You might have some beautiful hardwood floors in your home, and you want to clean them – but you might be hesitant to use a vacuum cleaner on them. If this sounds like you, you are not alone; you actually did the correct thing by not rushing to use a vacuum cleaner on your floor.
When it comes to hardwood floors, they are more like a double-edged sword; they look absolutely beautiful, but they are a pain to maintain. If you use the wrong type of vacuum cleaner on them, you are ruining them for life – but that does not mean that there is nothing you can use on them. Believe it or not, there are great cleaners that will work wonders on your floor better than a carpet, and there are also some that work well on both surfaces.
The first question to answer, therefore, is whether the vacuum you are using is damaging your floors, as well as knowing the best vacuum cleaner the next time you head out to search for one.
How do vacuums damage your hardwood floors?
Just because you have an upright vacuum cleaner, does not mean you can just use it on your hardwood floor. While it guarantees you very strong powers of suction, its design is primarily for your rugs and carpets, as it stirs all the debris and dirt that is present in your carpet fibers. You can also achieve this through a beater brush since it has bristles that are made from stiff nylon.
If you do not want to use a beater brush on a hardwood floor, then you would not want to do the same thing by using an upright vacuum cleaner. Thanks to the excessive, aggressive agitation, and the very rough bristles of the beater brush, which will scrape the floor, the same thing also happens when you use an upright cleaner.
Note: even if you can switch off the beater bar in the upright cleaner, you should still avoid using it on a hardwood floor. This is because of its wheels, which are quite heavy and will eventually leave scratches on your floor.
So, what kind of vacuum cleaner should I use?
Because we have clearly established that upright vacuums are out of the question, is there anything you can use?
The answer is yes, and you even have a few options you can use.
Canister vacuums – these are significantly lighter, which means no more damage risks for your floor. They do not have a rotating beater bar, but they will be somewhat awkward for everyday use. However, this is probably the thing you are searching for, since you do not want to keep using a dustpan and broom.
Light stick cleaner – this is the most ideal option for use on carpets and hardwood floors, probably unless you do not own carpets. They will not scrape your floor anyway because they lack any stiff bristles on their head (in fact, they only have an attachment for carpets, and another for bare floors). They also happen to be cordless, at least most of them, which also means it is easy for you to remove them for a very quick clean-up; for example, after an arts-and-crafts session, or a family get together.
How often should you vacuum?
The truth is that there is no set rule that dictates when you should vacuum your hardwood floor. If the floor is in a low-traffic area, once a week can do, and if it is a high-traffic area, you need to do it more often.
Basically, you need to keep hardwood floors as often as possible. If there are any spills, you need to clean them immediately with a microfiber, soft cloth – otherwise, it will damage the floor and leave it dull. In the same way, you need to make sure the mop is made from microfiber, instead of the usual mops that can scrape the floor.
Another thing to keep in mind is you should use the appropriate polishing agents when cleaning your floor instead of water, and do the process yourself as accurately as possible. In the case of buffing the floor, the general rule is doing it after every 3 to 5 years, which helps them look brand new for longer and extend their lifespan.
If you decide to use a broom (in the case of very small debris or dust), then make sure to use a broom that has soft bristles, or a microfiber mop, but keep in mind that vacuuming is the better and more efficient alternative.
When it comes to your hardwood floors, the commitment to daily vacuum use will make them cleaner than when you are sweeping, because the vacuum will suck all the dust up. Ensure to do it once a week or more, and wipe using a damp (not wet) mop to add some moisture and keep the floor looking shiny.