Always spot test your floor before cleaning
Wipe up spills immediately as they occur, sweep or vacuum debris as soon as they are spotted and where possible protect heavy traffic areas with rugs or mats.
Repair shallow scratches to hardwood floors by rubbing shelled walnuts into them, as the natural oil in walnut will harden when it is dried and form a protective shield in the cracks.
Eliminate permanent marker from wood floors with a bit of toothpaste and a damp cloth.
Use old wine corks
Old wine corks can serve as a stabilizer for unbalanced chairs and tables, and they can help protect your wooden floors when moving any of these or other movable items of furniture.
Felt Tip Pens
Use felt tip pens or pro wood touch up markers to hide scratch marks that can make your floors look unsightly.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
For stains, try some hydrogen peroxide on the soiled area, then cover it with a moist rag. Check back every few minutes to see if the stain is lifting.
Use Tea Bags
Use tea bags and boiling water to give your dark hardwood floors a lustrous shine. Steep six teabags in one quart of boiling water and let the mixture cool with the tea bags in it. Dip a soft cloth in the tea and wipe it on your floors, or use the solution in a spray bottle, to restore your hardwood flooring. Just be careful not to use too much or let the tea sit on the floor, especially if it does not have a good finish because excessive use of this solution can damage wood floors.
How to remove dust
Sweep the floor with a soft-bristled broom. This will remove large particles like sand or grit that may scratch the floor if caught beneath a mop. Alternatively, you can vacuum the floor, provided that the bristles are extended to prevent scratching and there is only dust on the floor.
Use the “bare floor” setting on your vacuum to prevent scratching the floor. Most vacuums have attached bristles to kick up dust, but these can wreck hardwood floors so be very careful.
How to Properly care for your hardwood
First, determine your kind of hardwood finish. Prefinished floors are the easiest to spot, as every board has tilt (slightly raised) edges. If the surface isn’t glossy, you have a stained or unfinished floor.
Shiny floors are the most difficult to tell apart. To test your floor for wax, moisten a scouring pad and rub it on an inconspicuous area; if a light gray smear appears on the wool, you have a wax finish.
To test whether you have an old or a modern surface seal, place a few drops of water on the most worn area of floor; if it remains beaded after several minutes, you probably have a modernized seal, but if it seems to soak or darken the wood, you either have an older seal or an inadequately-finished one that needs to be handled tenderly.
Most new floors are surface-sealed with polyurethane, urethane, or a polyacrylic coating, all of which are water- and stain-resistant and therefore easy to clean.
Older floors that haven’t been refinished usually have shellac, lacquer, or varnish finish, and while these are technically also “surface-seals,” they are not nearly as durable as the more modern finishes.
Although prefinished floors are coated with a durable surface seal, the fact that each board is coated separately means that the unsealed cracks between the boards are prone to water damage; for this reason, pre-finished floors must be handled with due care. When in doubt, choose the gentler method; a hardwood floor isn’t something you want to take chances with.
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