No matter how careful you are, you're bound to end up with a mess on your hardwood floor eventually. Whether it's a simple accident, rambunctious children or pets, or simply everyday occurrences, something is bound to happen. It is with this in mind that About Floors n' More has thrown together this quick, handy guide about common hardwood floor messes and what you can do about them.
This is probably the biggest contributor to damage of hardwood floors. Liquids left to sit on your hardwood floors can cause all sorts of problems, from aesthetic problems like discoloration, to more tangible problems of functionality, such as warping, gapping, and cupping of your hardwood planks.
When a spill occurs, be sure to wipe it up immediately using a dry, soft cloth. Avoid using anything that might abrade the flooring. If there are any rugs that have become wet, remove them immediately until cleaned and dried. If the spill has resulted in discoloration, use a floor cleaner that is approved for hardwood floors to restore the color to its previous condition. Always be sure to wipe away any excess cleaner when finished.
2. Dry Spills
Dry spills are pretty easy to deal with when it comes to hardwood. Simply sweep with a soft-bristled broom, or vacuum with the beater brush disengaged. Always disengage the beater brush before vacuuming, as it can abrade your floor. This can't be stressed enough.
3. Everyday Dirt and Debris
This comes down to prevention more than anything. By placing floor mats at any entryway into the home, you can minimize the abrasive damage of everyday debris and grit that may be tracked into the home. Frequent sweeping or vacuuming will also prevent damage from this type of mess.
4. Animal Messes
Treat these messes with the same urgency you would a liquid spill. Wipe the mess up with a dry cloth, and then apply the hardwood flooring cleaner of your choice. Many people like to apply mineral spirits to the affected area before using the cleaner, but that is up to you.
5. Crayons and Ink
These particular messes may seem like the end of the world at first blush, but don't worry, they're actually quite manageable!
Here we turn to our old friend mineral spirits, once again to gently remove these types of stains from your hardwood floors. Use a dry, soft cloth to gently wipe away the stain and, if so inclined, follow up with a bit of hardwood floor cleaning product of your choice.
When you get right down to it, hardwood floors are incredibly easy to maintain and extremely durable. Even though it may appear to be a disaster when your kids decide to artistically express themselves in crayon on your lovely mahogany floor, or when you drop a pot of spaghetti sauce while cooking, it really doesn't take much to recover from the incident when all is said and done. Just a little elbow grease and a sense of urgency, in the case of liquids, is all you really need to keep your floors looking their best. That and some trusty ol' mineral spirits, of course!