How to Clean Hardwood Floors
1. – Determine your kind of hardwood finish. Prefinished floors are the easiest to spot, as every board has beveled (slightly raised) edges. – If the surface isn’t glossy, you have a stained or unfinished floor. Shiny floors are the most difficult to tell apart.
To test your floor for wax, moisten extra-fine steel wool and rub it on an inconspicuous area; if a light gray smudge appears on the wool, you have a wax finish. To test whether you have an old or a modern surface seal, place a few drops of water on the most worn area of floor; if it remains beaded after several minutes, you probably have a modern seal, but if it seems to soak or darken the wood, you either have an older seal or a poorly-finished one that needs to be handled gently.
2. – Sweep the floor with a soft-bristled broom. – This will remove large particles like sand or grit that may scratch the floor if caught beneath a mop. Alternatively, you can vacuum the floor, provided that the bristles are extended to prevent scratching and there is only dust on the floor.
3. – Stick to sweeping and mopping each week, only deep cleaning the floor as needed. – While you should sweep and/or vacuum regularly to keep the floor free of dust and scratching agents, you should only clean your hardwood when it really needs it. This will prolong the life of your floor.
4. – Immediately wipe up any wet spills on hardwood floors. – No matter what your finish, you should never leave moisture to sit around on hardwood floors. It can damage the seal and the wood permanently if you’re not careful. Wipe it up with a damp cloth, then dry the surface completely.
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Cleaning Hardwood Floors
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