- Dust and Vacuum Regularly: Cherry wood gathers dust quickly. Use a broom, dustpan, or dust mop, and a gentle vacuum without a beater bar every 2-4 days to prevent damage.
- Use Homemade Cleaning Solution: Make a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid, or use white vinegar mixed with water. Apply it sparingly with a damp mop and dry afterward.
- Make Use of Commercial Cleaners: Approved hardwood floor cleaners can be used; just spray and promptly wipe away any liquid.
Cherry hardwood flooring is renowned for its rich color, fine grain, and timeless appeal. As one of the most sought-after types of hardwood flooring, it’s imperative to know how to clean and maintain it properly to ensure its longevity and enhance its natural beauty.
In this article, we delve into the best practices for cleaning cherry hardwood flooring and provide insights from various flooring experts and manufacturers.
Understanding Cherry Hardwood
Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s essential to understand the unique properties of cherry hardwood. Native to North America, cherry wood is a closed-grain hardwood, making it less porous compared to other wood types.
This characteristic gives cherry flooring its smooth finish but also means that dirt, grime, and liquids can sit on its surface and potentially cause damage if not promptly addressed.
Routine Cleaning: The Basics
- Sweep or Dust Regularly: Begin by sweeping or dusting the floor every day. Use a microfiber mop or cloth, which is gentle on the wood and effectively traps dust and dirt. Regular dusting prevents particles from scratching the surface (National Wood Flooring Association [NWFA], 2020).
- Mop with Care: For a deeper clean, use a damp mop – not wet. Ensure the mop is wrung out well before using it. Excessive water can damage cherry hardwood by causing it to warp or swell (NWFA, 2020).
- Promptly Clean Spills: Any spill should be immediately wiped up using a soft, dry cloth to prevent staining or water damage (Wood Floor Covering Association [WFCA], 2018).
Deep Cleaning: Methods and Products
- pH Neutral Cleaners: For periodic deep cleaning, consider pH-neutral, water-based cleaners specifically formulated for hardwood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can strip the natural oils from the wood and harm the finish.
- Avoid Oil-based Cleaners: Using oil-based cleaners or wax can leave a residue, making the floor slippery and diminishing its natural luster.
- Natural Solutions: A mixture of equal parts water and vinegar can act as a natural cleaner, but it’s crucial to use it sparingly. Overuse of vinegar can dull the floor over time due to its acidic nature.
Protecting Your Cherry Hardwood Flooring
- Rugs and Mats: Place rugs or mats at entrances and high-traffic areas to trap dirt and moisture. Ensure they are made of breathable material to avoid moisture buildup underneath.
- Furniture Pads: Use protective pads under furniture legs to prevent scratching and dents.
- UV Protection: Direct sunlight can cause cherry hardwood to fade or change color. Use curtains or UV-protective window films to shield your floor from excessive sun exposure.
- Humidity Control: Maintain indoor humidity levels between 35% to 55% to prevent the wood from expanding or contracting excessively.
Refinishing and Restoration
Despite the best care, cherry hardwood floors might need refinishing after a decade or more, depending on the wear. Before refinishing, consult with a professional to assess the floor’s condition and decide on the best course of action.
Cherry hardwood flooring, with its deep, rich hues and timeless charm, is an investment that deserves meticulous care. By following these guidelines, sourced from industry experts and associations, homeowners can ensure that their cherry hardwood floors remain pristine and beautiful for generations to come.