How To Clean Wooden Floors The Easy Way

"More and more homes today are finished with wooden flooring rather than carpets. A sad fact is that many contractors don’t properly address the cleaning issue. Once your floor is laid, they might halfheartedly suggest that you use some kind of water-based cleanser. More often than not, though, their prime goal is to upsell you their own expensive cleaning agents. We’ll give you some handy hints today on enhancing the look of your wooden flooring while extending its lifespan into the bargain." - Anthony, Editor of

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

One of the most obvious ways to reduce the time and effort you need to spend cleaning is to stop dirt and debris from entering your home in the first place. It’s not always practical to remove your shoes every time you go indoors. If you can do this it will certainly help. If not, invest in some doormats and this will at least minimize the mess that gets inside. Pop some floor protectors under your furniture to prevent as many scratches as possible. Consider using rugs in any areas where your children play. This will lessen the chance of their toys damaging the fragile surfaces.

Preparing Your Floor For Cleaning

First thing’s first, forget about a regular broom for sweeping up. Far too many particles will fall away. These will simply get mixed with a wet mop and will leave streaks or, in the worst scenario, scratches and gouges. A static dust mop is the best option. This article outlines the different choices you have by examining the three main varieties of dust mop. Once you have thoroughly swept all surfaces, you’re ready to make them sparkle.

To Vacuum or Not To Vacuum?

One of the most frequent queries from people new to wooden floors is whether or not it’s advisable to vacuum them. As long as you choose a cleaner that boasts a special hardwood floor setting, you’ll be perfectly OK vacuuming. Make sure the brush roll is switched off to avoid any damage, though.

Using a Spray Mop

If you don’t like the idea of putting together your own cleaning solution, these spray mops are well worth investigating. This one from Bona is used in our house on a weekly basis to great effect. It will clean gently and effectively without leaving any telltale streaks.

The Old Classic: Water and Vinegar

Vinegar is a very powerful, acidic cleanser. Despite its cleaning ability, it’s also organic, antibacterial and will not leech out any toxins. If you want an inexpensive and efficient way to cut through the grime that builds up on wooden floors, follow these simple instructions:

• Make sure all the floors are free of dust before you get started.
• Get a large bucket and fill it with tepid water.
• Use a mop dipped into your solution to clean but make certain to completely wring it out.
• When cleaning, follow the way that the floorboards are laid to lessen the chance of unsightly streaking.
• Keep everyone away from the clean floor as it air dries and you will have a glimmering surface with very little effort.

Note - Too much water is bad news for wooden floors. It can cause the boards to swell and warp. Always go sparingly with water. It’s a necessary evil but in large quantities it can be a destructive force.

My Floor Is Clean...How Can I Remove Stubborn Marks?

If your wooden floor has a hard finish like urethane, simply use a clean, soft cloth and wipe away any surface stains that accumulate. Wire wool, sandpaper or harsh chemicals are to be avoided for obvious reasons. Stains on flooring with a soft oiled finish can be rather more stubborn and require a different approach.

• Heel Marks: Simply rub in some floor wax with a fine grade of wire wool.
• Stains and Dark Spots: First, rub over the stains as above. If the stain will not shift, allow some bleach or vinegar to soak in for an hour then rinse off using a slightly damp cloth.
• Oily Stains: Apply some kitchen detergent with a clean cloth and this should move some of the grease. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Very fine sandpaper can be used on this type of finish.


Cleaning wooden floors need not cause you headaches. If you follow these very basic guidelines, you will enjoy gleaming wooden floors for many years to come. Maintenance is actually far less taxing than if you were dealing with carpets so embrace. Mop up any spills as soon as you notice them, conduct a simple mopping routine once a week and you’ll soon find that caring for your wooden floors is a breeze.

Abut the Author

Hi! My name is Anthony. I'm the editor of I hope you find my site useful in your search for a hardwood floor vacuum cleaner. It will give you access to a wide range of impartial reviews on different types of vacuums. Enjoy!

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