Hardwood floors bring out the character and natural beauty of a home. Yet, many look dull and grimy. How can you avoid this? Is it too difficult to care for such floors?

Here are some easy tips you can follow:

Keep The Dirt Off

Take off your shoes when you come home.

Dust particles are abrasive to hardwood.

Over the years, the constant scratching wears down the shiniest of floors.

Use a door mat at all entrances to trap extra dirt from people and pets.

Routine Cleaning

Avoid dirt and grit build up. Maintain a strict cleaning schedule especially if you have pets. A dry mop is great, but the right type of vacuum is essential.

Vacuuming gets the hidden dust particles in cracks and crevices. Vacuum daily if you want a great looking floor. If you don’t feel you will have enough time each day to keep it up, it might be a good idea to invest in a robotic vacuum cleaner that will do the vacuuming for you while you are away.

Extra Care in High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas such as offices are prone to cracks and crevices. The continuous rubbing of shoes and high heels reduces the life of the hardwood.

You can have extra cleaning duties in these areas. Or, consider covering with a clear plastic mat.

Avoid Excess Moisture

Wood and water don’t play well together. Excess water wraps wood will damage the finish. Avoid any standing water on your hardwood surface. Mop it dry immediately.

Even when cleaning the floor, avoid excessive water. Wring the mop completely dry until you feel just the dampness. You want to avoid as much moisture as you can.

Avoid Chemical Cleaners

Oil soaps, lemon or citrus based cleaners are bad for your floor. Any household products with silicon or tung oil are also dangerous. The same goes for water based or acrylic waxes.

In fact, a dry mop and a vacuum are all you need.

Wax at Least Once a Year

As part of your routine cleaning, wax your floor at least once a year. Make sure to strip off the old wax. Then vacuum off all the dirt. Only apply new wax on a clean surface.

An extra coat of wax is not a bad thing. Don’t forget to buff it for that extra shine.

Extra Care

Avoid direct sunlight. You will notice that areas under direct sunlight age faster than others. Try and move your furniture around often. This will allow the different areas to age evenly over time.

Do not drag the furniture over it when changing positions. Lift the furniture up and then move it. You will avoid scratches and cracks this way.

A well-kept floor can keep its beauty for years. As you can see from the tips above, it’s all about time. The more effort and time you spend, the bigger the rewards.

It is common to see a neglected floor, but it is enriching to find one that’s been properly cared for and maintained.