Home - Garden
5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Cleaning Their Hardwood Floors
By DEMETRA NIKOLAKAKIS
Stripping The Finish
Most commercially available detergents will strip your floor’s finish over time, and without applying them evenly, things will get patchy and look dingy. Highly acidic natural cleaning agents like vinegar can strip away the finish and eat away at the wood itself.
Cleaning With Water
Wood absorbs water, and while certain finishes or waxes can minimize harm, they won’t fully waterproof your floors. You can use a damp, soapy paper towel to spot clean as long as you wipe away any moisture, but mopping applies too much water.
Ignoring Your Vacuum
Make sure your vacuum is set up for hardwood floors and that the attachments don’t have stiff brushes. To prevent the bristles from scraping your floor, take advantage of settings that can disable your vacuum’s brush rotation and increase its suction power to loosen stubborn dirt.
Stiff-Bristled Brooms
When you clean your floors, you’re actually cleaning the delicate finish rather than the wood, and brooms with stiff bristles can scratch it, leading to a premature repair job. Instead, opt for a soft-bristle broom, but watch out for soft/stiff broom hybrids.
Not Using Felt Pads
Place small felt pads underneath the legs of your furniture to avoid scratching your floor when cleaning. Adhesive pads can detach while moving, so use some that attach with a nail to minimize the chance that dirt, grime, or friction will sweep them away.