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8 Effective Tips on How to Clean Hardwood Floors

If there’s one chore I hate doing, it’s cleaning hardwood floors because of how difficult it is to do! All homeowners with hardwood floors will definitely relate because of how easy it is to wear down from all the dust and debris at home. With all the dirt that comes into your floors from the environment and outside, it can be such a hassle to clean until it looks amazing.

But of course, we have to make sure that our hardwood floors remain clean and shiny for the beautiful look. The question is: How to clean hardwood floors in the first place? Read on as I show you all the steps and tricks to follow to clean your hardwood floors easily.

How to clean hardwood floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Just like different types of floors and other aspects of the home, cleaning is absolutely crucial! It isn’t just about ensuring that your floors look good, but to also lessen accidents from spills, or allergies from accumulated dirt and dust. Plus, it ensures that your floors will last for years to come without damage or early wearing out, which costs you money!

So with all that said, you need to make sure your hardwood floors are clean and stay as clean as possible. To lessen the tedious work, here are my eight helpful tips to follow:

1. Vacuum and Sweep DAILY

Before you do begin using any “special” or unique ways on how to clean your hardwood floors, I recommend you follow the proper routine cleaning process.

With that said, make sure that your hardwood floors are swept AND vacuumed daily. This is important especially if it’s a high-traffic area, which will definitely maintain the floor’s looks.

When vacuuming, I recommend you use the best vacuum for hardwood floors and to use a floor-brush attachment, NOT a beater bar. Beater bars might scratch the surfaces and cause more harm than actual cleaning.

To quickly dust it, you can use disposable electrostatic cloths that pick up any dust, hair, and debris excellently.

You can mop it, though you won’t need to do it every day, maybe once a week or month. Use microfiber heads to trap grime and dust without scratching your floor’s surface. Also, consider sung a cleaning agent made to shine your floors while collecting dust.

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Vacuum and Sweep DAILY

2. Using An Apple Cider Vinegar Mixture

One of the best ways to clean hardwood floors is through vinegar, a versatile condiment used for cleaning, too! Not only is it natural and safe, but it’s also affordable and easily accessible. It won’t leave any film or require rinsing afterward, compared to other cleaning products.

I recommend that you create a water and vinegar mix, combining a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar and a gallon of warm water. If you want to use white vinegar instead, you can add half a cup of it rather than apple cider vinegar. It’s great not just for hardwood floors, but in most surfaces!

For those who don’t like the smell of vinegar (who does?), you can also add two or three drops of essential oil, which masks off the smell.

3. Cleaning Hardwood Floors WITHOUT Water

The most common way to clean hardwood floors is through plain water. It’s effective and a classic, though you just need to make sure that you don’t add too much water, as it ends up removing the finish.

Some homeowners don’t like using water though, as it can be quite hassling to dry up. Fortunately, you can mop up your floors without using water as well. There are hardwood floor cleaners which require NO water to rinse off at all, also without leaving any residue right after.

That way, you don’t make any puddles or pools which seep into the floors. Plus, it has you control the amount of cleaner you use while adding more of a fresh, earthy smell compared to using vinegar or plain water.

4. Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Clean

Unfortunately, it gets so difficult trying to keep hardwood floors clean, and it can even get dirty RIGHT after cleaning! Sometimes, things can spill, people with muddy shoes enter, or dirty pets which result in a huge mess to clean. AGAIN.

It’s such a hassle to keep cleaning and cleaning every few hours. That’s why the best thing to do is to PREVENT the dirt from coming in. Prevent any messes by keeping the house shoe-free, without dirty or muddy shoes entering your home and the floors.

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However, if you don’t like going shoe-free, you can also opt to invest in a doormat. Make sure everyone wipes their feet before they enter the house, which lessens dust collection and the like. As for those with pets, consider investing in paw-cleaning devices or paw wipes to clean his dirty paws after going out!

5. Cleaning Unsealed Hardwood Floors

There are some homes with unsealed hardwood floors for preference, though it can be quite a hassle to clean. Wood can easily absorb water, which results in shortening its lifespan AND wearing out the surface too quickly.

If you do have unsealed floors, you’ll need to do a bit more, but nothing TOO tedious. You just need to dust mop daily to avoid build-up of water absorption.

Also, if you want to deep clean your unsealed hardwood floors, then I recommend you use damp microfiber cloths. Just make sure that you dry the damp floors immediately using another dry microfiber cloth.

Besides this, also do regular routine cleanings such as vacuuming and sweeping up all dust and other debris your floor collects.

6. Cleaning With Teabags and Boiling Water

Besides using vinegar on hardwood floors, another natural way is through using teabags! This works thanks to the tannic acid found in tea, which makes the floors shine even more. It’s a perfect addition when cleaning your floors with just plain water.

To do so, just seep two teabags in boiling water for at least five minutes. Afterward, pour the tea in a bucket, using a cloth to wipe your floors with the mixture. Make sure that the cloth is only DAMP and not completely soaked, which can help the floor fry quicker.

Afterward, wash the floor with your usual cleaner and see how shiny the floor can get! Again, do NOT soak or wet the floor too much so you won’t go through the hassle of drying!

7. Covering Scratches On Your Hardwood Floors

Scratches on hardwood floors are, unfortunately, inevitable, especially when you have children and pets all around. So if you’re dealing with unattractive scratches on the surface, you can actually clean it out and have it disappear!

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What you need to do is to use a crayon (the color of your floors, of course), and rub it on the scratches, filling the gaps. Afterward, use a blow dryer and set it on high heat, heat the scratched area. While heating it, buff the area using a soft cloth.

I also recommend that you polish your floor monthly to fill in all the finishes and even out the surface. Furthermore, avoid scratching the floors by NOT using any alkaline, abrasive, or ammonia cleaners and products. These dull out and scratch your floor’s finish!

8. Removing Stains From Hardwood Floors 

Besides scratches, stains also happen to your hardwood floors a lot, especially after spills and accidents. Cleaning such stains depends on your hardwood floor’s finish, though.

If your floors have a hard finish like urethane, then you just need to wipe it with a soft, clean cloth and a floor stain cleaner. Do NOT use steel wool, sandpaper, or harsh cleaning products which can damage your floor’s finish.

If you have a soft-oiled finish, consider using these remedies:

  • Remove any white stains and heel or water marks using fine steel wool and floor wax
  • Remove pet stains or dark spots by rubbing steel wool on the stain and soaking bleach and vinegar for an hour before rinsing it out with damp cloth

For more information on cleaning your hardwood floors properly, check out this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

Cleaning hardwood floors don’t need to be as difficult as people claim it to be. With the right tricks and proper knowledge, you can have your floors look amazing without exhausting yourself! Just make sure that you do it regularly with the right cleaning products.

I hope my article on how to clean hardwood floors gave you an idea of where to start. So don’t wait any longer and begin following any of these tips now. Do you have any questions or want to share your own tips on cleaning hardwood floors? Then do comment below, I’d love to hear all your experiences!

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Lara Logan

Hi there! I’m Lara Logan, the ultimate family advice expert. Dedicated to making daily life easier, I cover everything from household tips to gardening advice. My website is your go-to for reliable info and a compassionate touch – with an extra dose of humor. Join me in creating a thriving family life!