Cleaning Hardwood Floors – 4 Easy & Safe Tips

Plastic bucket with cleaning supplies in home

Following these 4 fool-proof hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance tips will not only help you keep your floor looking shiny and new but also help you save big in the long run.

Find out how!
Proper cleaning of hardwood floors is a subject that has caused much debate. With a slew of hardwood floor cleaning product companies vying to promote their product over another and housekeeping magazines and blogs giving all sorts of conflicting advice, it’s hard to filter out and decide what is really in the best interests of your floor.

As a long-established hardwood floor installation and restoration contractor here in Denver, Denver Dustless is here to clear up some misconceptions and point homeowners in the right direction for how to clean their hardwood floors the right way.

Follow these cleaning and maintenance tips to prolong the life and beauty of your gorgeous hardwood.

1. Vacuum Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Regular vacuuming –at least weekly, if not more frequently – will help keep dirt and grit to a minimum. Letting abrasive dust, crumbs, pebbles or other forms of unwelcome debris sit on your floor only creates potential for scratching the finish of your floor.

As a word of caution, be choosy about the vacuum you choose for your hardwood. Not just any vacuum will do. Ensure that your brand and model of vacuum is safe for use on hardwood floors. If not, the vacuum itself could do the scratching.

If you don’t have a hardwood safe vacuum, using a soft bristled broom and dust mop every couple of days should do the trick.

2. Door Mats Inside & Out

Of course, to prevent excessive dirt from getting tracked in, having friends and family members check their shoes at the door is always a good idea. Still, in the case that shoes are frequently worn inside or at least into the entryway, investing in some quality door mats will work to decrease dirt levels. Less dirt means less elbow grease into cleaning your hardwood floors. Win/win. 

Place a bristly door mat on the exterior of your home and pair it with a long (perhaps even 4-6 foot) entry rug on the interior. 

These two mats will work as a team to make sure that even if someone’s shoe happens to step on your floor, it has already been stripped of much debris and moisture.

This simple and relatively inexpensive step will go a long way to keep your hardwood clean and keep scratchy substances from being tracked throughout the home.

3. Avoid Excessive Hardwood Mopping

Wood and water are not friends. Bearing in mind this simple fact will go a long way in maintaining the integrity of your hardwood. Any water left sitting on hardwood can soak into the planks and crevices, causing the wood to swell and expand. Dulling of the finish or even permanent water damage may even occur.

For these reasons, it’s prudent to avoid mopping excessively. If you do mop your floors, opt for a damp – not sopping wet – mop. 

If you notice any post-mopping pooling of water on any section of your floor, act fast to wipe it up. The same applies for any spills. 

4. Choose Hardwood Floor Cleaners Carefully

Be choosy about what products you decide to use for cleaning your hardwood. Hardwood floor cleaners containing oil, silicone, or wax can actually leave an objectionable residue on the finish. The same goes for ammonia-based window cleaners.

This residue can even adversely affect any subsequent coats of finish applied to your floor, since the new coat will not adhere properly. The residue could force you to shell out a lot more money for completely sanding and refinishing your floors prematurely.

When choosing a hardwood floor cleaner, try it out first in a small, inconspicuous area of the floor and see if you’re happy with the results before using it on the rest of the floor. Some even suggest using a small amount of mild dish soap. suggests, “Follow your floor manufacturer’s recommendations or consult a professional installer to find out what products they suggest. Remember that you’re cleaning the finish on the wood and not the actual wood itself.” 

Denver Dustless recommends avoiding any hardwood cleaners that leave behind harmful residue.

This will allow us to periodically ‘pad and recoat’ your flooring, which renews the floor without having to sand and refinish completely as frequently.

The ‘pad and recoat’ process involves a deep clean and abrasion of the hardwood as well as the addition of a new coat of finishing. Your floors are left looking brand new, while you save the time and money of the complete sanding and refinishing process.  

Denver’s Hardwood Flooring Experts

Yes, when you work with Denver Dustless to install your hardwood floors, we will gladly answer any cleaning and care questions you have. Backed by decades of experience, we can make professional recommendations on best hardwood floor home maintenance practices.

Contact us to install a new hardwood floor or refinish your existing hardwood. We look forward to working with you!

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