Hardwood floors are a fantastic feature to have in any room. Whether you have oak, maple, or cherry floors, they all add charm and elegance to your California home, and they are long-lasting as well. However, they require special care and proper maintenance because they easily get scratched, stained, or gouged. That’s why many people often go the other way when it comes to choosing the type of floors they want to install in their home. If you’re one of those people struggling with maintaining hardwood floors, don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to save them. So, here are 6 tips for cleaning hardwood floors to keep them shiny and fresh at all times!

Clean and mop your hardwood floors regularly

If you have hardwood floors in your house, you know they require special attention, but it all starts with a regular cleaning routine. Cleaning hardwood floors with a sweeper or mop on a regular basis will make a considerable change. The amount of foot traffic your floor undergoes will determine how frequently you have to clean them. It would be best if you cleaned it once or twice a week. Since water and hardwood floors don’t get along so well, use a damp mop. Mops with microfiber heads are the best for catching all the dirt on the surface of the floor. Also, remember to clean up spills right away! Additionally, sweeping helps eliminate dust, dirt, or pet hair from your flooring before they become embedded.

Vacuuming is an essential part of cleaning hardwood floors. When it comes to cleaner attachments, you can always use a floor brush, but stay away from a beater bar since it can harm the finish of a wood floor. If you’re in a hurry, clean your floors with an electrostatic dusting cloth.

Mop your hardwood floors properly

Regular floor cleaning is definitely a good start, but from time to time, it’s necessary to give them a deeper clean. Dirt, grease, and grime accumulate over time and can’t be entirely removed by dusting once a week. When you’re deep cleaning hardwood floors, always use a mop and cleaning products suitable for this type of flooring. Make sure to follow label instructions and dilute the cleaning products the right way.

Soak a sponge or mop in fresh, clean water, and then wring it until it’s damp. Then, go over your hardwood floors with it, but make sure not to leave any standing water. Wipe the floor once again with a cleaned mop, if needed. Standing water is not a good friend to wood floors, so wipe off any remaining moisture. Sometimes, cleaning the floors might not be enough, so you may need to polish or sand them to make them look new.

Use a suitable hardwood floor cleaner 

The fact is you can’t clean your hardwood floors with just any cleaning product. Sometimes flooring manufacturers will tell you which cleaning products you can use. However, if the floors came with the house you bought, and you can’t ask a professional for their expert advice, choose a product designed for cleaning wood floors. Remember, don’t use cleaners for tile flooring because they’re not good for wood floors at all. 

If you’re worried about chemical products damaging your wood floors, check for Greenguard Gold certified hardwood floor cleaners. They will not ruin your floors by any means. Also, you can always go down the natural road and hire cleaning professionals who follow environmentally-friendly practices.

Clean your wood floors with home-made products

Sometimes you don’t have to spend a bunch of money on fancy cleaning products. Instead, use vinegar, a popular household ingredient, as a natural hardwood floor cleaner. Cleaning your hardwood floors with home products is budget-friendly, and it’s also ensuring that your floors are appropriately treated. The recipe is simple: mix 1/2 cup white vinegar with a gallon of water. It would be best if the temperature of the water is lukewarm. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar. However, vinegar can sometimes tarnish the finish on some hardwood floors. So, make sure to try it on the small part of your floor before you start cleaning the whole house.

If the vinegar-and-water solution is too aggressive for your hardwood floor, use plain soap and water. Just add 1/4 cup of mild or pH-natural soap to a bucket of water and voilà – you now have a natural cleaner that won’t damage your hardwood floor.

Remove stains from your wood floor properly

As we mentioned earlier, hardwood floors can easily get stained. These stains can stay on the surface of the floor, or they can sink their teeth into the wood. The second ones are not so easy to clean, but there are some tricks you can do. You’ll want to clean the stains on the surface with a gentle, clean cloth on hard-surface flooring. You should stay away from products with harsh chemicals since they can ruin the finish for good.

Products like fine steel wool, floor wax, vinegar, and sometimes bleach can help you get rid of pretty much any kind of stains on your hardwood floor. Of course, don’t go overboard when using them – be moderate and follow the instructions! 

Polish your hardwood floor

Polishing your hardwood floors every once in a while can help to level out the surface by filling in dents and scratches. Additionally, it contributes to restoring the hardwood’s natural sheen. The good news is that polishing restores the protective layer of surface on a floor and is a simple DIY activity that requires no special equipment. You just have to follow these simple steps:

  • Prepare your floor for polishing: remove any furniture and wipe the floor with a dry mop and a wood floor cleaner.
  • To get a consistent sheen level, gently rock the bottle of polish back and forth for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Apply a thin, even layer of polish on the floor to allow it to self-level.
  • Do one section of the floor at a time.
  • Polish your hardwood floors every 2-4 months, depending on the foot traffic in your house. 

Think about your hardwood floors when selling your house

Many people forget that cleaning their homes is one of the most important things when selling a house. Presenting maintained and shiny hardwood floors to prospective buyers will go a long way. Who doesn’t love to see beautiful floors in their dream home, right? So, think carefully if you are selling your California home! Not cleaning your floors is a mistake you definitely want to avoid. So, take all these 6 tips for cleaning hardwood floors we’ve given you and use them wisely. They will not only make your home shine but also make the prospective buyers fall in love with the house.

Ready, set, clean!

Yes, having hardwood floors is a two-way street. On the one hand, it adds undeniable charm to your California home. On the other hand, however, it’s not so easy to maintain. It requires a lot of care and attention. So, we hope you feel a little bit better after reading these 6 tips for cleaning hardwood floors we gave you. As you can see, there are a few things you can do to have shining hardwood floors at all times. And the best part is, you probably already have everything you need at home. So, happy cleaning!


Anita's Housekeeping Editors