Keep Your Wood Floors Clean and Protected

Both apartments I’ve lived in over the last year have had hardwood floors, and I love it! The material is beautiful and durable, but just like anything nice, they require maintenance. If you don’t take care of hardwood, you may scratch it or generally dull its lustrous look.

Fortunately, floor care isn’t too difficult. By properly cleaning wood floors, you can ensure they look nice for a long time. If you're lucky enough to have wood floors in your apartment,here are some tips for cleaning your floors to avoid damage and dulling:

Remove Dust and Debris Once a Week
To you, the dirt you track inside your apartment may not be a big deal, but your hardwood floors are a little more sensitive. Particles can scrape into the finish of the wood, either wearing the surface down over time or causing noticeable scratches. In both cases, the outcome isn’t pretty.

To best protect your floors, you should dry mop once a week. If you don’t already own one, pick up a tool that uses a cloth to grab dirt, like a Swiffer.

These cleaning products are gentler on wood floors than brooms, whose bristles may scratch the wood.
While dry mopping weekly may seem like a big task, it’s really not so bad. Plus, those little wipes make cleaning wood floors way easier-- with brooms, you have to bend down and sweep the dirt into a dust pan, but the wipes draw debris like a magnet. You can also clear away dust using your vacuum.

Know Your Floor
When you want to do a deep clean of your wood floors, you’ll have to pick a soap product. Certain finishes hold up well to water while others don’t, so you should know what kind of floors you have. For instance, lacquer and shellac tend to buckle when wet while polyurethane does not.

What’s more, most hardwood is sealed with polyurethane, so you’re likely safe. Of course, it’s better to know for sure, so ask your landlord.

Mop With A Bit of Soap and Water
Just because you have polyurethane floors doesn’t mean you should dump a gallon of water in your apartment - that can’t be good for any floor. Instead, use a very small amount of moisture to clean.

When getting ready to mop (which should happen about once a month), fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap-- it may not seem like much, but the stuff goes a long way.

If you’re really worried about your floors (or if they’re made with lacquer or shellac), you can purchase a wood-cleaning solution. Dip your mop and wring it out well so the sponge is just a bit damp to the touch-- no dripping!

Mop With the Grain
No matter what type of floor you mop, be sure to move the brush in the direction of the wood grain. This allows you to get the best results while protecting your floor.

Dry With a Soft Cloth
To minimize the amount of liquid on your floor, opt to wipe away the soapy water rather than rinsing. You can use a soft cloth to rub the floor-- you don’t have to scrub, just gently buffer in circular motions -- if you’re anything like me, you’ll be going all “Karate Kid” at this point.

Your drying session can also be a shining one if you’d like. Add a bit of hardwood wax to your cloth to increase the luster of your floors.

When to Throw in the Towel
Beyond dry mopping, wet mopping and waxing, there’s little you can do to improve the appearance of your floors. If you notice scratches or extreme dullness, you may want to let your landlord know. He or she might need to call in a professional to re-stain the surface.

Basic Maintenance Tips
The hardwood floors in your apartment will look better for longer if you take good care of them. Aside from regularly cleaning, you can follow these tips for floor maintenance:

Take Your Shoes Off: High heels are especially damaging to wood floors, so remove them when you get home. Other shoes can leave skid marks.

Don’t Drag Your Furniture: Dragging causes scrapping, so don’t do it! Instead, pick up furniture you’d like to rearrange. If you have to, call a friend to help you lift heavier items.

Use Rugs: By placing area rugs in the high-traffic areas of your apartment, you can prevent damage. Let’s not forget, rugs also add pizzazz to your decor - they’re functional and beautiful!

Caring for your floors regularly will help keep your apartment in tip-top shape and help you get your full security deposit back when the time comes to move again.

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Lifestyle Magazine: Keep Your Wood Floors Clean and Protected
Keep Your Wood Floors Clean and Protected
Both apartments I’ve lived in over the last year have had hardwood floors, and I love it! The material is beautiful and durable, but just like anything nice, they require maintenance. If you don’t take care of hardwood, you may scratch it or generally dull its lustrous look.
Lifestyle Magazine
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