Cleaning Methods to Avoid on Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Methods to Avoid on Hardwood Floors

A beautiful hardwood floor warms up any room with its rich colors, varying widths and patterns, and visual appeal. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors.* These floors are easy to clean and maintain, and can be refinished multiple times. But as with most flooring options, there are right and wrong ways to care for it. Below are examples of what NOT to use on your hardwood floor.

Things To Avoid

Cleaning your wood floor is simple, but there are surefire ways to destroy it if you use the wrong methods or products. Norman Carpet One, a top-rated flooring store, advises against the below practices:

  • Water and vinegar. This combination is commonly recommended and can be effective for some surfaces, such as ceramic tile floors, but you should not use it on your hardwood floors. When you clean your floor, you’re not actually cleaning the wood itself, but rather the chemical coating on top of the wood known as the “finish.” Vinegar’s acidic qualities will work to break down the chemical finish, and eventually your flooring will lose its shine and look dull. Additionally, using too much water will cause the wood to swell and discolor.
  • Wax. Many years ago, wax was used on wood floors as a protective coating. Today, most hardwood is finished with polyurethane. Using wax on modern wood floors will only make the surface sticky and will act like a dirt magnet. Cleaning will actually be more difficult after the wax application, and any subsequent wax coating will preserve the dirt caught in the first layer. Over time, the grain of the wood will be obscured.
  • Beater Brush Vacuums. Many vacuums nowadays have a setting for carpet and a setting for bare floors. When it’s set to carpet, the vacuum uses a rotating beater brush, which aggravates the dirt in carpet in order to give it a more thorough cleaning; however, when used on a wood floor, it may damage the wood.
  • Steam Cleaner. A steam cleaner is a great method for deep cleaning carpets. When this is used on wood floors, however, the excessive water and heat from the steam may penetrate the floor boards and cause cracking.

Your best bet for keeping your hardwood surfaces pristine is to first sweep or vacuum (be sure to use the floor setting) in order to remove any dirt and debris. Then, spray small amounts of specialized hardwood floor cleaner directly onto the floor and mop up with a dry terry cloth or microfiber mop.

Contact the Flooring Store – Norman Carpet One

If your floors have seen better days, contact us today. We will send out our experts to refinish your floor and bring back its original beauty. Our stores in Conshohocken and Bryn Mawr serve Plymouth Meeting, King of Prussia and the surrounding areas.

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