Wood floors should last a lifetime with proper care, but many homeowners are confused when it comes to cleaning their floors.
- Which products should I use?
- What products should I avoid?
- How do I clean my floor without damaging it?
- When should my floor need to be cleaned?
There are many products you can find at big box and supermarket stores that promise a clean floor but can leave a hazy residue over time and prevent you from being able to refinish them someday.
Other products are too harsh to use on wood surfaces and can damage the finish.
Nobody wants to walk on dirty, sticky or hazy wood floors!
Keep reading to find out how to clean your wood floors the right way so you can keep your home clean and your wood floors protected.
What you should use to clean your wood floors
- Microfiber dusting pad
- Vacuum or broom
- Microfiber cleaning pad.
- Hardwood safe cleaning solution
What’s the difference between a microfiber dusting and cleaning pad?
A dusting pad is designed to be used dry and swept across the floor to collect loose dirt, hair, crumbs, and other debris. Getting this stuff off your floor will make mopping much more effective.
A microfiber cleaning pad should be used with a hardwood floor cleaning solution that is sprayed lightly across the floor and mopped with the cleaning pad.
Please note that this method can also be used on engineered wood floors, too. All of the cleaners we recommend are for use on solid and engineered hardwood.
How to clean your wood floors
- Remove dust and debris with the dry microfiber dusting pad, vacuum or broom.
- Clean tough spots with a damp rag by hand.
- Spray the cleaning solution across the area you are about to clean.
- Mop with the microfiber cleaning pad (rinse and clean or swap out to a clean pad if it’s a large area you are cleaning).
- Rinse the cleaning pad with warm soapy water or throw it in the washing machine.
These simple steps are easy to do and will keep your floor looking great.
When you should clean your wood floors
- Wipe up spills right away with a rag or paper towels.
- Dry mopping, sweeping or vacuuming can be done daily as needed.
- High traffic areas usually need to be swept every day.
- Low traffic areas can be less frequent.
- Your main goal is removing dirt and debris that could damage your floor, or be hard to clean-up later.
- Spray and mop once per week, or more as needed.
- Kitchens, hallways, entryways and living areas need the most attention.
- Stains and grime will get harder to clean the longer you wait.
- Always use a wood floor safe cleaner
Things to avoid when cleaning your wood floors
- Wet mops. They generally put too much water on your floors, which takes too long to evaporate. Water and wood don’t mix so avoid wet mopping with straight water.
- Steam mops. Steam mops will certainly get your floor clean, but the heat and high moisture will damage your floors over time. Most flooring manufacturers tell you that these will void the finish warranty on your floors!
- Supermarket oil soaps, waxes, or polishes. These wood floor oil soaps often say they are safe for wood and promise a shiny floor, but over time will leave a hazy residue. The buildup from these products can cause major problems if you ever want to refinish your wood floors. Avoid them for sure!
- Straight or diluted ammonia or alkaline products. Ammonia is too harsh for wood floors – even if it’s been diluted – and is likely to damage the finish or cause it to appear dull over time.
Products we recommend to clean your wood floors
Real Clean Floors (from Real Wood Floors)
If you’re looking for how to clean wood floors naturally, Real Clean Floors might be the very best on the market. It smells great, is naturally derived, and doesn’t leave any hazy residue. It cleans well without using any harsh chemicals. Order from RealCleanFloors.co or on Amazon.com
Bona Cleaning Products
We carry both of these products in stock at our 12 Midwest locations. Get a quote today.
Wood Floor Resource Guides
Download and share our guides to learn more about how to clean and maintain your wood floor.