Hardwood Floors & flooring

Five Tips for Cleaning Wood Floors to Keep Them in Pristine Condition

by Margie Monin Dombrowski

Wood floor made of oak

Cleaning wood floors requires plenty of TLC. Even if you have children in the home, living with the ever-present threat of a spilled sippy cup or leftover milk from a cereal bowl, you can have sparkling wood floors by taking quick action. The following tips can help you come up with your own effective routine for keeping your wood floors clean and well-preserved.

Be Consistent

If you want your wood floors looking great up to your last child's leave for college, some elbow grease is required. Consistency is key, which means regular sweeping and mopping are musts. Liquids left behind on wood flooring can damage the finish, according to the Cleaning Institute, so always wipe up spills as soon as they happen with a damp sponge or cloth. Be sure not to leave any liquid behind after cleaning the floors, either, which can also cause the finish to peel. You can use a dust mop or floor brush attachment on your vacuum to keep your wood flooring clean and prevent flaking, as well.

Use the Right Products

With wood floors, it's not enough to just sweep and vacuum. Even more important is to treat your floors using a proper cleaning product, such as Murphy® Oil Soap, which gently cleans finished wood without leaving any residue behind and keeps them looking like new with proper maintenance.

Think Quickly

Even minor spills can ruin the finish on your floors, so thinking and acting quickly can keep them in top shape. Wipe up any type of spill no matter the size; they, too, can cause cracks or white spots in delicate species of wood flooring. For times when bringing out a mop and bucket may be overkill, try a disposable cleaning wipe instead. Those containing Trisodium MGDA are firm enough to absorb moisture but gentle enough to prevent physical damage.

Overprotect

Furniture can leave dents in your floors if you aren't careful. That's why some precautions are in order. You can set a heavy area rug on the floor wherever you arrange your furniture, or put felt furniture pads underneath the legs of each item. Never drag furniture across wood surfaces, either. Instead, lift or slide it across plywood to avoid scratching the floor.

Create Clean Habits

Stop dirt in its tracks with some other household habits. For example, shoes not only bring in grit and grime from outside, but they can also wear down your floors over time. Regulate shoes around your home by having everyone check their pair at the door. Keep a shoe organizer or basket within reach to neatly stash them away.

Cleaning wood floors and keeping them clean can be easy with the right action plan in place. When you follow these helpful maneuvers, you'll be able to extend the lifetime of your floors and enjoy their beauty for many more years to come.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.