Even in the Charlotte area where snowfall is scarce, it can be a bit tricky to keep your floors clean during cold-weather months.
Between tracking in wet or brittle leaves in the fall, enjoying the extra foot traffic that comes with company during the holidays, and trudging through the sometimes slushy weeks of winter, it’s not uncommon to find your family is bringing in a whole lot more crud than usual.
Here are our eight favorite tips for protecting your floors this winter:
KEEP ENTRIES CLEAN
Keeping your floors clean inside starts with keeping your entries clean outside.
Make it part of your regular routine to sweep away dead leaves, dirt and other wintry debris from any area where you or guests regularly enter and exit your home so there’s less to track in. Don’t forget the garage and side doors.
Even if the areas around your doors are clean, shoes and paws can still trap and carry dirt, mud and other seasonal gunk from elsewhere.
Place a stiff doormat at each entry so you and your guests can give your shoes a quick wipe before entering. For high-traffic areas, consider a second mat inside the threshold, too.
TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
Your shoes keep your feet warm and clean in all sorts of public places – which means that, in addition to the winter grime you can see, your soles are likely harboring a whole host of germs and other nasties invisible to your eye.
Keep a shoe tray or bench by the door and ditch your kicks the second you come home. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to do the same (bonus points if you tip them off to bring their cozy socks or slippers).
WIPE PETS’ PAWS
Our dogs can’t take off or wipe their paws, so it’s on us to keep their feet clean for both their health and safety, and our floors.
Keep a rag by the door on wet days and give all four paws a quick towel-off (don’t forget between their toes!) before you turn your pooch loose inside after your evening walk. You can also keep a bottle of all-natural pet wipes handy for quick and gentle paw patrol.
SWEEP OR VACUUM OFTEN
We know the last thing you want to do is spend more time than you have to cleaning, but a quick sweep or vacuum twice a week can go a long way to prevent what’s tracked in from getting ground into your floors or carpets. (Hello, Roomba.)
PLACE DECORATIONS CAREFULLY
Have fall, Hanukkah or Christmas decorations that sit on the floor? Consider using felt pads or a thin piece of cardboard as a barrier to prevent surprise scratches, dents or stains on the floor when you pick up your decorations at the end of the season.
CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
We love the look and smell of a live Christmas tree, but the mess it makes while it’s with us can be a headache.
Place a waterproof barrier between your tree stand and floor (a garbage bag will do the trick). Use a tree skirt for added protection, be careful not to overwater, and vacuum fallen pine needles regularly to avoid sticky sap getting stuck to your hard floors or carpet.
FOLLOW CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS
No matter the time of year, always check your manufacturer’s instructions for proper floor cleaning and care. Doing so will keep your floors looking great for years to come and preserve the terms of your warranty.
GET MORE FLOOR CARE TIPS
Visit our blog for more of our favorite tips for how to clean and care for your hardwood floors, laminated wood flooring, luxury vinyl plank, tile and carpet.