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Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors – Easy Guide

An Elegant Appeal 

Hardwood floors are known for their modern and diverse look that can either expand your interiors or give them an aesthetic boost that your family or guests will marvel at. Durable in nature, hardwood flooring is not only an update to your home but practical. Many homeowners that switch from carpet flooring to hardwood relish the benefits that come from this specific material.

For example, hardwood flooring is known to be easier to maintain and clean rather than carpet flooring. This is due to the high-end materials that hardwood flooring is derived from. However, if you’re a new homeowner or recently changed your flooring, it can be difficult or rather confusing to know how to adapt to hardwood flooring when it comes to cleaning it.

Those who have had carpet flooring may end up using the same strategies or tools to clean the hardwood floors, not knowing that this type of flooring requires less maintenance overall. If you’re new to owning property and don’t have experience in the cleaning department, there is all the more reason to tune into our easy guide for cleaning hardwood floors.

 If you maintain your hardwood floor, it can last for several decades or even generations. So, if you plan to pass down your home to your grandchildren, you can breathe a sigh of relief that your flooring will remain intact so they don’t need to spend several thousands of dollars on re-flooring the home.

Learning how to properly clean your floors can also save you a pretty penny on home cleaning service or repairs down the line for those who wish to be frugal and preserve money. When thinking how to clean hardwood floors you need to start at the inception, meaning what tools you will need to clean and what chemical solutions are necessary to use on your floors. Here is an easy guide to help you work through the cleaning process:

Tools and Cleaners

What tools and chemical cleaners do you need to clean hardwood floors?

Before beginning the cleaning process, you’ll need to gather supplies. Due to the little maintenance that hardwood flooring requires, you won’t need to have an artillery of products on hand to get the job done. Even having some of these chemical solutions or tools can aid you in making sure your hardwood flooring is cleaned and maintained.

chemical cleaners

Some homeowners will go out and just spend a good amount of money on any hardwood flooring cleaner without batting an eyelash. But did you know that you could save that money for more essential supplies or products? Some of these products you can find in your household without needing to go to the grocery store. Here are some of the supplies you will need:

  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Microfiber dust mop
  • Wood floor polish
  • Baking soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Microfiber cloth

A small number of products will go a long way, these supplies can also last a long time as only a small amount is needed to clean weekly or biweekly. We suggest maintaining your wooden floors in a gentle manner so they don’t get damaged long-term.

Sweep, mop, and vacuum

Why are these activities needed to upkeep wooden floors?

When thinking about how to start cleaning your hardwood flooring, it may seem quite simple to just sweep, mop, and vacuum as most would expect some sort of obscure or complex cleaning plan. However, as we mentioned before, when dealing with wooden floors, a little goes a long way.

hardwood flooring cleaning equipment

While this may be true, we do recommend doing these cleaning activities in a way that will not damage the wooden floors. The following are step by step instructions to assure you are doing things correctly:

  • Use a soft-bristled broom – opt for a gentler sweeper so that you can get the job done while maintaining precaution. Make sure to get the corners and move along the grain of the flooring. 
  • Try vacuuming with a soft floor nozzle – using this method will avoid damaging the finish on wooden floors. As an alternative, you can invest in a machine for cleaning wood floors or a robot vacuum to do the job without any extra effort. 
  • Tackle sticky debris with a clean cloth – with a small bit of liquid or wood cleaner, you can rub the debris that can be stubborn to remove. Another alternative is to use a microfiber mop head, this can make it easier to clean those bits of pet hair or dust in the surrounding area. 
  • Use a flat head mop or damp mop – Instead of your regular cloth mop, use a flat head mop with a microfiber pad to thoroughly cleanse your wooden floors with a minimal liquid solution, we recommend using a spray bottle with a cleaning solution to spray as you go. Either a heavy mist or gentle squirt is sufficient for hardwood flooring as saturating the floor can end up seeping through the wood in turn damaging the wood. 
  • Do not rinse – Air drying, or using a dry microfiber cloth will do the trick. 

You must follow these tips when dealing with wooden floors, although this type of flooring is durable, there are ways you can scratch or damage the floor if you are not careful.

Miracle cleaning solutions

What is the best thing to use to clean wood floors?

There are a lot of cleaners on the market that advertise themselves as “one of the best cleaning solutions for wooden floors.” Chances are these wooden floor cleaners, although can be effective, come with an overwhelming price tag. Are there alternatives? Very much so.

White Vinegar as a Disinfectant Method

First, you must consider what we are tackling, if you are tackling your wooden floor for general cleaning, nothing is better than using vinegar. Cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar is a powerhouse formula, you will find that not only will you get rid of any dirt or persistent debris but it will relatively dissolve any odors that cling onto your floors.

