By Dina Petrakis
People often ask about care for their wood flooring, and the answer varies depending on who you ask. Everyone agrees that the most important thing is sweeping or vacuuming often to reduce or eliminate the abrasion that occurs from dust, grit, and particles left on the floor.
Actually cleaning the floors gets trickier. The Hardwood Manufacturer’s Association recommends “a neutral ph wood cleaner and water”; flooring contractors recommend water only; many say that Murphy’s Oil Soap or pine based cleaners are not recommended because they will leave a film- but most housekeepers seem to want to use these, maybe because they smell great and make cleanup easier. If your housekeeper insists on it, (and let’s face it, letting them do this and any other job the way they want makes life a lot easier) make it clear that the bare minimum of product should be used- and completely wringing out the cloth or mop should be the goal. Finally, no one thinks wax is a good idea.
Please Note! If your floors have just been finished, use extra care the first two weeks, because the finish will still be curing and is less durable than after it has cured completely. You can walk on the finish the next day after the last coat, (as long as it’s not tacky) but wait 2‑3 days to put furniture back. If you push it, lighter scuffs can form, with no break in the surface but a visible spot nonetheless. No rugs for 2 weeks, and ALWAYS avoid rubber backed rugs.