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How to Care for Hardwood Floors {and Laminate too!}

How to Care for Hardwood Floors {and Laminate too!}

by spainops
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*** Learn how to care for hardwood floors and keep them looking like new! ***

I was happy to partner with Swiffer on this post.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

How to care for hardwood floors and keep them looking like new. Lots of great tips and tricks!

When we first moved into our home fifteen years ago I loved our hardwood floors.  Honestly though, I had no idea how to care for them and my floors kind of paid the price.  I mean we really need to get them refinished.  Anyways, today I thought that I would share what I’ve learned over the years about how to care for hardwood floors – and how not to!  Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you keep your wood {and laminate!} flooring looking better than mine!

Know What Type of Flooring You’re Dealing With

How to care for your wood floors will vary to a certain extent depending on the type and especially the finish of the wood.  Be sure to ask about the care instructions when purchasing new flooring and choose an option that works well for your lifestyle.  If you’re “inheriting” wood floors through the purchase of a new home, have your realtor confirm the type of flooring or have a professional help you identify it.

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Cover High Traffic Areas

An area rug over high traffic areas and entry ways will go a long way in saving your flooring – especially if you have pets!  Rugs can help you tie your room together and define your space. They also allow you to change up the look of your home without making a major investment!  Be sure to always use a rug pad underneath your area rug.  Not only do they prevent the rug from slipping {which can cause scratches as well as injuries!}, but they also prevent the rug from staining the floor underneath.  Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way and little bits from the rubber of the rug under our kitchen table actually transferred to the flooring.

Great tips on how to care for hardwood floors. A little prevention will go a long way in extending the life of your wood flooring.

Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Create a spot to store your shoes at all of your main entryways and get in the habit of taking your shoes off {and putting them away!} as soon as you walk in the door.  This can take a little while to do with kids {and husbands!} but if you stay consistent, they’ll soon learn.  Shoes can leave scuff marks and sport cleats and high heels can create dents in the floor.  Leaving your shoes at the door will also cut down on dirt and debris being spread around the rest of the house.

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Watch Out for the Pets

If you have dogs {especially really excitable ones that love to come charging to the door to greet you!}, be sure to keep their nails trimmed.  If they’re really doing damage, you can purchase pet “booties” that can be worn inside the house, but basic training to work on calming them down might be more agreeable to them.  Also get in the habit of wiping down your pets’ paws before they come into the house if they are wet or muddy.  We have a dog bin with a few cleaning supplies always stashed at our back door. If our dog sees a towel, he knows to sit and wait at the door until he’s all cleaned up.  You can find more tips on keeping your home clean with pets here.

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Do a Little Daily Maintenance

Spending 5 or 10 minutes at the end of the day sweeping up around entry ways and other high traffic areas can prevent the dirt, hairs, and grime from being transferred and dragged around the rest of the house.  The Swiffer Sweep and Vac, sucks up all of the larger particles while trapping all of the finer dust and debris with the Swiffer cloths.  It’s light weight and easily portable to get around quickly to all of those trouble spots.

How to Care for your hardwood floors

Mop Less Frequently

It’s not very often that you’re told to clean less, but the less frequently you need to mop your floor, the better!  Water is pretty much wood’s worst enemy, so use as little water/cleaning solution as possible.  I like using the Swiffer Wet Jet because you can easily control how much cleaning product you’re using and the super absorbent pads soak up nearly all of the product leaving your floor dry in minutes.  Swiffer products are safe to use on sealed wood flooring and laminate, but should NOT be used on unsealed, waxed, or oiled wood. For best results, sweep first using the Swiffer sweeper or Sweep and Vac to eliminate any loose debris and then clean in the direction of the grain.  Just “spot clean” your floor with a microfiber cloth and some soapy water if the whole floor does not require washing.

Great tips on how to care for your hardwood floors.

Enjoy the “Character” of a Few Knicks and Scrapes

No matter how careful you are with your floors, they’re bound to get at least a few knicks and scratch marks.  Your home is meant to be lived in, so don’t fret about a little wear and tear.  When things are starting to show a little too much wear or you begin to see some UV fading, add a few top coats to your floor to protect the surface and keep it from looking dull.  Depending on how hard you are on your floors, this should be done about every 3 -5 years.  A complete sanding and refinishing will likely not be required for 20-30 years if you follow through with the basic maintenance and no signficant flooring accidents occur.

If you have any other fabulous wood floor cleaning tips for me, I’d love to hear them!  We’ll hopefully be getting our floors refinished in the next year or two and I’ll definitely be taking better care of them this next time around!



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