Clean Spills Immediately

Use a dry or slightly damp cloth to immediately wipe up anything you spill, avoiding wet or steam mops, which the NWFA says will cause more damage over time. Because wood swells and shrinks depending on moisture, both on it and in the air, it is important to keep humidity levels down to avoid cupping, splitting, and gapping of the wood. The best way to prevent these issues are to clean up spills as soon as they occur, to keep your home’s temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (also between 35 to 55 percent humidity), and ban wet shoes from the house.

Use Furniture Pads

Scratches are some of the toughest problems to solve in wood floors. While some scratches are inevitable, others are definitely preventable. One of the best ways to prevent them is to add furniture pads to the legs of your chairs, sofas, tables, etc.

Furniture pad being installed on a chair leg.

Sweep or Dust Daily
It may seem excessive, but it’s a solid recommendation. Even if you have a no-shoes rule in your home, dust forms everywhere, and then settle into the grain and between floorboards. If you have furry friends around the house who never stop shedding, consider it a hygiene issue, too.

Vacuum Weekly

As painful as this one also sounds, weekly vacuuming is not only key to keeping your home clean, but also making sure any crumbs and dirt you missed while sweeping don’t scratch your floors. Not into vacuuming on your own? Invest in a Roomba.

Use Floor Cleaner Monthly

There are a number of excellent, inexpensive safe products available, recommended by manufacturers and contractors, that doesn’t void your warranty, and that isn’t controversial.

Cleaning hardwood floors with oil soap or wax products simply isn’t necessary and, in our opinion, is not worth the risk. Stick to water-based cleaners, such as Bona. Use a terry cloth or microfiber mop to prevent streaking.