Hardwood floors evoke a sense of style and elegance in any home and easily accent any décor, whether you’re going for a comfortable, laid back atmosphere, to a more formal or contemporary feel. By keeping the right supplies on hand and performing the following simple maintenance tips, you can enjoy your beautiful hardwood floors for years without them losing their original appeal.
First of all, make sure to sweep your hardwood floors often with a bristle broom. You don’t need to sweep very hard because you don’t want to end up scratching the wood, but softly brush all the clutter that might be on the floor away and then vacuum it weekly to get rid of all the dirt, sand and other small particles that might be scattered across your hardwood floors. Getting the surface clean is easy; just remember to be gentle while going through the process.
Remember that water is not good for any type of wood and this rule of thumb also applies to hardwood floors. If any liquids spill on the floor, clean them up immediately. Paper towels, vacuums that work with water, towels, or anything that absorbs water can be used as long as it doesn’t scratch the hardwood floor.
A dry, damp mop can be used to get up excessive water as well and if it is fine enough, it can often get the water that runs into the seams between each hardwood plank as well. By getting the moisture out from in between the planks you’ll be able to make sure that they don’t begin to rot or end up with any other water damage problems.
There are measures you can take to prevent scarring on your hardwood floor as well, such as using carpet runners. If you don’t mind using carpet runners, at least on the heavy traffic areas, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of heartache and extend the life of your hardwood floors. The areas without the runners will do better if you try to avoid having heavy or high heeled shoes on them; just put your shoes on and take them off at the door. In addition, don’t drag anything heavy across your hardwoods either. If you need to move heavy furniture over them just use carpet runners or furniture pads.
There are many ways to mend hardwood floors with waxing, buffing, or even getting new floors or individual planks installed, but it’s much easier to extend the life of your current floors by making sure to keep up on the maintenance tips mentioned here. With just a little bit of tender loving care and an ounce of prevention, you’re hardwood floors will keep their original luster for years to come.
You’ve just had beautiful new carpet installed and can’t believe the fantastic effects it has had on the overall appeal of the rest of your home! The following basic carpet care tips will help you keep it looking as fresh and new as the day you had it installed.
1. Vacuuming your carpet at a minimum of once a week is crucial when it comes to keeping your carpet looking great and vacuum your high traffic areas even more often then that. Taking the time to vacuum frequently will extend the life of your carpet by avoiding an accumulation of gritty dust and debris that will damage carpet fibers. In addition, every month or so use your vacuum’s crevice tool and clean around the baseboards and other tough to reach places. Keep in mind that just a quick pass over the carpet with your vacuum isn’t enough. Go over every area of carpeting a few times, slowly, to allow the suction to get rid of all the ground in dirt and dust. Pay extra attention to heavy traffic areas, using criss cross patterns and overlapping strokes.
2. The warmer months bring out a variety of odors that have been hiding in your carpet. Luckily, there’s an easy and non-toxic solution to the problem; baking soda! Baking soda literally absorbs odor from just about everything all the way from refrigerators, cat boxes and more importantly, it works great on carpet. All you need to do is liberally sprinkle it on the carpet, leave in on over night if possible (the longer the better) followed by sweeping up the largest amounts of baking soda than vacuuming up the rest.
3. Regardless of what you use to spot clean your carpet you’ll start by lightly blotting the spot working from the outside in. Next you’ll rinse the area thoroughly with clean water, followed by blotting the area again. Always avoid scrubbing into the carpet because that can force the stain into the fibers all they way into the carpet pad. For water soluble stains, create a solution made up of 1/4 teas. of white vinegar or a non-bleach detergent combined with 32 oz’s of clean water. Water soluble substances include alcohol, cola, berries, excrement, washable link or latex or wet paint. To clean tougher water soluble stains like blood, wine, chocolate, vomit or coffee use make a cleaning solution using 1 tbls. of ammonia combined with 1 cup of clean water. Avoid using this on wool or wool blend carpet; use a mixture of water and mild detergent instead. A good rule of thumb before spot cleaning is following the carpet manufacturers care instructions.
4. Every 1 to 2 years have your carpeting professionally cleaned to remove deeply embedded grime and dirt.
5. Keeping grime and dirt from getting on you carpet to begin with is the best way to keep your carpet looking like the day it was installed. Using floor mats or carpet runners will go a long way towards reducing the amount of debris that gets into your home. You’ll also want to consider taking off your shoes before entering. To make it more convenient, lot of home owners have a special shoe rack or mat in the entry way. Changing your air filters on a regular basis is also highly recommended by most carpet manufacturers because the more dust particles eliminated by your air filters, the less will end up falling on your beautiful, new carpet.