Hardwood flooring in room with exposed brick walls

Whether you install hardwood flooring or carpeting in your property generally comes down to personal preference. Hardwood flooring and carpeting both need to be treated right for either type of flooring to last. However, both surfaces have different requirements for effective cleaning and maintenence, which may affect your choice of flooring.

To properly clean and maintain your home's flooring, our Westminster cleaning professionals recommend closely adhering to the following guidelines.

Here’s What You Do Want to Do to Maintain Hardwood Floors

Try these simple tips and tricks to help you keep your hardwood floors looking their best.

Sweep Them Often

One of the main causes of superficial surface damage to hardwood floors is grit and other abrasive debris that falls onto the floor and is then rubbed against the surface as you walk over it. This can cause ugly-looking scratches that are expensive to put right. To combat this problem, you need to sweep often, as this will remove these abrasive materials before any harm can be done.

Choose Cleaning Tools Wisely

Tougher, harsher tools can cause damage to the surface of a hardwood floor, similar to that in the situation we just discussed above. That’s why we recommend that if you are cleaning hardwood floors in your Boulder or Westminster home, you choose soft cleaning tools to do the job. Something like a Swiffer works well, although they do have a tendency to leave the floor a little on the wet side, but this can be remedied using a towel to quickly dry it off.

Limit Those UV Rays

You don’t want to leave your hardwood floors exposed to hours and hours of intense, direct sunlight as this has the effect of bleaching the floor’s color. There are numerous things you can do to combat this. Installing drapes and window blinds is the most common step taken, but you could also look into things such as solar window films, which filter out harmful UV rays, without blocking your view of the outside of your home.

Make Sure Cleaning Products are Suitable for Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Gloved hand spraying bottle of cleaning solution onto hardwood kitchen floor

Just like when you’re carpet cleaning, you need to make sure that the products you’re using are suitable for the type of hardwood surface that you’re cleaning. These products can be picked up at most big box stores, and if you’re really worried about this kind of stuff, even more reason to work with a professional hardwood floor cleaner with years of experience who can instantly recognize the best way to clean hardwood floors in your home or workplace.

Here’s What You Don’t Want to Do When Cleaning Your Hardwood Floor

Now we’re going to take a look at bad practices that can have a negative impact on hardwood floors, damaging their condition, giving you a lot more to worry about than just cleaning them!

Don’t Let Water Sit on Hardwood Floors

This is the reason we don’t recommend you use a wet mop to clean hardwood floors. There’s just too much water involved. And when that moisture is allowed to sit on top of your floor for any length of time (and I’m only talking about longer than a minute or two here), it can have some pretty devastating consequences.

Water will start to damage the wood's finish and eventually penetrate the wood's surface. When this happens on a repeated basis, you'll likely end up with warped floors. Not a good look.

Don’t Clean Wood Floors With Hot Water

This follows on from the last point. Cleaning hardwood floors with hot water is even worse. Heat is much more harmful to the wood’s finish and the moisture will penetrate it quicker. The bottom line is this: if you use water for cleaning hardwood floors, you need to use very little and it needs to be cold. Otherwise, you’re asking for trouble.

Never, Ever Use Steel Wool

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, right? Well, that doesn't exactly apply when you’re talking about hardwood floors. They are beautiful, but that beauty is quite delicate and needs to be protected. If you encounter a tough stain that won’t seem to budge, one thing you don’t want to do is reach for the steel wool.

Abrasive cleaning materials such as steel wool will scratch the surface of your hardwood floors, and then you’ll have bigger problems to worry about.

Contrary to Common Advice Online Don’t Use Vinegar or Ammonia

We’ve all done it before. I’m talking about relying on the internet to provide us with the answer to our cleaning woes. Whether it’s carpet cleaning advice or suggestions on how you can free your oven from the baked-on grease that has taken over its interior. One thing you come across a lot when researching household cleaning hacks online is to use vinegar or ammonia as a cheaper alternative to hardwood floor cleaner solutions sold in stores.

“They work great” some say. And in certain scenarios they’re right. But not in the context of hardwood floors, which as I’ve already said, are quite sensitive. Both of these “homemade” cleaning solutions are not the best way to clean hardwood floors as they're quite abrasive and harsh. In fact, both options are known to damage hardwood floors - so stay away!

How Do Carpeting and Hardwood Flooring Compare?

Empty room with white carpeting and sun reflections on white walls

Let’s look at the main differences between the maintenance requirements for each type and see which one might be the most convenient option for your home or business premises. We’ll start by looking at cleaning hardwood floors and carpets, then move on to long-term maintenance tasks.

