Hardwood floors can be beautiful, while also lasting a good long time. In addition, they add value to a home. Even with all of these positive aspects, some people are afraid of hardwood floors, as they believe that they will be high maintenance and require a lot of care to keep looking beautiful. One of the things people are most concerned about is keeping their floor looking shiny and new, rather than becoming dingy and lackluster.
The great thing is that keeping your hardwood floors looking as good as new isn’t impossible. It might require a little work, but it’s probably not as difficult as you expect. We’ll go over what it requires and some tips for upkeep below.
To Refinish or Not to Refinish
If you have hardwood floors that are older, it is possible that what you need is a refinish. There are things you can do to keep hardwood floors in good condition longer (using furniture protectors, clipping pet nails, and not allowing shoes) but eventually, a refinish will be required despite all these things.
An easy test to see whether this is needed is to determine whether water droplets on your floor soak in or bead up. If they soak into the floor, it’s probably time for a new finish.
Using wax on your floor can contribute to that high shine you want. However, too much of it can cause a dulling to the floor surface. Experts suggest you wax only about twice a year, while many folks do it much more often. If you find that your floors seem dull, you may want to strip some of the wax. A natural option for doing this involves a vinegar and water mixture. Use about a half a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. If you find the smell unbearable, you can add a few drops of an essential oil to remove some of the vinegar smell.
You may think that mopping the floor is all that a hardwood floor needs, but that’s not true. A hardwood floor requires a good sweep or vacuum before mopping. If there are dirt specks on the floor, these will mix with the mop water and can leave further residue and streaks on the floor. Using a dust mop is a good idea if you choose to sweep, as it will avoid leaving scratches on your floor.
When you are finished with the cleaning, using olive oil with a bit of white vinegar can be a great way to add shine to the surface.
After mopping, buffing can restore a lot of shine. There are many ways to do this, depending on preference. Some people like to use microfiber clothes, others use flat mop heads, and others use more unique items to do the buffing. Honestly, it’s worth some experimentation to determine what works best for you. No matter what you choose, make sure to stick with it as this has a huge impact on the shine of the floors.
Other Tips and Tricks
- Warm coconut oil can be rubbed into hardwood to produce a burnished surface.
- Black tea bags which have been steeped in hot water until cooled work as an excellent solvent for shining and cleaning wood floors.
- Baking soda and a sponge can be used to remove scuff marks on the floor.
- In order to disinfect your floors, try a pail of water with a half cup of lemon juice as your mop water.
- White vinegar is a great cleaning product and can help remove mildew and odors.