How to Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean During Winter

Love it or hate it, winter is here. Needless to say, salt, slush, and snow can be a nightmare for hardwood floors. While the moisture may be the most obvious culprit, it’s not your only concern. In fact, the chemicals found in the salt used to combat ice can actually destroy hardwood floors if left unchecked. Fortunately, with the right preparation, you can protect your floors and keep them free from winter damages. Here are four simply ways to keep hardwood floors clean during winter.

1. Use Walk-Off Mats Outside and Inside

Keep hardwood floors clean feature

To keep your wooden floors looking their best, place a walk-off mat inside and outside of your entry doors. Walk-off mats are your first line of defense against snow, slush, salt, and mud. Use high-quality mats for both outdoor and indoor use. And, avoid low-quality mats or those made of faulty materials to avoid mold and mildew.

If you use fabric or carpeted rugs or mats, pick the mat up if it is wet and place it elsewhere. A wet walk-off mat can damage hardwood floors just as easily as having no mat at all.

2. Take Your Shoes Off

Having walk-off mats in the entryways of the home can help to protect floors and keep them clean. However, these mats typically only absorb up to 90 percent of the dirt, ice, and snow on your shoes. So, get into the habit of removing your shoes while on your walk-off mat. Then, place your wet shoes elsewhere and most importantly, never leave them on your hardwood floors.

3. Protect the Finish of Your Floors from Calcium Chloride

To keep hardwood floors clean during winter, you’ll need to combat calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is the main ingredient in melting salts. While great for ice buildup, this chemical is hard on hardwood floors due to its high pH levels. High levels of pH can eat through the finish on hardwood floors and leave behind sticky smears on floors.

As part of your cleaning detail, you can combat high pH levels with a simple hack. Combine five ounces of plain vinegar with four gallons of water. This home-made chemical wash will neutralize the pH levels of calcium chloride and keep your floors in tip top shape.

4. Manage Your Heat and Humidity

Did you know that the temperature of your home can also damage your hardwood floors? It’s true. If you run your heat during the winter months, you could be drying out the hardwood in your home. In fact, excessive, dry heat can lead to cracked or shrunk floorboards that will ultimately need to be replaced. Therefore, to prevent this issue, run humidifiers in your home to keep moisture in the air while the heat is running.

Count on Elite for Your Home Projects

Were your hardwood floors damaged last winter? Well, don’t worry about making the same mistakes this chilly season. Now that you know how to keep hardwood floors clean during winter, you are better equipped to prevent wear and tear.

Of course, if things take a turn, Elite Hardwood Flooring can help you repair, replace, or upgrade the flooring in your home. We provide an array of services to help you with your home project at any stage. Contact us today to learn more about our installation, sanding, and refinishing hardwood floor services.