One of the most effective ways to prolong the life of your hardwood floors is to learn how to clean them.

1. Vacuum or Sweep

The techniques for maintaining wood floors are essentially the same regardless of whether they are oak, pine, bamboo, or another type of wood. Be sure to check if there are any instructions from the manufacturer that are particular to your floor.

The first part of the process is to remove any particles or dust that may have scratched or dulled the surface. Both sweeping and vacuuming is effective regardless of the type of wood floor you have. Adopting a scheduled cleaning routine is the surest option to keep your floors looking great.

Once per week, be sure to vacuum your hardwood floor. Use the “hard floor” setting, which will deactivate the brush roll, and allow it to operate solely on suction.

2. Mop Your Hardwood Floors

Heavy traffic zones should always be checked and cleaned more frequently, at least once or twice a week. 

When mopping, remember to squeeze out most of the liquid from the mop so that it’s damp rather than soaking wet. 

Never leave standing water on any part of the floor, as this can cause damage to the wood. This is particularly important for prefinished hardwood.

Steam cleaning hardwood floors is not recommended unless you are using a tool specifically designed for that purpose. Steam can cause the finish to dull and the wood to deteriorate.

Always use gentle detergents to avoid dulling the material of the floors.

3. Rejuvenate Your Floors

Keeping up with hardwood floors involves dealing with scuffs and dullness. Here are some quick fixes:

Make use of liquid scratch concealers. When dry, they develop a lasting seal that will not wash away.

Hardwood polish can be used to restore the luster. It will also prevent your floor from sustaining too much damage and aid in the filling of minor scratches.

Floor wax can be used to restore and clean dull floors. Be sure to  apply the wax in the direction of the grain.

If the floor you’re taking care of is genuine hardwood, gently sand it before applying the new finish to bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

4. Keep Your Floors Clean

Keeping your floors in good condition means you must maintain them on a regular basis.

Sweep or dust daily.

Weekly vacuuming is recommended.

Once a month, use a hardwood floor cleaning solution to clean the floor.

Twice per month, use a damp mop to clean high-traffic areas.

Every three to five years, apply a new coat of finish.

5. Protect Hardwood Flooring

Place a mat at each doorway to your household so others can wipe their shoes as they enter. Mats help to keep soil off your floors. Floor mats should ideally capture gravel and other small particles that could damage the wood.

High-traffic areas are more likely to be scratched and worn. Rugs can preserve the floor in places where people frequently walk.

On hardwood floors, the legs of your chairs and tables can leave deep scratches that are hard to remove. Furniture pads are a great solution to use on the legs of your furniture to prevent any damage.