The Delicate Job of Vacuuming Hardwood Floors
The name hardwood leads one to believe that the item is tough as nails and will stand up to anything. With this belief, many people grab their vacuum, broom, steam mop, etc. and go to town thinking they can’t possibly harm their durable floors. To the contrary, a hardwood floor is durable and will last a long time, but it is also susceptible to scratches, dings, and wear on the finish. For this reason, it is good to know how to best care for your hardwoods so they will last you a lifetime.
Regular vacuuming is one of the best things you can do to care for your hardwood floors. There is also definitely a wrong way to vacuum a hardwood floor. Let’s look at some vacuuming do’s for hardwood floors.
Ideally, the best vacuum for a hardwood floor is a canister, because it has a long oval brush that enables the cleaner to get into the cracks and crevices between boards. Upright vacuums have rotating brushes that tend to scratch hardwood floors. If you already have an upright vacuum you can still use it on your floors just make sure to turn the rotating brush off. On many models you just want to flip the brush switch to the hard floor setting. If you are looking for a new vacuum to care for your floors there are now vacuums on the market made specifically for hardwoods.
Note: If you do plan to keep your upright vacuum make sure that the wheels have a soft rubber covering and are not hard plastic. Hard plastic wheels are too rough on hardwood floors and can leave permanent marks on your floors.
If you have many different types of flooring in your home and are not able to make the investment of a fancy new vacuum for your hardwoods, but are concerned about using your upright on your hardwoods you can alternately use a dust mop for sweeping and follow it up with a quick damp mopping using just water. A slightly damp mop is an excellent and gentle way to get keep your hardwood floors clean without doing damage to the surface or finish of the hardwood. Keep the upright for your other flooring surfaces and make a much cheaper investment in a few new mops.
Image by Allen Michael