Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--Hardwood Floors

I love hardwood floors. We had oak, fir, cherry and now hickory floors.  I've loved them all.

When it comes to wood floors, they can last forever if they are treated nicely.

So if you have hardwood, here are some tips to care for them.
  1. Don't wear high heels on hard wood floors.  Ever.
  2. Buy floor mats that are specifically for hardwood floors. They should be well vented and shaken out regularly.  Run-of-the-mill rubber backed floor mats are bad for hardwood floors.
  3. Remove liquid spills ASAP.  Liquid is enemy #1 for hardwood flooring.
  4. Dust and dirt are enemy #2.  They act like sandpaper and scratch and damage hardwood (which is why you need to shake out rugs regularly).
  5. Use soft bristled brooms or terry cloth dust mops.
  6. Never drag furniture across hardwood floors.
  7. The sun can damage your hardwood floors. Watch what time of day floors are exposed to the sun.
And now for the cleaning part.

Cleaning hardwood can be tricky.  There are soaps, like Murphy's Soap Oil, that *seem* appealing but can actually be bad for your floor.  Oil based soaps actually make floors less shiny.

So what to do, what to do?

In a bucket of warm water, add a small amount of white vinegar.  Mops with a soft fabric mop head.  Go back over to soak up excess water.

Don't want to use vinegar?  Do the same process with Windex.

For shine, make a mixture (1:1) of vegetable oil and white vinegar.  Rub in with a soft rag and buff like you are polishing a car.  Your wood will shine (but it will also be slick so be careful).

These directions are for sealed floors.  If you have unsealed floors, water from a mop will damage your hardwood.  You'll need to use linseed oil and a rag to clean those floors (though I STRONGLY suggest you get them sealed!).

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