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The presents have been opened, the turkey has been devoured, your supply of egg nog is depleted, and the last lingering relatives have just departed. The holidays have been wonderful, but now you’re facing the dreaded post-holiday cleanup. It’s a lot of work, of course, but even more concerning is the possibility of finding “hidden messes” left by children, pets or even adults who maybe had too much to drink. Now is the time to take extra care in cleaning your hardwood floors in order to reduce the risk of damage from holiday guests. The following checklist should help.

Conduct a Thorough Inspection

Your first line of defense is to look over the entire floor systematically and carefully. All of it. Look in corners, under tables and furniture, anywhere there might be an unreported spill or mess. If you want to be extra-meticulous, touch the floors with your hands to check for sticky spots. Make a note of any trouble areas.

Spot-Clean any Messes You Find

If you discover any particularly messy areas, you’ll want to address these first. For “sticky messes” like dried alcohol spills, melted candy, etc., we recommend a wood-safe cleaner like Bona products. You can also use a weak mixture of ¼ cup vinegar to one gallon of water. Apply the solution using a spray bottle on the trouble spot, then wipe it carefully using a soft cloth (microfiber is best). Work the area gently until the spill is removed, then make sure the area is completely dry before moving on.

Do a General Cleaning

Once you’re confident you’ve removed any and all hidden messes, it’s time for a good all-around cleaning of the hardwood floors. Begin with removing dust and dirt particles using a hand vacuum (no beaters) or a Swiffer-style dry mop. If you wish, follow it up with an approved wood-floor cleaner like Bona, applied with a spray bottle and mopped dry using a microfiber cloth or soft mop. IMPORTANT: Avoid the temptation to use water or steam on your wood floors, no matter how dirty they are. Water can cause more damage to hardwood than your Christmas party did.

Remove Holiday Decorations with Care

Remember to exercise caution around hardwood floors when taking down your holiday decorations—especially when removing live Christmas trees with loose pine needles. (See our previous post for more on this topic.) Make sure to vacuum up any stray needles, glitter and grit left behind so these don’t get ground into the floors and cause scratches.

Repairing Damaged Areas

Despite your best attempts to be careful, you might find some areas of damage during your holiday cleanup.  You might find fresh scratch marks from someone’s shoes, or if a liquid spill that didn’t get cleaned in time, you might find an area of warping. If this does happen, you can often have these areas repaired and/or refinished without having to replace the entire floor. At Renaissance, our team of experts can advise you on how to restore your post-holiday floors to pre-holiday condition. For a free estimate in Tulsa, Sand Springs, Glenpool, Bixby or other parts of Green Country, give us a call at 918-298-4477.