Even though hardwood floors are protected with layers of polyurethane or a protective finish, it is important to vacuum regularly. This prevents the dust from settling in between the grooves, making it more difficult to remove the dust when cleaning.
Before cleaning your hardwood floors, it is important to remove the dust from the floor by using a broom that has soft, fine bristles. Some people may not realize that a regular broom does not pick up the tiny particles of dust that this type of broom will, which results in dust sticking to the floor when you begin mopping. If you do not have a broom with soft and fine bristles, use the attachment that comes with your vacuum cleaner to dust the floor effectively.
Use a Homemade Solution
If clean water is not enough to sufficiently clean your hardwood floors, you need to use a stronger solution. Using a homemade solution rather than a store-bought one is just as effective and may be better for your health and that of your pets. Use a mixture of white vinegar and water; mix one cup of vinegar with every two gallons of warm water, and mop with a damp cloth. One secret that many may not know is you can mop your hardwood floors with strong-brewed tea. Take two quarts of water and brew anywhere between five to 20 teabags to make a strong brew. Use a damp cloth only. No rinsing is required afterward.
After you have mopped the floor, whether it is with plain water or a solution, it is important to dry the floor completely. If water is left on any part of a hardwood floor, this results in warping of the wood that will require repairs, which can be costly. This goes for anything that is spilled on the floor; dry any spilled liquids immediately to avoid having to refinish the entire floor.
Although you can use vinegar to clean the floors, you should not use vinegar to remove stains. If you have crayon, gum or oil stains on your hardwood floor, ice the stain and attempt to scrape up excess residue with a credit card. If you have scuff marks from shoes or perhaps furniture, use mineral spirits to remove these stains. If there is a burn on your floor, use rubbing alcohol or a small amount of turpentine.