Hardwood floors are a beautiful accent to your home. Unlike other flooring options, they need a high level of care to keep them looking great.

Beyond preventative care, there are other weekly and bi-annual cleaning steps you can take to make your hardwoods sparkle.

By preventative care, we just mean try to keep as much dirt out of the house as you can. Place mats outside and inside your doorway, and during the winter months, have a separate boot station to keep the moisture off the floor.

You should also place floor protectors under your furniture to prevent scratching. You can also add carpets to high-traffic areas.

Weekly Cleaning

There are a few options for weekly cleaning. The first is to use a vacuum with a hardwood floor setting to pick up larger bits of dirt.

If you don’t think there are many large particles on your floor, using a dust mop with a soft cleaning pad and a dusting agent will do the trick.

For a regular clean, consider investing in a robot vacuum cleaner which you can program to run daily to pick up any dirt.

Deep Clean

Even if you diligently clean your hardwood floors each week, there are still oils and other bits of grime that work their way into your hardwoods.

About twice a year, clean your floors with a cleaner designed for hardwood floors and use according to the bottle’s instructions. If it’s humid while you’re doing this, turn on a ceiling fan or turn up your AC to fan.

Removing Marks

You’ll need this section more if you have a soft oiled finish, a finish more common in older homes. If you get a stain on your hard-finished floors, use a clean, soft cloth to wipe up the stain and never use abrasive materials.

Water marks: Use No. 000 steel wool and floor wax on the water mark. You might have to sand the floor if the stain goes deeper.

Oil-based stains: Use a gentle dish detergent and a soft cloth to break down the grease and rinse with clear water. You might need to repeat a couple of times. Once the spot is dry, use fine sandpaper to smooth any raised grain.

Heel marks: Rub the mark with a fine steel wool and floor wax.