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How to mop real hardwood floors

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Beautiful floors that last

Wood floors are gorgeous and add tons of style and value to nearly any home. They do require some special care to keep them in shape, though — especially when it comes to mopping.

Mopping hardwood

Beautiful floors
that last

Wood floors are gorgeous and add tons of style and value to nearly any home. They do require some special care to keep them in shape, though — especially when it comes to mopping.

Daily maintenance

It’s important to sweep your hardwood floors every day, or at least as often as you can. Dirt particles are not just unsightly — they can cause tiny scratches to your floors. Over time, those will noticeably dull the surface.

The kind of broom you use does matter, says Chris Sy of Carlisle Wide Plank Floors. “Use brooms that have fine, exploded bristles. Make sure to also stay clear of any vacuums that have beater bars,” he said.

Mopping up

When it comes to mopping, you have to be extra careful when it comes to your hardwood floors.

“Remember that water is a wood's worst enemy! Use a damp mop rather than a wet one — leaving excess water on your floors can cause the finish of your floors to wear away quicker and the wood to expand unnecessarily,” said Sy.

If you get carried away and use too much water, dry your floors with a thick towel; don’t let them air dry.

Your cleaning solution

No fancy cleansers are required for keeping your hardwood floors looking good. In fact, Sy says all you need is water and vinegar.

“You should mop your floors with a simple white vinegar and hot water solution,” he said. “Only a few cap-fulls of white vinegar is necessary for every gallon of water.”

If you do use a cleanser on your hard wood floors, Sy warns that you should test the product in an inconspicuous area first. “Make sure it does not negatively affect the floor’s finish,” he added.

Skip the oils

Homeowners with hardwood floors often think they need to oil their floors frequently to make them shine. According to Sy, that couldn’t be more wrong. He says oil products, if used too often, actually cause a waxy build-up that will dull your floors’ appearance.

Keep your floors clean and well-maintained, and they’ll shine on their own. If you do use oil products, use them sparingly.

More on cleaning

7 Days to a cleaner home
How to speed clean like a pro
Daily quick-cleaning checklist

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