how to clean hardwood floors

Carpet, tile and laminate are common in apartments. So if you’re lucky enough to score a beautiful place with rich, beautiful wood floors, it’s essential to know how to clean hardwood floors. Apartment Guide unlocks the secrets to hardwood floor care with these simple tips:

Clean sweep. Or vac, Jack.

A good broom or vacuum is your best friend, because while hardwood floor care doesn’t involve an excessive amount of mopping, vacuuming is imperative. One thing these floors are vulnerable to are scratches. And the more dirt on the floor, the higher the chances of footfalls grinding it into the finish and diminishing the luster. Don’t forget to lift mats and rugs and sweep beneath; these are places where dirt hides and abrasions can build.
Hot Tip: Make sure your vacuum is safe for hardwood: the beaters can cause damage if not. Stick to brooms and microfiber mops if you don’t have the proper vac.

When you mop….

A well-wrung mop is your second-best friend. While water (mixed with a big dose of vinegar and detergent) makes for a great cleanser, it should be used sparingly and dried immediately. Never let it linger or form into puddles, even small ones. Water can seep between the floorboards, which can lead to a warping of the wood.

Easy Fixes for Problems

Learning how to clean hardwood floors is one part of the equation, but fixes are another. If you end up with white water stains – or move into an apartment that has them – here’s a potential fix. Cover the spots with something oily – Vaseline or even mayonnaise or olive oil, then place a paper towel on top. Oftentimes, the oil will seep into the dry wood, darkening the finish and helping it look more even.

Pads Save the Day

Furniture pads – little squares or circles of felt padding you can secure to chair legs or dresser feet with adhesive – will allow you to move your biggest pieces around with ease. Even more importantly, without scratching! Your local big-box home store will have it in an array of shapes, sizes and thicknesses.

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About The Author

A.D. Thompson has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, and a mother for 13. She cannot believe how old that sentence makes her sound. A.D. is a consumer of both coffee and wine, and a veteran Odyssey of the Mind coach for both of her daughters’ teams. Her family happily resides in an Orlando apartment community. She is the Orlando Expert for USA Today 10Best and has worked with regional publications including Orlando Signature, Edible Orlando and the Orlando Sentinel.

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