Hardwood floors are very beautiful, but it is important to make sure that you know how to look after them properly. This is because they can last for years or even decades if they are well maintained, but if they are cleaned with the wrong products, they will quickly look dull and scratched.

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Here are four tips to help you clean your hardwood floors.

Use neutral, water-based pH cleaners

Water-based cleaners are generally safe to use on hardwood floors, but if your floor is older or unfinished, you may want to use a natural, pH-based cleaner. This will be safe enough to use on the unvarnished wood, and you can also use natural, pH-based cleaners on varnished floors if you want. Just make sure that you don’t use acidic cleaning products, as they could damage the wood.

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Use floor wax and steel wool on dark spots

You can use floor wax and steel wool to remove dark spots and stains that were left by pets. Use No. 000 steel wool, as this won’t damage the floor, and if the stain is particularly stubborn, you can also put a small amount of low pH cleaner on the stain and let it soak for half an hour. Make sure that you buy a floor wax that is the same colour as the finish on your floor!

Use steel wool for heel marks

You can also use steel wool to buff out any heel marks on the floor. This is particularly useful at the entrance to the house, but make sure that you are gentle when you are buffing the floors. If you are too roug,h you could end up making the scratches look worse.

Remove surface stains with a soft cloth

Surface stains are much easier to remove than deep stains, so all you will need is a soft, dry cloth to wipe the stain away. If the stain isn’t coming out, try using a damp sponge with a little baking soda on it to buff the stain out. This will remove the stain without damaging the wood or the varnish – but make sure that you use room temperature water that isn’t too hot.