Carpet Cleaning vs. Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Which type of flooring takes the most work to keep it looking clean on a daily or weekly basis?

Carpets

When it comes to daily or weekly housework, carpets are generally considered easier to keep clean. This is because the pile hides small particles of dirt and, consequently, a weekly or twice-weekly vacuuming is sufficient to keep the carpets in most homes looking clean. For busy business premises, more frequent vacuuming is recommended but carpets will still hide small particles of dust and dirt more readily than a hardwood floor. Any liquid spillages must be cleaned immediately to avoid permanent carpet stains: this is vital for any type of carpeting.

Hardwood Floors

Cleaning hardwood floors is a daily task as far as most people are concerned, and this is definitely the case for business owners. In fact, for busy restaurants, cafés and stores, it may be necessary to sweep and mop hardwood flooring several times a day. Liquid spillages on hardwood floors, in common with those on carpets, should be cleaned as soon as they occur. However, it’s generally considered easier to clean a spillage from a hardwood surface as it can be done in seconds with a damp cloth or mop.

Long-Term Maintenance of Hardwood Floors vs. Carpets

When it comes to long-term maintenance of the flooring in both residential and commercial properties, carpets normally require more frequent attention. Hardwood floors may require refinishing after a few years but they won’t need to be deep cleaned like your carpets.

Long-Term Carpet Maintenance

Industry experts recommend that carpets are deep cleaned at least once every 18 months but for many people, an annual deep clean is preferable. For high traffic areas in commercial properties, more frequent deep cleans may be required. And if your carpets are beginning to look a little shabby or giving off an unpleasant odor, it’s definitely time to book a visit from a team of professional carpet cleaners.

If you’ve never used a carpet cleaning service before, you can enter ‘carpet cleaning near me’ into your favorite search engine and do some research on the companies that turn up in the results. If you’re in Denver or the surrounding area, you’re more than welcome to contact us if you’d like to request a quotation.

Long-Term Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Hardwood floors, if cleaned regularly, shouldn’t need much in the way of special care or attention. However, once every 7-10 years, it’s advisable to have your wood floors refinished if you want to keep them looking good. Refinishing can be performed by flooring professionals, by stripping the existing finish with solvents or sanding it, before applying a new coat. Solid hardwood floors can be refinished many times, whereas engineered wood floors can normally be refinished 5 or 6 times throughout their lifetime, depending on their thickness.

Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Hardwood Floors and Carpets

Portable Swiffer mop cleaning hardwood floor

Whichever type of flooring you choose, you can extend its useful lifespan by following some simple cleaning and maintenance procedures that have been tried and tested over the years.

  • Always Clean Spillages Immediately – To avoid permanent staining, you should deal with all types of spillages as soon as they occur. This is especially important when dealing with substances such as red wine and spicy food dishes like Chili. For liquids, use a clean, absorbent cloth or sponge to mop up any excess moisture, before applying an approved cleaning solution and rinsing.
  • Don’t Neglect Long-Term Maintenance – The money you spend on deep carpet cleaning and hardwood floor refinishing is an investment that will repay you with longer-lasting, better-looking flooring. It can be tempting to skip a year or two if you think your carpets look okay and you haven't had a great year financially but this can shorten the life of your carpet and be detrimental to the health of your family too. Carpets absorb all sorts of impurities from the air on a daily basis, including many allergens and irritants. A deep clean will remove these impurities from the pile and prevent them from being released back into the air around your home.
  • Don’t Use a Wet Mop on Hardwood Floors – You should only use a damp mop when cleaning hardwood floors as too much moisture can damage the finish and the wood itself. For the same reason, water spillages on hardwood floors should be dealt with as soon as you spot them.
  • Only Hire Experienced Professionals – If you search for ‘carpet cleaning near me’ or ‘hardwood floor cleaning near me’, you’ll find many local companies that offer the services you’re looking for. But be sure to check reviews and do your due diligence before choosing one to visit your home or business.

If you’d like more information about hardwood floor and carpet maintenance, or you’d like to schedule wood floor cleaning in Denver, please don’t hesitate to call us on (303) 530-4900 or to contact our team online at any time.

The Best Way to Clean Wood Floors and Carpet? Call Steve's!

Whether it’s carpet cleaning, rug cleaning or hardwood floor cleaning, the pros at Steve’s Carpet Care are here to help. We have over 40 years of experience making sure floors look their best, and have hundreds of satisfied customers that can testify to the high standards of our work.

If you’d like more information about hardwood floor and carpet maintenance, or you’d like to schedule wood floor cleaning in Denver and surrounding cities, call (303) 530-4900 or contact our team online at any time.

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