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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a big investment for most of us. They can easily boost the value of your home, not to mention they can easily enhance your interior design through a flawless look. But do we treat them right?

These are floors, so we walk over them, spill things on them, and we may even scratch them with improper footwear.

If you don’t want your investment to flush down the drain quickly due to damage, here is how to clean hardwood floors so you can keep them as new for longer.

You Will Need

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Clear Your Floors

Although it might be tempting only to clean the visible areas of your floor, dirt and grime can accumulate under furniture, causing the floors to lose their beauty in these places. If you want to maintain the entire floors intact, get the furniture out of the way.

Remove all small pieces that are easy to move, and ideally move the larger pieces also. Furniture pads could help you during this step while protecting your floor from scratches.

2. Vacuum the Surface

Once the floor is clear, pass on to step two and vacuum the surface to remove most of the dirt and debris on it. A cordless vacuum is perhaps the best tool for the operation, as it allows you to reach all areas of your home.

If you don’t have the time to vacuum yourself, a robotic vacuum may also help in removing all dry debris from your surfaces.

If there are pieces of furniture you couldn’t move, try to vacuum under those too.

3. Mop the Floors

This step could or couldn’t be necessary, depending on what type of hardwood floors you have. If the surface is treated with shellac or lacquer, avoid getting it damp. These coatings don’t work too well with water and could get stained.

If the surface is polyurethaned, it could be a great idea to damp clean it too.

In this case, fill a bucket with lukewarm water and pour some hardwood floor detergent in it. Use the quantity of detergent as instructed by the manufacturer to avoid damaging your surface. Soak the mop in the bucket, ring up thoroughly, and run the wet mop across the entire surface of the floor.

4. Buff with Dry Cloth

Once you’ve cleaned your surface, buff it with a dry cloth to remove all excess moisture and soap residues from your hardwood floor. Rub the floor with a microfiber cloth in a gentle circular motion.

This operation will bring shininess to the wood and a flawless aspect to your home.

5. Put Furniture Back

That’s it! You can now move the furniture back to its original place and enjoy your clean floors. Remember that a robotic vacuum for hardwood floors can help keep them spotless for longer and with minimum intervention from your side.

Tips For Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Clean

While cleaning hardwood floors is easy, there are a few tips that can make your chore even easier. Here’s what to consider.

  • 1
    Keep it dry. If it’s raining outside, leave your boots in the mudroom and avoid having wet pets walking all over the floor. Water can cloud the aspect of most hardwood floors, so if it does get wet, make sure you dry clean it immediately.
  • 2
    Pay attention to your furniture spray. Furniture waxes and antistatic sprays work wonders in keeping your furniture shiny but might have the opposite effect on your floors. Pay attention when cleaning those surfaces to prevent any spray or wax from landing on your floors.
  • 3
    Pay attention to using floor wax. You can only apply this product if your surface was waxed already. If your floor is covered in shellac, lacquer, or another type of finish, don’t apply wax to the surface.
  • 4
    Use a doormat. We already mentioned that wet boots and mud could ruin your hardwood floors. However, guests, kids, and pets may still walk in seamlessly regardless of the weather conditions. A long doormat can soak up some of that water, preventing it all from landing on your floors.
  • 5
    Use rugs. Besides the mat, rugs are your best friend when you have hardwood floors. Place them in high-traffic areas, such as the hallway, entryway, in the living and dining area, and maybe even in the bedroom.
  • 6
    Invest in furniture pads and place them under your sofa’s feet. Do the same with your armchairs and chairs, and with all other furniture, you may move around the house. All these items could potentially scratch your hardwood floors, leaving them with an unsightly aspect you will soon come to hate.

Household Cleaning Ideas on Hardwood Floors


Knowing how to clean hardwood floors is key to maintaining them in good conditions over time. But besides cleaning regularly, you should also take other precautions to avoid scratching, scuffing or damaging the surface.

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to clean your floors and what to do to maintain them as new for longer.


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