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Maintenance Tips for Colored and Stained Hardwood Floors

by Jason Brubaker

Hardwood flooring that has been stained to a specific color can bring special beauty to a room or a building, however, hardwood stain only goes so deep. If the wood becomes scratched, the original color of the wood will show through in great contrast to the color of the stain.

Therefore, all cleaning must be done in such a way that prevents scratches. However, sometimes scratches appear anyway, even if steps have been taken to prevent them. Knowing how to take care of your hardwood floors can help you keep your hardwood floors looking their best for many years.

Cleaning Colored Hardwood Floors

Hardwood should not be soaked with water. To prevent dirt from building up on the surface of the floors, daily cleaning is necessary. This ensures that hardwood floors are clean without requiring a scrub from a soaking mop.

Collect the Right Tools

Immediately after hardwood floors have been installed, get together the right tools for the care and cleaning of the hardwood. A soft microfiber mop can be used to clean hardwood without scratching the surface, because microfiber is gentle and soft. Microfiber rags help as well.

The hardwood flooring installer that put in your floors may recommend a specific cleaner. Use this cleaner if possible. If not, keep a quality hardwood floor soap on hand for times when the floors need to be cleaned more thoroughly.

Dry Mop Daily

Dry mopping with a microfiber cloth is easy because microfiber is able to attach itself to dust and dirt without getting wet. Simply sweep the biggest pieces of grit off the floor, then run the microfiber cloth over the floor boards. Use a mop with a pivoting handle to make it easier to reach under chairs and tables, in corners and behind doors.

Do this at least once each day. Doing this often will prevent dirt from building up on the floorboards and will also prevent grit from being ground into the floorboards. In high traffic areas, this may need to be done multiple times per day.

Deep Clean Periodically

Periodic deep cleaning is necessary to clean the buildup of grime that may develop on hardwood over time. This grime will be especially visible on wood with a lighter stain, but will be less noticeable on wood with a darker stain.

To deep clean your hardwood floors, mix together the soap and warm water in a bucket. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the recommended proportions of soap and water are used. Dip the mop into the water, then wring it out thoroughly until it is barely damp. Do not use a dripping or soaking mop on your floors, as water can soak into the wood, causing contraction and expansion.

Use the mop to wipe down the floors thoroughly. Dip the mop in the soapy water periodically throughout the cleaning, then wring out the mop each time. If the water becomes dirty, dump it out and start over again.

Remove Scuff Marks

Scuff marks can build up on floors in high traffic areas. You can protect your hardwood floors from scuff marks by putting rugs on the floor in front of entrances and exits. If scuff marks do build up, sprinkle a little baking soda on a lightly damp microfiber cloth, then scrub down the floors with the cloth. If this doesn’t work, mix a paste of baking soda and water, then scrub down the scuff marks with the paste.

Repairing Scratches on Stained Hardwood Floors

If your hardwood floors develop scratches, you can camouflage these scratches with hardwood floor markers or hardwood floor crayons. These repair devices come in a variety of colors to match a variety of hardwood stain finishes.

If your floors are new, don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s warranty before using any product on your floors. Using a non-recommended product can invalidate the warranty.

If a scratch is especially deep, use a light-grit sand paper to sand down the scratch. Then, apply a matching stain to the sanded area. Allow the stain to dry before protecting it with a coat of polyurethane.

Refer Questions Back to Your Hardwood Floor Installer

If you have questions about the best ways to maintain your hardwood floors, check back with your hardwood floor installer. Your professional installer can recommend a variety of products and may have special tips for maintaining your hardwood floors. Following instructions from the installer can ensure that your floors will look their best for years to come.