Many homes across Australia will come with hardwood flooring, whether this is in traditional timber or the more economical timber laminate.
When you have hardwood flooring you will notice a number of things – for example, scuff marks, dog hair, food particles and dust all show up quite easily.
However, this can be a good thing as it means you know when it is time to clean and you can stay on top of the mess, dirt and allergens. You can relax knowing that, unlike carpets, the dirt has nowhere to hide. Below are some easy ways to keep your hardwood floors sparkling even with the daily wear and tear of your family.
Hardwood floors should not be cleaned with anything. Soaking the floorboards with bleach or domestic cleaner can make them fade while using too much water can cause them to rot and expand. The good news is that there are several cleaners sold in the cleaning aisle at the grocery store that are designed for hardwood floors.
How often you need to vacuum your floors will depend on the traffic. When you have kids and a pet, then you may be vacuuming every day or at least every second day. Or, if they do not use this area often, you may only need to vacuum once a week. Try to move the furniture as much as possible to get the hair and dust that creeps under couches and cabinets and make sure you pick up all the toys off the floor before you start your vacuum. You will need to have the right setting on your vacuum for hardwood floors. Most standard vacuums will have an attachment that you can use on hard surfaces.
Mopping the hardwood floor or laminate will remove any foot prints and bring back the shine. However, too much water can cause complications. Use a lightweight mop that you can rinse out before it touches the floor. You may wish to add a dash of cleaner or traditional soap to the mix.
I find that boiling water with a few tablespoons of kerosene gets hardwood floors super shiny!
You don’t need to polish your hardwood floors all the time. In fact, polishing them once or twice a year may be all you need to keep them looking shiny and new. Avoid the desire to over polish as this can cause issues with the adhesion if you need to re-coat the floors.
You may also notice in time that hardwood flooring can show up scuff marks, especially from high heel shoes. Or your hardwood floor may get scratched if you have a pet with longer claws. Try to avoid walking on the floor in heels and keep your pet’s nails trimmed. If you do notice some scuff marks or dents in the flooring, then there are DIY solutions to correct the problem without completely re-installing the floors or moving the furniture around to hide the spot.
The best way to remove these little marks is to colour them out. You can purchase special wax crayons in a number of shades that are designed to hide the marks on your timber floors. All you need to do is colour the scratch with the crayon to fill in the problem. Take a wet cloth to remove any access crayon around the area once you have finished.
Hardwood floors are designed to last for many years, as long as you maintain them and clean them the right way.