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Living room with hardwood floorHardwood floors can add an earthy and welcoming atmosphere to any home or business. They may seem easier to keep up appearances than carpeting, but hardwood floors still require a unique care plan to maintain their brightness and prevent erosion over time. Well-kept hardwood floors can look great for generations, but individual maintenance schedules vary depending on the floor finish, use and lifestyle.

Determine the Finish Used

Waxed versus polyurethane-coated floors are best cleaned with slightly different cleaning solutions. Waxed floors should be cleaning with a specific cleaning/waxing compound that removes soil while adding a fresh coat of wax at the same time. Polyurethane-coated floors should be cleaned with vinegar and water. In order to find out which finish is on your hardwood floors, drip a few drops of water onto the floor. If the droplets soak into the floor after a few minutes, it is likely a wax finish. If the water droplets remain on top of the surface and do not absorb into the floor, it is likely a polyurethane-coated floor.

Practice Every Day Maintenance

  • Vacuum or sweep your floors regularly with soft-bristled brush brooms. Do not use coarsely woven brooms or vacuums with a beater bar or power rotary brush head.
  • Invest in high quality floor mats for entryways and protective pads underneath heavy furniture.
  • Keep pet nails trimmed and paws clean to prevent scratches or the tracking in of debris from outside.
  • Clean up any spills right away, but avoid the use of oil soaps or household products that contain lemon, citrus, tung oil or silicon.
  • Use area rugs in high traffic areas such as hallways or in the kitchen.
  • Use a humidifier during heating seasons to reduce wood shrinkage.

Remember Wood and Water Don’t Mix!

Never wet-mop or steam mop a hardwood floor. This can dull the finish and potentially even damage the wood underneath. You may use a dampened (or near dry) mop to maintain a wood floor. Any combination liquid cleaner you choose should be a solvent rather than water-based. Never use vinyl or tile cleaning products on wood floors, as their properties can cause wood to become slippery and dull. Ideally you should be using a product specifically designed for cleaning hardwood floors.

Besides regular daily maintenance, scheduling semiannual deep cleans and polishing efforts will extend the life of your floors for generations. ServiceMaster of Germantown can design a custom care plan for your hardwood floors to meet the needs of your home or facility. Contact us for a quote or call today to find out more about how we can help preserve your floors and protect your investment.