Here is a step by step on how to make your cleaning solution and use it:

  • Mix – Combine about ½ cup white vinegar with a gallon of lukewarm water
  • Spray bottle – Pour the solution into an empty spray bottle
  • Distribute – While you’re mopping, spray the solution evenly in the areas needed. 
  • Limit – Make sure that you are not saturating the floor or leaving the floor too wet, we recommend about half a teaspoon per 2 square feet. This will lessen any excess moisture that could damage the wooden floors. 
  • Air dry – Either use a microfiber towel with the flat head mop or let the floor air dry. Do not rinse. 

We always suggest testing your solution first on a small area of your flooring, as there is a possibility it can dull certain hardwood flooring finishes. Make sure to test it in an inconspicuous area.

Water stains

How do you remove water stains from wood flooring?

Unfortunately, wooden floors are not exempt from getting stains or marks. One nuisance that can happen if your floors become too moist or excess liquid falls on them can be water stains. But fret not, water stains can also be removed from the wooden flooring.

Feature Linoleum Floors Cleaning

One possible way to remove watermarks is the following:

  • Non-gel toothpaste – use non-gel toothpaste as a spot treatment for the stain. 
  • Rub – Rub the toothpaste gently with a soft cloth or microfiber cloth until the stain is lifted.
  • Persistent stains – For the more stubborn or persistent stains, mix equal parts baking soda with toothpaste and rub gently once again. Baking soda is another powerhouse ingredient that can remove stains. 
  • Wipe – Use a clean microfiber damp cloth to wipe away the toothpaste and dry thoroughly. 

Accidents happen, though sometimes water stains can be completely avoidable so long as you quickly dry up any excess moisture or spills. This will also aid in avoiding any deeper damages.

Oil stains

How do you remove oil stains from wood flooring?

For oil stains, which can be a little more complex and difficult to remove, you’re going to use dish detergent. Use a soft cloth to rub in dish detergent into the oil spot to remove the stain. Rinse the dish detergent with clear water, make sure that you let your family members or housemates know about the area so there are no accidents, also make sure to store away your pets until it is dry.

Deep Clean After Removing Clutter

Make sure that you let this area air dry or use a clean cloth to dry up this solution. If you need to, smooth out the surface with fine sandpaper once it is dry. Use this method as many times as needed so the stain disappears completely.

Restore your Floor

How can you maintain your wooden floor’s shine?

After years and years of cleaning your floor or simply from age, your wooden floor will start to look dull or a bit lifeless. This is normal for some floors as years of using chemical solutions or liquid can either damage the finish or slowly make it disappear.

Wood polish for floors can be the ticket to shinier floors and a sleek look that will keep family or guests impressed. But wood polish isn’t just for looks, this product also helps aid in protecting your wooden floors from scratches as well as wear and tear.

Floor wax is another product that can help buff your wooden floors from time to time whenever they appear dull. This product is also used to deep clean your home after a certain time.

We recommend applying a fresh coat of finish every three to five years to freshen up your floor and keep your wooden floors looking lively.

Don’t have the money to spend on wood polish? You can make your own! The following is a homemade recipe you can use as a polish for your wooden floors:

  • Combine – 1 cup of olive oil with ¼ cup vinegar.
  • Pour – Pour this mixture onto a dry microfiber cloth or soft cloth.
  • Work it in – Rub it into the wooden floor gently, wiping along the grain.
  • Buff – Make sure to buff it out until you see your floor shining.

You can also invest in commercially prepared lemon oil which is available at any pharmacy or local grocery store.

Protect your Floors

How can you protect hardwood floors?

Between the cleaning and wood polish, you have a recipe for longevity. But did you know there are other ways to keep your floors looking up to date and damage-free? Here are some tips that will help you maintain a standard for your wooden floors and will provide a longer-lasting floor plan:

Shining Wooden Floor
  • Keep a doormat! You’d be surprised how much outside debris, moisture, and other pesky problems can come into your home unknowingly. Try using a doormat for every entrance of the home so guests and family can wipe their feet before going inside.
  • Use more rugs. Scratches can easily happen in areas where people tend to walk in, we advise covering up these areas with accommodating and stylish rugs to avoid any deep scratches.
  • If you tend to remodel your home every so often or move furniture around, we advise using furniture sliders, this can protect your floors and make it ten times easier to move them around.  
  • Spill some water? No problem! Clean it up quickly and you won’t have to worry about that at a later time. Wipe it up and then dry the area completely so it remains stain-free.

We know how hard it can be to take time out of your day to maintain your floors. This goes for any business owners or hardworking individuals that find themselves spending more time in the office than they do at home. However, keeping your wooden floors looking up to date and shining can be as easy as taking these simple precautions so you don’t have to spend time and time again cleaning.


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