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How to Clean Wood Floors

The Family Handyman logo The Family Handyman 9/28/2019 Amanda Keim-Morrison
a sign located on a wood surface © taviphoto/Shutterstock

Wood floors are durable and lend warmth to your home, but they take regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Here's what you need to know about how to clean your wood floors, from daily quick-cleans to more in-depth refreshes.

How Often Should You Clean Wood Floors?

Sweep or wipe your wood floors with a dust mop daily. Use a soft-bristled broom, or a soft cloth or microfiber dust mop like this Temples Pride microfiber mop, in order to avoid scratches.

Vacuum your wood floors weekly using a bare-floor setting, according to the National Wood Flooring Association. Make sure your brush roller is off, to lessen the likelihood of scratches. Home Depot recommends using a vacuum with rubber wheels instead of plastic, if possible. Use the brush attachment to get into corners or particularly grubby spots on baseboards.

How Do You Deep Clean Wood Floors?

About once a month, break out the wood floor cleaner. A couple of commercial spray-and-go solutions that get great reviews on Amazon: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray and Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner. The latter claims to work on all kinds of floors, including hardwood, marble and laminate.

Prefer the DIY route? Put a few drops of gentle dish soap in a spray bottle and spritz lightly in sections, wiping up immediately with a microfiber mop as you go.

Use a microfiber cloth on the baseboards, too, using your preferred wood cleaner and a microfiber cloth. (You'll need to get down on your hands and knees for a really deep clean.) Get into those corners and crevices with a small cleaning brush, like one in this OXO Good Grips Deep Clean Brush set, or a toothbrush—one reserved just for cleaning, naturally.

Pro Tip: Stash your preferred solution within easy reach for spot-cleaning between deep cleans, too.

When to Refinish Your Wood Floors

The National Wood Flooring Association recommends applying a new coat of finish every three to five years.

And for a truly fresh start, sand and refinish your wood floors. Of course, this is an extreme measure, typically done every few decades. If your floor's time has come, here's our weekend-warrior's guide to doing it right.

Protect Your Wood Floors

A few tips to help keep your wood floors clean and pristine:

Skip the vinegar. While plenty of sources recommended it to clean wood floors, know that it can damage some finishes. Better safe than sorry.

Watch the water. Too much of it can heavily damage wood. Clean up spills immediately, don't steam clean and avoid over-saturating when cleaning.

Scratch guards. Use mats in high-traffic areas, put pads on furniture and keep pets' nails trimmed to proactively protect your floor.

Related video: If you do this while you clean, you’re probably not alone [via Buzz60]

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