7 Mistakes to avoid when cleaning hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful, expensive and surprisingly easy to take care of, but somehow they usually get ruined. I certainly destroyed my stunning cherry wood flooring in two years because I had no idea how to clean it. I was only concerned about scratches and I made sure I put pads under the chairs and tables, but I didn't know anything else. I'm going to tell you then you how to clean your floors to keep them looking like new.

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I had no idea I didn't have to spend money in those expensive wood cleaners and I certainly didn't know that I didn't need to vacuum. I used all the wrong things and now my floors are stained and brittle. Follow these tips so you can preserve the life of your hardwood floors. 

1. Dust and mop: The wood surface is delicate and some vacuums without the proper brush will scratch your floor. To remove the dust off your floor, attach an electrostatic cloth on the mop to pick up hairs, dust and dirt.

2. Just water: Chances are that you spent a lot of money on the finish of your wood floor, why ruin it? Don't add unnecessary cleaners that will only stain them and eliminate its natural shine. Clean them with water every couple of weeks to wash dirt away.

3. Don't use bleach: Like on clothes, bleach will suck the life out of the wood. To remove grease and grime off your floors, dip a cloth into a wood-cleaning solution but dilute it with water. Never apply a cleaner directly onto your floor.

4. Don't use acrylic wax: I made that mistake and now I'm paying for it. The wood finish is always sealed and has its natural shine. When you use chemical wax you create a coat on top of your floors and in time it turns into a black spot. It's almost like glue you can peel off.

5. Use carpets wisely: Wood wears out easily, so make sure to place carpets in busy areas with a lot of traffic. Also make sure not to put heavy furniture on the carpet so it doesn't make holes on your floor.

6. Too much sun: Experts say that sunlight will change the color of your floor. To prevent this from happening, make sure to close the blinds or curtains and put a carpet in the area.

7. Shoes off: Some shoes will scratch your floors, take them off. If you want to keep your house clean longer, you should only wear indoor flip flops or moccasins indoors.

Image via Corbis

Topics: advice  home  cleaning tips