You're Probably Cleaning Your Hardwood The Wrong Way

While there are plenty of cleaning hacks and scrubbing tips out there, cleaning is largely intuitive. You don't need a large manual to figure out how to dust or scour, but there are certain things and parts of your house that require special cleaning instructions in order to stay intact over time. And one of the important things to take care of on your cleaning to-do list happens to be hardwood flooring. There is a specific way you need to clean hardwood floors to ensure they will last for decades. Well, it's also important to know how you should not clean them.

Wood is durable, but it needs to be cared for properly. Just think about it — if not cared for in the right way, your beautiful pieces of wooden furniture can warp and lose their gleam. Similarly, your hardwood floors can warp and lose their luster as well. So if you want to keep them in good shape and also be sure you won't need to refinish your hardwood floors sooner than necessary, then you have to make sure you're cleaning them properly and not slowly and unknowingly damaging them.

Fortunately, there is just one hard rule you need to learn when it comes to washing your wooden floors to keep them looking great, and it's an easy one to memorize.

What to avoid when cleaning your hardwood

The number one "don't" when cleaning hardwood floors is using too much water. It's pretty simple to remember, right? After you sweep your floors and get your bucket of water ready, Better Homes & Gardens stressed that you should make absolutely sure your mop or rag is only a little bit damp. You don't want to be slapping a wet mop onto the floor, and you definitely don't want to see a film of soapy water coating your hardwood planks. The cloth basically needs to be dry, and it should leave behind only a faint trace of moisture after it wipes down the wooden surface. Water ruins wood, so leaving streaks of water behind can destroy your planks. According to How To Hardwood Floors, the floor's finish doesn't make the wood waterproof, and using too much water while mopping is a leading cause of stained, blackened, or even warped wooden floors.

In addition to ruining the wood, cleaning with too much water is also inefficient when it comes to capturing dirt. According to Martha Stewart, a mop that's really wet isn't able to capture dirt off of the floor, and instead simply pushes any debris around the surface. So the next time you wash your floors, make sure you wring out your mop or rag thoroughly in order to clean your wooden floors properly. You can increase the life of your hardwood floors, and they will look absolutely great!