Care for your hardwood floors the right way, to keep it looking its best.
EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR FLOORING
Vacuum or sweep regularly, particularly in high-traffic areas, as small particles can get dragged along and scratch your floor. Place doormats outside every entrance to help trap dirt, sand and grit.
Wipe up spills immediately.
Stick felt pads under all chair and table legs.
To remove hardened substances, such as candle wax, place an ice pack on the problem spot. Leave for about 10 minutes, or until the substance dries and becomes brittle. Scrape off gently using a butter knife or a credit card.
MAINTAIN ACCORDING TO THE FINISH – NOT THE TYPE OF WOOD
Surface-sealed floors are finished with urethane or polyurethane, which appears glossy. They make the floor resistant to stain and water damage.
Use floor-cleaning product recommended by the floor installer; or opt for plain water and mild, pH-neutral soap (such as dishwashing liquid).
Use a microfibre mop and wring it out completely (damp or nearly dry) before use.
Use oils, waxes, acidic products (such as vinegar) or furniture sprays, which can dull the finish.
Use a soaking-wet mop. Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors have oil-based finishes that soak deeper into the wood and harden. They give the floor a matte or satin finish.
Apply paste wax or liquid wax designed for wood floors once or twice a year.
Buffregularly to maintain shine.
Use a damp mop – just sweep or vacuum.
Use acrylic or water-based waxes, which can discolour the woodwork.
Over-wax; if the floor loses shine, try buffing first. Lacquered, varnished and shellacked floors are technically considered to be surface-sealed, but they are not as resistant to moisture, spills and wear. Treat these floors, as well as untreated floors, as you would penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated floors.
Not sure what kind of floor finish you have? Using a sharp blade, scrape off a bit of the finish in an inconspicuous area. If you scrape up a clear material, the finish is likely a surface seal. If the floor smudges but no clear material is scraped up, it is likely a penetrating finish.