Polishing Your Hardwood Floors

Keep your hardwood floors vibrant and new with these simple steps.

Hardwood floors add great character to any home. They provide a warm and beautiful presence in your home. It's an investment worth protecting. The first step in protecting your hardwood floors is to prevent any damage. This will reduce the amount of cleaning and possible repairs that will need to be done.

How do I prevent damage and maintain my hardwood floor?

Spills of any kind can warp a finished floor. Clean up all spills as they happen to prevent warping. Use a damp cloth to blot the spill. For tougher spills or spots that won't come off with a damp cloth use acetone or nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. Follow with a damp cloth wipe to remove residue. Things such as lipstick, ink, tar, oil, paint, or marker can be removed with acetone. Your floor should be intermittently wiped with a damp cloth or mop to keep clean.

Sometimes we find some very difficult spots on the floor. Chewing gum or candle wax can be tricky to remove without damaging the floor. Use ice to harden the chewing gum or wax first. Then use a plastic scraper to carefully remove it. You can also use a credit card for this. Be cautious of scratching the floor in the process. Follow it with a wipe up with a damp cloth.

Direct sunlight can cause a discoloration. Try to keep the sun from directly hitting the floor. Install sheer drapes, or simply close the shades or blinds.

Furniture can cause scratches and scrapes from sliding across the floor. Attach felt pieces to the bottom of the furniture's legs to prevent scratches. When moving furniture, have someone help you so you can lift instead of slide.

Dirt and sand will also cause scratches and scrapes in your hardwood flooring. It can dull and dent the floor. Place mats in front of doorways to catch some of the dirt, keeping it off of the floor. Clean often to remove dirt from the floor and surrounding areas.

Sweep with a broom that has fine, frayed bristles that traps dirt the best.

Your dust mop should have a cotton head that is 12 to 18 inches. Spray the mop treatment onto the dust mop about 24 hours before use.

Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar. If your vacuum has a beater bar, replace it with a floor attachment. The beater bar can cause dents in your floor.


Don't let anyone walk on the floor with stiletto heels, cleats or spiked golf shoes. These shoes could cause dents in your hardwood floor.

If you have pets, you will want to keep their nails trimmed to prevent scratches from them.

Don't keep furniture in one place all of the time. Move furniture around occasionally to help keep the aging of the floor even throughout.

Don't let an abnormal humidity level expand or contract the wood. The humidity level in the air should be between 45% and 65% all through the year to prevent this expansion and contraction of the wood. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier as necessary to keep the humidity at a normal level.

Final Words

Your hardwood floor is a great asset to bring a warmness and richness to your home that everyone will enjoy. Maintain your hardwood floor by cleaning regularly and following the steps outlined above. Your flooring will last for years and possibly generations.

© High Speed Ventures 2011