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How to clean hardwood floors: A comprehensive guide

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Hardwood floors are a timeless addition to any home, offering both elegance and durability. However, to maintain their pristine appearance and ensure longevity, it's essential to know how to clean hardwood floors properly. From daily dusting to occasional deep cleaning, understanding the right techniques can make all the difference.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to keep your hardwood floors looking their best, ensuring they remain a beautiful centerpiece in your home for years to come.

What you will need

  • A vacuum cleaner, preferably cordless for ease of use
  • Microfiber dust mop
  • Hardwood floor cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth or sponge

Step-by-step instructions on how to clean hardwood floors

1. Dust and vacuum regularly

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Begin your cleaning routine by removing dust and debris that can scratch the surface. Use a broom or a microfiber dust mop daily to pick up visible dirt.

For a more thorough cleaning, vacuum your hardwood floors at least once a week. Ensure your vacuum is set to the "hard floor" setting to prevent any scratches. Disposable electrostatic cloths can also be used for quick dusting. Check out our tips on how to use vacuum cleaner effectively.

2. Spot clean immediately

Whenever there's a spill, act fast! Blot the spill with an absorbent cloth. For stubborn spots, you can use a damp cloth, but avoid letting any liquid sit for too long as it can damage the wood.

3. Mop and deep-clean hardwood floors

Over time, dirt, oil, and grime can accumulate, requiring a deeper clean. Here's how to deep-clean your hardwood floors:

  • Wet the mop: Saturate a sponge or rag mop in water, then wring it almost dry so it feels only slightly damp to the touch.
  • Damp mop and rinse: Mop the floor, ensuring no standing water remains. If your cleaning product requires it, rinse the surface with a clean mop dampened in clean water.
  • Wipe up excess liquid: Immediately wipe up any excess liquid, as standing water can damage wood surfaces.
  • Dry floors: If the weather is humid, consider using a ceiling fan or air-conditioner to speed up the drying process.

4. Revitalize your floors

Occasionally, your floors might need a bit of revitalizing. Consider using a wood floor polish to restore shine and protect against wear. If you notice deeper scratches, there are liquid scratch concealers available that can help.

Read more: How to clean carpet: A comprehensive guide

How to clean common stains from hardwood floors

Dark spots and pet stains

Dark spots, especially those caused by pet accidents, can be particularly stubborn. For initial treatment, try a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, dabbing it onto the stain.

If the stain persists, apply a specialized wood cleaner, letting it act according to the product's instructions. Afterward, rinse with a damp cloth.

Heel marks

Heel marks, often from shoes or minor scuffs, can be an eyesore. To address these, simply use fine steel wool to gently rub in floor wax until the mark disappears.

Scuff marks

Scuff marks, especially from moving furniture or everyday wear and tear, can be tackled with a simple solution.

For lighter scuffs, buff them out using a sock or a clean, fuzzy tennis ball.

For more stubborn scuffs, apply baking soda to a damp sponge and gently rub the mark until it vanishes. Always rinse with a damp paper towel and buff dry.

Oil-based stains

Oil-based stains, like those from food spills or lotions, require a bit more attention.

Start by rubbing the area with a soft cloth and dish detergent to break down the grease. Rinse with clear water. If the stain remains, repeat the process. Always ensure the area is dry and free from any residue.

Watermarks or white stains

Watermarks, often from glasses or spills, can leave a white residue on hardwood floors. To tackle these, rub the spot with a gentle wood cleaner. If the stain goes deeper, lightly sand the floor and clean with a soft cloth dampened with a mild cleaning solution.

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How often to clean hardwood floors

For a pristine look, sweep or dust your floors daily. Vacuum weekly, and depending on the traffic your floor receives, consider mopping every two weeks. A deeper clean might be necessary monthly or as you see fit.

7 extra tips to protect and keep hardwood floors clean longer

Preserving the elegance of hardwood floors requires more than just cleaning; it's about preventive measures that shield them from potential harm. Here's how to ensure their longevity and luster:

1. Entrance mats: Place mats at entrances to trap dirt and debris, reducing potential scratches.
2. Furniture protectors: Use pads under furniture legs and sliders when moving items to prevent scratches.
3. Rugs in high-traffic areas: Place rugs in busy areas to shield the floor from wear and potential damage from toys or other objects.
4. Immediate spill cleanup: Act swiftly with spills to prevent stains and wood damage.
5. Regular dusting: Sweep or dust daily to keep abrasive particles at bay.
6. Routine maintenance: Stick to a regular cleaning schedule and consider periodic refinishing for a fresh look.

Read more: How to reduce indoor air pollution: causes and practical tips

Floor cleaning: The right tools make all the difference

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In the journey of maintaining pristine hardwood floors, the right tools make all the difference. Electrolux vacuum cleaners, equipped with the PowerPro nozzle, ensure optimal dust pick-up from every nook and cranny. The advanced five-step filtration captures even the tiniest particles, ensuring a cleaner home environment.

Beyond performance, choosing Electrolux aligns with a commitment to sustainability, ensuring that your cleaning solutions are not only effective but also eco-conscious. In essence, when you choose Electrolux, you're not just choosing a vacuum cleaner; you're aligning yourself with a brand that prioritizes the health of the planet.

It's a choice that ensures your home is clean, and the earth is cared for.

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FAQs about how to clean hardwood floors

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