Simple ways for cleaning your hardwood floors


young woman cleaning her hardwood floor

To clean hardwood floor to keep them in pristine condition you need to do it correctly. Dirt can cause scratches and abrasions, while liquid spills left untouched have the potential to warp the wood. Here’s a primer to help you get started:

  • Do focus on preventative measures. Ask guests to take their shoes off in the winter. Place rugs at the exterior and interior of doors to prevent anyone from tracking in dirt. Runners work well for high traffic areas. Wipe up spills immediately
  • Do use a dry microfiber dusting pad or microfiber cloth to trap dirt and debris and dust the floor regularly. Once a week, use a vacuum cleaner with a floor brush attachment if necessary.
  • Do deep clean periodically with a mop fitted with a microfiber cleaning pad. Use a green floor cleaning product in a spray bottle, following the instructions on the package. The area you spray should be slightly damp, but not wet. Clean with the grain of the wood. If necessary, wipe over the cleaning product with a damp cloth when finished. Don’t leave any water and make sure the floor dries behind you as you go. In humid or damp weather, turn on a fan or air conditioner to speed the process along.
  • Do use a product specifically designed for your floor. Conduct a spot test before applying to the entire floor. You can even use plain water to clean.
  • Do find out what finish was used on your floor. If it’s a hard finish, such as urethane, wipe up stains with a soft cloth. Don’t use steel wool or harsh chemicals. However, if your floor has a soft, oiled finish, you may have to rub stubborn stains with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. Depending on the severity of the stain it is often necessary to stain, wax, and buff the spot so it matches the rest of the floor.
  • Do use water-based polishes a few times per year to keep floors protected and restore luster.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners or chemicals, such as ammonia.
  • Don’t use wood sprays meant for furniture. This causes build-up.
  • Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment on it. This will lead to scratches.
  • Don’t use oil soap, such as Murphy’s Oil Soap, on polyurethane surface floors (the most common type).
  • Don’t use soap-based products such as vinegar, steam cleaners, or wax on your floors.
  • Don’t clean with a wet string mop as this will cover the floor with an excessive amount of water.

Following these tips will help you keep your hardwood floor spotless and free of allergens. Preserve the life of your hardwood with the appropriate cleaners. When in doubt, ask a cleaning professional to determine the finish of your flooring.

Do you have any cleaning tips?