Thursday, December 1, 2011

How to Effectively Clean Your Hardwood Floors for the Holidays - and For the Right Price!

When the holidays come around, everyone wants to have that perfectly decorated, clean and organized house to show off to their company, regardless of who they are expecting - and you never know around the holidays - anyone could come by! Unfortunately, for many people, that means tackling their hardwood floors, which may have lost their luster due to the summer traffic through the house.

Hardwood Floors vs. Carpeting - What do you Prefer?

I, personally, just moved into a house that is 90% carpeting, which I love. I love the feel of carpeting on my feet. Now, the house that we lived in before was 100% hardwood floors, which to be quite honest, I did not like. It seems like with hardwood floors, we had to clean them twice - sweep the first time around and then mop, and there may even be a third step of waxing, or putting some type of protective layer on. With carpeting, I just vacuum and get them steam cleaned occasionally.

I guess preference would go beyond the texture of the flooring to the flooring prices - or otherwise, affordability- and aesthetic appeal, too. But, if you're here to find out how to effectively clean your hardwood floors for the holidays, you have already chosen - or are stuck with - hardwood floors for now. So, here are some tips for cleaning those floors that are both economical and easy to do:

  • First of all, hardwood floors should be swept for regular maintenance, and the best tool that I've found on the market is the Mr. Clean microfiber mop. It can be used either wet or dry, and is perfect for quick clean up of spills, if they should tragically occur. You can find one of these microfiber mops at the Dollar General or Wal-Mart for less than $15.
  • A true enemy of your hardwood floors is water, so if spills do happen to tragically occur (as they often do around the holidays), get them up quickly with soft bath towels...or pull out another handy-dandy tool, the wet vac. It's best not to wash your floors on a daily basis to reduce the amount of time that water sits on your hardwood floor, and some hardwood floors cannot stand water on them at all. Simply dry mop daily and clean up any spills immediately.
  • To provide constant protection to your floors, consider covering high traffic areas with runners or area carpets. (Did I say that I love carpets?) You don't need to spend a whole lot of money on runners or area carpets, either. Dollar General and Wal-Mart carry aesthetically pleasing area carpets and runners - you may even find holiday ones! (And, don't forget the non-slip mats for underneath!) Also, be sure to vacuum any floor coverings often so that the floor underneath doesn't collect dirt and get scratched.
  • Take heed to whether your floors require regular waxing, buffing or an extra coat every once in a while. The people who installed it should be able to enlighten you as to which products are best for that sparkly, buffed-out finished coat for the holidays.
Hey, and if you're into handy-dandy tools and you've been thinking about switching to hardwood floors, because they bring a natural flair to a home, check out this flooring prices calculator to help you make the financial decision. As a former accountant and business manager, I love to play with calculators: gas price calculators, cost of living calculators, and tax return calculators, too! :)

I hope these tips help you clean up your beautiful floors for the holidays - and keep them going for a long time afterwards! Happy Holidays!

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