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Wood Floors (continued) beautiful wood floors particularly in climates where salt, sand, dirt, mud and moisture are easily tracked in from outside. An oversized doormat and towels tucked in a basket can be helpful in controlling grit and moisture coming in on the wide array of modern footwear. The top finish coat is the most important determinant of cleaning practices. For all floors sweeping and/or vacuuming should be done regularly. Most floors that have been refinished after 1970 have a urethane finish which is durable and water resistant. These floors can be damp mopped with a simple solution of PH-balanced gentle detergent or a mild natural cleaning product such as Murphy’s Oil. Mix one capful per warm bucketful and rinse the mop frequently. Always mop in the direction of the grain and do not oversaturate the floors. Never leave water standing on the floor, dry immediately with a dry mop or towels. Spraying the floor with the above solution is another method as is Martha Stewart’s recommended hand mopping if that is your thing. These methods of cleaning apply to engineered and laminate flooring as well. For waxed or shellacked floors wet mopping is not the thing to do. These floors are maintained by frequent vacuuming and sweeping. Periodic buffing and reapplication of the surface treatment may be necessary every year but as these layers build up over time this becomes less frequent and the patina or depth of reflection becomes beautiful and very protective. Never use a steam cleaner on any type of wood floor. Ann Henderson is the owner of Ann Henderson Interiors of Keene, N.H.

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atHome Summer 2019  

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