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Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring can add value to any home with its beauty and elegance. But if it's not taken care of properly, your flooring can start to look like the eroded deck of a pirate ship. For this reason it is important that homeowners with hardwood flooring, especially expensive hardwood flooring like cherry, maple and mahogany, learn how to properly clean and care for it.

Tools of the Trade
The two most important tools for cleaning wood floors are a soft-bristled broom and a non-abrasive dust mop. These tools will allow you to quickly get rid of noticeable dust and dirt without harming your delicate flooring.

Tricks of the Trade
If your floor needs a serious cleaning there are a few things to take into consideration before you get down on your hands and knees and start scrubbing.

The first thing to consider is what sort of shape the finish is in. If the finish on the floor is still in good shape, you can usually mop the floor with a wood cleaner mixed with water. It is imperative that you wring your mop out as much as you can before you let it touch the ground because excess water can seriously damage and warp your flooring. After you're done mopping, dry the floor off with a towel. Remember, the oil and wax finishes on your floor are like a layer of skin that is used for protection. If the finish on your floor is worn away, the situation will only worsen when you attempt to mop it.

The second thing to take into consideration when cleaning hardwood floors is the type of mess that you are cleaning up. After a party you will want to clean alcohol spills with a gentle wood cleaner mixed with water, while a small amount of bleach mixed with water can clean away mold and mildew. Remember that whenever you clean wood flooring you must be gentle. Abrasive cleaning products and tools will only harm your floor so try to dilute your cleaning products and avoid scrubbing.

When You Need the Trade
If you have a serious dark stain or watermark the only cleaning option may be to buff and refinish your floor.

Caring for hardwood can take some extra effort, but for all of the work you put into this flooring you will be repaid in compliments.

Hammer Visit our Floors and Stairs forum for tips on keeping your floors in top shape.