You’ve got the hardwood floors of your dreams. Maybe they’re new, freshly laid, or perhaps they’ve come with a vintage home. Either way, you’ll want to keep them looking their best. Forget fancy products and high end prices. You can keep your hardwood floors looking new and wonderful with a few simple tips and some items you most likely have in your kitchen or pantry.
How to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Looking New
Tip #1 – No Shoes Allowed
Taking off your shoes keeps dirt and grit off your floors. “House” shoes and slippers are the ideal footwear for keeping your hardwood floors looking new. Be careful going about in just your socks or stockings, as your floors might be slippery, especially if they become wet. You’d be better off barefoot if you don’t like to wear slippers or have a pair of shoes you can dedicate to indoor wearing only. Keep rugs or mats by the doors, to place your dirty, wet outdoor shoes. Keeping street grit, dirt, de-icers, water and muck off your hardwood floors protects them from the outdoor elements and the harm they can cause.
Tip #2 – Make a Clean Sweep
Daily removal of dust, dirt and other detritus will also go a long way to keeping your hardwood floors looking new. Use a vacuum with a floor head – never the beater/brush bar – or a dust mop to pick up all the loose bits of life that settle on your hardwood flooring. Daily sweeping ensures that you’re not grinding those bits and pieces into the wood, or allowing it to settle between the floorboards.
Tip #3 – Mop of the Month Club
One big thing to keeping your hardwood floors looking new is to NOT deep clean them too often. Too frequent mopping can strip the wood of its natural oils. Using harsh soaps and cleaners can do the same thing. Mop your hardwood floors once a month or so, unless they are getting really dirty from pets, spills, etc. Use a gentle mix of one cup of apple cider vinegar to one gallon of warm – not hot – water. Once every three months or so, using a product like Murphy’s Oil Soap or other wood cleaning product – without wax – will help keep your hardwood floors healthy and looking their best.
Tip #4 – Tea Time
Instead of heavy waxes that you’ll end up just stripping off, you can give your hardwood floors a great shine with a nice cup of tea. Steep 1 tea bag – black, regular tea – in 2 cups of boiling water. Allow it to cool. Dip a cloth in, wring it out, and wipe it over your floors in the direction of the wood grain. Dry with a soft piece of towel or flannel cloth. The tannic acid in the tea will help raise the grain, bring out the shine, and aid in keeping your hardwood floors looking new. And there’s no chemicals or harsh smells to deal with, either.
Tip #5 – Color Me Beautiful
Some like the patina scratches and dents in their hardwood floors adds to their character. Others think likewise. If you fall into the latter category, invest in some crayons. Choose the crayon that best matches the color or stain of your hardwood floors. Color over the scratch or ding with the crayon. Using a hair dryer set on low, melt the wax into the wood. Buff with a soft cloth or piece of towel. Keeping your hardwood floors looking new is as easy as child’s play!