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How to Maintain Wood Floors

After throwing down a pretty penny on hardwood flooring, the last thing you want is to end up with it covered in scuffs and scratches. While some damage — especially from foot traffic — is inevitable, there are several ways you can keep your new wood floors from turning into a dull, drab, damaged mess and save money too.

One huge way to keep your wood floors looking good as new is to clean them often and with the right products.

Clean hardwood floor
Photo: Home Depot

· Water is a big no-no as it can leave marks on wood and even cause it to expand and crack. Clean up spills immediately and skip mopping.
· Cleaners that leave a residue, as well as ammonia, vinegar and oil based soaps, can dull floors. Opt for wet cleaners that are tailor-made for the type of hardwood floors you have installed.
· Invest in a high-quality broom. Sweeping regularly is the simplest way to keep debris from scuffing up your floor.
· Vacuum up particles that can cause scratches. Use a beater bar attachment to get into hard-to-reach places.

Prevent Damage to Your Wood Floor

It is impossible to completely prevent your wood floors from getting scratched. However, you can minimize the damage that foot traffic, kid’s toys and furniture moving causes with a few easy steps.

Rug on the hardwood floor
Photo: IKEA

· Throw down a few mats, rugs or runners. Not only are they a total whiz at catching dirt and debris, but these add-ons are made for taking the brunt of foot traffic. Place them in areas that see a lot of action like the entryway, laundry room or kitchen.
· Outfit your furniture with glides. These soft, plastic caps fit onto the bottom of your furniture legs and won’t scratch or scuff your wood flooring’s finish.
· Keep your pet’s nails trimmed. It may seem silly, but long cat claws can scratch up your floors.
· Add special window treatments to keep the sun’s rays from fading your flooring. If that isn’t possible, throw down a rug on the spot that sees the most sunshine.

Repair Your Hardwood Floors

Damage happens. That doesn’t mean your wood floor is a lost cause. Minor and major scuffs and scratches can be repaired without calling in flooring contractors.

For minor scratches you can rub any of these options over the damage and watch it disappear:

· Walnut shell. The natural oils of the shelled nut are great for concealing scratches.
· Quarter. Rub the edge of the coin over a shallow scratch.
· Paste wax. (This solution needs to be buffed with a soft cloth)
· Extra-fine sandpaper or steel wool. (The area will need to be restained post-sanding.)

For major scratches you’ll have to pull out the big guns and may even need to call in a flooring contractor:

· For gouges and major scratches sand the floor down to the raw wood and then restain.
· Hardwood floors that have grown dull can benefit from a simple screening and recoating. This process involves grinding down the floor’s polyurethane finish and then applying a fresh coat of urethane.

Cleaning and protecting your wood floors not only keeps them looking fabulous, but guarantees they’ll be around for the long haul.

By Megan Mostyn-Brown

Keep your hardwood floors beautiful by bringing in the experts. You should take a look at EiEiHome’s Cleaning Service Professionals to take care of your wood floors.

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