Essential Care for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors have the ability to look beautiful and elegant when treated properly, just as they can look old an ugly if they don’t have suitable maintenance. So what are the dos and don’ts on hardwood floor care? Following these instructions can easily help you keep you floors shiny and smooth for years to come.

Essential Care for Hardwood Floors


Clean the space regularly with a vacuum or with a sweep. This will keep the dirt and dust away, which prevents them from creating the buildup that scratches the floor.

Prevent your pets from damaging the floor. If your cat or dog walks around the house with untrimmed nails there will be scratches everywhere in the long run. Less permanent but just as annoying, keep their paws clean so they don’t carry the muck in.

Clean stains as soon as they happen. If you let the stain, spill or spot dry, it will be more difficult to clean afterwards and force you to scratch harder when you do. It is also better to use a floor cleaner specialized for the type of wood you have.

Invest on protective wear. For the heavy furniture it would be a good idea to get protective pads on each of their legs for extra care. Remember the better the quality, the higher the protection. You can also help this by using floor mats and maybe some rugs some on well-transited areas.

Polish every few months. Polishing renews the shine and protection of your hardwood floors and gives it a fresh look. It will help fill-out the microscopic scratches on the finishing, and it is a lot easier and cheaper than refinishing.

Refinish every few years. For those who want to provide top care and protection, a refinishing is advised every 3 to 5 years. This completely removes the old finishing, so any scratch and mark will be completely gone. Your floor will literally be as good as new.


Wear damaging footwear. Avoid walking over your hardwood floors with spiked heeled shoes and other damaging footwear. If you don’t want to take chances, it may be easier to walk around in slippers or order soft-heeled shoes and change into outside footwearat the door.

Clean with just any liquidWater can be rather harmful for hardwood floors, so maybe you don’t want to clean it with a soaked mop. Or even a damp mop, some would advise. Wood absorbs water but then expands as a result, which has a high chance of cracking the finish along the seams between the boards. Vinegar will only dull the shine and cause stains. Soap-based cleaners are not a good idea either since they leave a residue. Products with silicone may leave murky splotches on the finish because the wood won’t absorb it.

Scratch too hard while cleaning. Be careful about the tools and the amount of pressure you use to clean. Any tool that will maneuver metal over your floor is a no go. Also, when something sticky falls to the floor it is a good idea to harden it with ice (for example, gum or candlewax) before gently scratching off.