How to Deal With the Top 10 Common Messes on Hardwood Floors

much you try to avoid it, some of those messes end up on your hardwood floors. Learn how to extend the life of your wood flooring and keep this area of your home clean.

Liquid Spills

Always wipe up liquid spills immediately using a dry or slightly damp cloth. Avoid puddles and remove any wet rugs, mats or other fabrics from the floor. If spills have left your flooring discolored use a floor cleaner specially formulated for wood floors to restore stained planks. Wipe away any excess cleaner.

Dry Spills

Sweep up or vacuum dry goods spilled onto the floor and dispose of. Choose a soft-headed broom or use a vacuum with felt-tipped wands or attachments. Quality hardwood flooring products come with a durable finish that protects your floor from the effects of most dry spills.

Everyday Dust and Debris

Regular dusting or clearing up helps to maintain the beauty of hardwood. Leaving everyday dust and debris on the floor surface could result in scratches or gouges, especially in high traffic areas.

Road Salt

Invest in a good quality mat for all entryways in order to capture road salt and other harmful substances that travel into your home on boots and shoes. Make sure the mat is made from breathable materials and avoid using any rugs with rubber or plastic backings as these materials can discolor planks.

Animal Messes

As with any liquid spills, clean up animal messes immediately to limit the damage. Use a clean, soft cloth and your preferred hardwood flooring cleaner. Some people prefer to apply mineral spirits to the area first, followed by a cleaner. Experiment with this combination to discover whether or not it helps with appearance and odor.

Grease Marks

Treat grease marks in the same way as liquid spills, but be sure to wipe the grease away completely. Once you have cleaned the area with your preferred brand of hardwood flooring cleaner, wipe the planks dry with a clean cloth.

Crayons and Ink

Mineral spirits can be used to gently and thoroughly remove spots left by crayons or ink. Use a clean cloth and rub carefully. Apply wood flooring cleaner afterward if necessary and dry the area thoroughly.

Shoe or Heel Marks

Some types of shoe marks can be easily rubbed away with a clean cloth. If you’ve tried this without success, try a small number of mineral spirits on a clean, dry cloth. Buff the area with wood flooring cleaner to restore planks to their original shine.

Minor Scratches

Ask your flooring retailer about touch up products, often offered by specific manufacturers. Use these products to treat small areas or hire an expert to refinish or recondition the floor for larger, widespread scratching. Remember to use protector pads on heavy furniture and keep pet claws trimmed to prevent further scratching.

Major Gouges

Deep or major scratches and gouges often require repairs. Talk to your flooring installer about replacing individual damaged planks or budget to refurbish the entire floor for a uniform finish. Avoid rolling heavy items (such as appliances and furniture) across your hardwood floors to prevent this type of markings.