How To Clean Hardwood Floors

Posted by Adam Zielinski
on October 31, 2022

Hardwood floors add a touch of elegance to your home but also a bit of warmth and value. Dirt, stains, residue, or scrapes on hardwood floors are hard to remove, and when they’re not correctly maintained, they will wear. 

Adequately cleaned floors are not tricky to have. Any dull, dirty hardwood floors can reclaim their lustre with a good cleaning routine and the right tools. 

If you’re wondering how to clean hardwood floors, the answer is to clean them frequently and attentively. Here’s what you must learn about cleaning wood floors to keep your flooring in excellent condition.

Regular Cleaning of Hardwood Floors

Focus on cleaning high-traffic areas – the more foot traffic, the faster dirt, dust, and pet hair accumulate on the floors. Sweeping or vacuuming every day is the ideal practice to eliminate unwanted specks of dirt.

Dust Hardwood Floors

Clean wood floors with a dust mop to catch grime, dust, and pet fur that might damage the surface. A microfiber mop head is perfect for getting and capturing loose dirt. Dry mopping lowers the chances of that same grime and dust sanding into the floor.

Alternatively, use a standard, soft-bristled dust broom to sweep up. A regular sweep of entrances, where small stones, soil, and other outside debris gets tracked in, will prolong the lifespan of your hardwood flooring.

Vacuum Floors

For tricky crevices or quick regular maintenance, resort to a vacuum cleaner that can extract the debris and dirt at once. Vacuum with a floor brush attachment and not a beater bar, as it has stiff nylon bristles, putting scratches or buff marks in your floor’s finish.

Wipe Up Spills Immediately

Wipe up spills on a wood floor as soon as they happen. Excessive moisture can stain floors, and sticky residue attracts more dirt and lint in seconds. And the longer you leave them, the more challenging it is to scrub the stains, and it may even damage the wood.

After wiping the spill with a paper towel or damp cloth, rinse the floor with a clean mop lightly moistened with water. Wipe in the direction of the wood grain to avoid scratching. Make sure they are completely dry.

How To Deep-Clean Hardwood Floors

Deep cleaning is usually performed every few months, and this practice rids of dirt and grime that routine cleaning may miss.

Damp Mopping

Clean the floor with a damp mop with a cleaning product more than once a year. Use a flat-head mop and microfiber pad or a microfiber string mop. Wring out the excess liquid because standing water can cause buckling and warping. You can even use a cloth mop or spray bottle rather than a cotton mop to limit the moisture on your floors.

Mop wood floors in the direction of the boards and allow the wood to dry completely before walking to prevent spotting. If the weather is humid, a ceiling fan or air-conditioner can expedite the drying process.

Removing Stains

Look around for stains or buildup between the floorboards.

  • To remove dark spots and pet urine stains, mix baking soda and white vinegar in proportional amounts. Apply the paste and let it soak into the wood for approximately an hour.
    When faced with tough, saturated pet stains, dampen a clean cloth in hydrogen peroxide 3%, press the cloth onto the stain and leave this for several hours.
  • To remove oil-based stains, apply dish detergent on a soft cloth and rub it on the spot.
  • To remove tough stains from ink, paint, crayons, or lipstick, gently scrub the area with rubbing alcohol and a soft-bristle brush. It is advised not to use steel wool or more abrasive brushes as they will surely scrape the floor.

Then use a damp microfiber cloth to rinse. Dry thoroughly with a clean, dry mop. Apply a solvent-based hardwood floor wax to the site and buff it to leave the floor finishes shiny.

Cleaning With Quality Hardwood Floor Cleaners

Using water-based cleaning solutions on hardwood floors with a surface finish is safe. For floors fortified by a penetrating finish, work only with pH-neutral cleaners.

If you’d like to avoid harsh chemicals and make a natural cleaner, you can make a homemade wood floor cleaner with vinegar.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Cleaning wood floors with white vinegar and water is a huge controversy. Vinegar is an acid, so too much can break down the finish, causing permanent damage.

Only add 1/4 cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Stir to have an eco-friendly cleaner.

To leave a nice smell while cleaning, add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the cleaning solution. The aroma from the vinegar will disappear as it deodorizes.

Avoid Steam Mop

While it may be tempting to steam clean your hardwood floors, avoid using it on engineered hardwood floors, unsealed hardwoods, and laminate floors. Steam mops produce too much moisture and may warp the wood.


Cleaning dirty hardwood floors require more effort than typical, though it’s doable. With the proper cleaning practices, routine maintenance, and a deep-cleaning schedule, you can maintain the cleanliness and shine of your wood floor.

When you have a hardwood floor, the benefits are always apparent, and local professionals are always available to help you check your structure, improve defects, or repair damages. Call us today, and orient yourself with wood floors for your home or establishment.

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Adam the owner of Supreme Flooring

Adam entered the hardwood flooring business in 1994 in Poland. He worked in a small family business supplying wood for the flooring manufacturers. In 1996 he became a salesman of innovative laminate flooring products working for Classen - a Germany based company. In 2002 he decided to enter the Canadian flooring business. Ever since his move to Canada, he has been working in Mississauga in the hardwood floor installation field.

Today, thanks to his extensive experience in hardwood, laminates and custom stairs makeovers his company offers its clients supreme quality of services.



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