Although many older homes have various types of wood flooring that would have looked fabulous just after being installed, foot traffic and regular cleaning over the years can leave them looking dull and unattractive. However, this need not spell a death sentence for your solid wood flooring because there are a few ways in which they can be treated and/or cleaned to get them looking as good as new again.
Causes of Wood Flooring Looking Dull
1. Dirt is just being moved around
When cleaning solid wood flooring, it’s essential to use a mop, broom or other suitable devices that are properly clean. All loose dirt must also be swept up or vacuumed before any damp cleaning takes place, as this will prevent it from simply being spread around.
2. Incorrect cleaners have been used
While several acrylic and liquid-based wax cleaners are available to clean wood flooring these days, they should be avoided. If your flooring has been treated with any type of polyurethane finish, these products will cause your solid wood flooring to turn dull and milky over time.
Other harsh cleaners containing ingredients like bleach, ammonia, pine oil, and vinegar can also cause serious damage to treated solid wood flooring over time. As such, it’s recommended that an appropriate cleaner that has been designed for use on solid wood should be used instead.
3. Flooring is badly scratched
Over time, all types of solid wood flooring will become scratched – regardless of how good a quality protective layer it may have.
Once the flooring has become badly scratched, it will be virtually impossible to get it to look like new again – unless you have it refinished. In some cases, refinishing is the only way to give your solid wood flooring a new lease on life.
Tips for Keeping Wood Flooring Looking Good
1. Clean spills right away
When spills or pet-related accidents occur, it’s essential to clean them up as soon as possible afterward. This will prevent permanent water stains from appearing.
2. Sweep or vacuum daily
Dirt that is left to accumulate on solid wood flooring will cause the surface to scratch and become dull over time. As such, it’s essential to either sweep or vacuum these floors daily. If any area rugs are being used, these should be moved and cleaned underneath at the same time. Rugs can either be shaken outdoors or vacuumed as well.
3. Damp mop every few weeks
It’s recommended that a lightly dampened microfiber mop be used on your solid wood floors every few weeks. This will help keep them looking shiny for as long as possible. Any cleaners that are being applied should be used sparingly as well – this will prevent a build-up from forming over time.
If your solid wood flooring requires refinishing, it may seem like a costly process initially. However, your newly finished flooring will have the ability to last for more than 100 years if it is correctly cared for and maintained.