Cleaning Tricks of the Trade
One of our most frequently asked questions is about how to clean hardwood floors. There are specific hardwood floor cleaners and tools we recommend. We also suggest cleaning products you should absolutely avoid.
We also discuss the cautions of cleaning hardwood floors. But below, we’ll review the cleaning process itself, as suggested by hardwood flooring craftsmen and manufacturers.
How To Clean Hardwood Floors Step by Step
- Soft Cloth or Hardwood Floor Mop
- Hardwood Floor Cleaner, Water, or Vinegar Mixture
1.) To begin, get rid of the dust, dirt, crumbs and other abrasive particles that scratch your hardwood floor. We recommend a padded hardwood floor vacuum, but a soft-bristle broom will do the job as well.
A thorough removal of the debris on your floor, large and small, is important to prevent more wear and tear than is necessary.
2.) Next, spot clean with a soft cloth, dampened (not wet) with either water, a vinegar mixture, or a professional hardwood floor cleaner.
This step in cleaning wood floors isn’t necessary, but it doesn’t take long.
If you make it part of your normal routine, your hardwood floors will suffer less wear.
Plus, you won’t have to do “deep cleaning” on occasion because your floors are regularly cared for.
Take a quick tour of the floor and wipe up sticky, crusty, smudged, stained or spotted areas that may not come up so easily with a mop.
Use Hardwood Floor Cleaner
3.) Now, wash the entire floor using a professional hardwood floor cleaner.
It is best to avoid allowing pools or puddles of liquid, small or large, to collect on your floor. Water is hardwood flooring’s number one enemy.
We suggest using a spray bottle to mist either a mop head, soft cloth, or the floor itself. Mist or slightly dampen – do not soak.
You may use a mop bucket if that’s your preference, but again, only dampen your cleaning tool – don’t soak it – and wring it out thoroughly before it touches your floor.
Then mop side to side or wipe the floor on your hands and knees. Repeat this process in sections.
Spot Check for Standing Water
4.) Grab a soft, non-abrasive towel (old t-shirts turned inside-out work great) and spot check the floor for any standing water or excess moisture. Wipe up as needed.
It’s okay to air-dry a lightly damp floor. It’s not okay to leave water or liquid of any kind to dry for any length of time.
Wood and Water Don’t Mix
Always be cautious about water or other fluids (like cleaning product) left standing on the floor, including wet towels, wet area rugs, clothing, shoes, or anything else that puts moisture in contact with your floor.