Tips for Properly Vacuuming Hardwood Floors
Who doesn’t love the warm, appealing look of hardwood floors? If you’re building a new home or replacing old flooring, there are plenty of advantages of going with hardwood flooring. Whether you want to add value to a property, make an ecological green choice, or enjoy flooring that lasts a long time, there’s no denying that hardwood floors add elegance to a home. Best of all, maintaining them is probably easier than you think. If you’re planning on using a vacuum cleaner, here are some points to keep in mind.
How Cleaning Has Evolved
For years, homeowners reasoned that they should clean carpeting by vacuuming it and periodically shampooing it. Since most older vacuum cleaners were designed specifically to clean carpets, they sometimes damaged hardwood flooring, meaning regular cleaning meant sweeping hardwood floors every week using a broom and dust pan or dry mopping them, then giving them an annual deep cleaning.
In addition to taxing the back, sweeping wood floors meant pushing dirt around and releasing allergens into the air instead of actually trapping and removing them. One result was a cloud of dust and pet dander.
These days, vacuuming isn’t just for carpeting, upholstered furniture, and drapery. The right vacuum cleaner makes it a snap to keep hardwood flooring lovely.
Finding the Right Machine
The right vacuum has a few important features. It must clean well and be relatively easy to tote. There’s a lot to be said for purchasing an exclusive hardwood floor vacuum. Its design makes sure that it won’t damage hardwood flooring. This type of vacuum is outfitted with adjustable suction and height controls. However, there are plenty of versatile vacuums out there that can get the job done.
What should you avoid? At the top of the list is a vacuum with a brush-roll head (aka suction only). It isn’t friendly to a hardwood floor’s shiny surface. Another option is a machine with a switch to turn off this feature. If possible, avoid using a heavy vacuum, and steer clear of a machine without any wheels unless its design includes a padded nose to avoid scratching.
The ideal vacuum will have superior cyclonic action to suck up the tiniest pieces of dust, dirt, and pet dander. Vacuums with powerful suction tend to be loud, so it’s a good idea to actually turn on a machine before buying it.
When choosing a vacuum, consider a cordless vacuum. Cordless, battery-operated vacuums have two advantages. They’re usually quieter than other models, and they’re easy to move around since they’re relatively lightweight and compact. A canister vacuum features a long, oval brush ideal for pulling dirt out of the smallest cracks. Other important features include making sure the vacuum has a large-capacity dirt collector, crevice tools, and rubber wheels to avoid marring the hardwood. Extra wheel padding is a bonus. Also consider a mop and sweep feature, which permits cleaning the floor with water after a vacuuming.
Other Methods of Cleaning
Damp mopping can serve as a supplement to vacuuming hardwood floors. The most effective choice is a mop that’s slightly damp after it has been thoroughly wrung out. Some homeowners prefer drying a wet hardwood floor with a towel or using a fan to help any excess moisture evaporate.
Vacuuming your hardwood floors to keep them clean and looking their best has never been easier. Choosing the right vacuum to care for your wood floors is an investment that can significantly prolong both their life and their beauty while reducing the amount of time it takes to do so.
Gary Ashton REALTOR®
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage