September 27, 2023
Wood Floor Cleaning Tips

Keep a long, 4- to 6-foot-long door mat at each entrance to catch dirt and rock debris before it reaches the wood floor. Rugs can also help protect the finish of your floors when you rearrange furniture often.

Use a cleaner formulated for your floor’s finish. White vinegar or other acidic cleaners can etch the surface of hardwood, and ammonia can discolor and deteriorate the finish.


If you have hardwood floors, sweeping and mopping is your first line of defense against dirt and grime. It is recommended that you sweep daily, especially in high traffic areas. Vacuuming in between mops is also beneficial. Sweeping can also trap dust particles and prevent them from becoming ground into the wood’s grain, causing surface damage.

Using Wood Floor Cleaning can help to trap these particles as well. Avoid using brooms with bristles or plastic strips that are too rough for your floor’s finish.

Wood swells and shrinks with moisture—both on the floor and in the air, so keep humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent to prevent cupping and cracking over time. Wipe up spills as they occur, and add furniture pads to the legs of chairs and sofas to prevent scratches.

At the door, place a 4- to 6-foot-long mat so that guests can wipe their shoes before entering your home. This will prevent much of the dirt, mud and other debris that can scratch and stain your hardwoods.


Regular mopping will help remove a thin layer of dirt, grit and grime that accumulates on wood floors over time. When mopping, be sure to use a cleaner that is safe for your type of floor. Mopping with a solution that is too strong could damage the surface of your wood floors or cause water stains.

A microfiber or sponge mop is recommended for the best results as it is hypoallergenic and nonabrasive. It is also lint-free and easy to clean, making it a smart choice for those with allergies or asthma.

Avoid products that contain bleach, which can discolor your wood floors permanently. It is also important to wipe up spills right away and promptly dry the area, as leaving standing water on wood can damage it over time. Finally, be sure to use a mop head that you can wring out well so you don’t apply too much water to your floors. If your wood floors have an oiled finish, this is especially important to prevent water damage.


While sweeping and mopping are essential tasks, vacuuming also helps keep your floors looking good. Vacuuming is far faster than sweeping, and it sucks up fine dust particles that can damage wood floors over time. When choosing a vacuum for hardwood floors, make sure it has a bare floor setting and is designed to be gentle on hardwoods.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular vacuum cleaner. Many models include a “hardwood” setting that is gentle on your flooring, and you can find vacuums with features specially designed to help protect wood floors.

To further extend the life of your hardwood floors, place a doormat outside each entrance to reduce the amount of dirt and grit that comes inside. Asking guests (and family members) to take off their shoes at the front door is another helpful way to keep your floors clean and prevent scratching. The right routines can greatly extend the lifespan of your floors and make them look good.


Dust can create small scratches on wood floors, so daily sweeping and weekly vacuuming is crucial to prevent them. In addition, a door mat near the entrance can help trap a lot of debris before it even gets to your wood floor.

Sweeping or vacuuming will also get rid of larger debris and dust particles like pet dander, which can lead to respiratory problems for family members. A microfiber mop or duster can be used to trap smaller particles, while a vacuum with a hard surface setting will remove the majority of debris.

Avoid using cleaning solutions, waxes or oils on wood floors as they can cause damage. Many of these products leave a sticky residue that attracts dirt, which can then cause the wood to become dull or scratchy over time. If you do have to use a wood floor cleaner, choose natural and biodegradable options like vinegar, Bioclean for lacquered floors or Dr. Bronner’s that is safe for wood floors if it’s diluted enough.