If properly maintained, hardwood flooring
will last for decades. Hardwoods need to be kept clean and free of the dust and
debris that can scratch and dull the surface. High-traffic areas should be
swept as often as possible. You can either sweep the floors with a broom, or use a disposable electrostatic mop. Using a vacuum is also an option. However, you should only vacuum if your model features an on-off brush roll. Many models have a hard floor setting, which raises the vacuum and deactivates the brush roll used to clean carpets. If active, the brush roll can scratch hardwood flooring. Only suction is used when removing debris on the hard floor
setting. Some models offer rubber wheels, which are less likely to leave scratches than models with hard plastic wheels. Heavily trafficked areas should be cleaned every week or two using a damp mop. Wet the mop and wring out most of the water so it is just damp. Avoid leaving any standing water on the floor. This can damage the wood. This is especially true for pre-finished hardwood floors. Unless the surface was sealed with polyurethane after installation, the water will seep between the boards. If your floors are well sealed, you can add a wood cleaning product diluted to the manufacturer’s instruction when mopping. Avoid using harsh detergents. They’ll dull the surface. The Home Depot offers a
wide variety of wood care products both in store and online. There are products
that allow you to simply spray and mop. These products don’t require a bucket. They dry quickly and remove dust, dirt and grime. For an even quicker clean, there are disposable wet pads. These are perfect for touch-up cleaning, but be sure to select the wet pads specifically formulated for cleaning
hardwoods. There are also floor polishes that help restore the shine and offer protection against wear. These products will also
help fill small scratches and are available in low and high gloss finishes. To revitalize worn floors, use a floor wax. These not only provide a deep clean, but they leave a satin finish that protects and beautifies hardwoods. Regardless of which product you choose, always apply them with the grain of the
wood. If your product requires a mop application, rinse the mop often and
wring it dry. Although many products will dry pretty quickly, you can speed the process by turning on a ceiling fan or the floor can be dried using a soft
microfiber cloth. No matter how often you clean your hardwood floor, scratches are inevitable especially if you have pets. There are liquid scratch concealers that when dry form a permanent seal that won’t come off during cleaning. Eventually, your floor’s sealed surface will wear, but fortunately real hardwood flooring can be lightly sanded and new finish applied to restore the floor’s
natural beauty. For more detailed information about this and many other projects, check out the DIY projects and ideas section of homedepot.com or talk to one of our store associates.