and moisture.

Buy Hardwood Flooring Care Supplies at Sears

At Sears, we have every hardwood floor care product you need for proper cleaning and protection. Check out our selected cleaning products to find the best one for your home.

*Tip: Make sure the cleaner is designed for use on hardwood floors before you purchase it; any product that contains chemicals or harsh floor cleaners could permanently damage your hardwood floors.

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