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How To Clean a Wooden Floor

Learning how to clean a wooden floor keep it looking great at all times. It also removes scuff marks, scratches & protects the floor from future damage.

A real wood floor can be stunning. They add warmth and atmosphere to a room, and they can be beautiful features of a home or commercial space. That said, wooden floors do need proper cleaning and maintenance to upkeep their appearance.

Caring for your wooden floors ensures they always look great. It also removes scuffs and scratches, protects them, and improves their lifespan. Solid wood flooring can last upwards of 100 years without needing replacing. Generations can enjoy them if you take care of them. Although the natural colours and patterns will change over time, it should result from natural wear and ageing, not damage. Continue reading for our tips of on how to clean and maintain a wooden floor in a safe way.

How To Clean A Wooden Floor

Quick Tips

There are some general day-to-day tips that will help you maintain your floors. If you can commit, you can make the job much easier.

  • Install doormats. Quality doormats at all entrances can catch dirt and grime before it's tread onto the floors.
  • Install felt pads. Felt pads on the bases and legs of your furniture can help to prevent scratches. They can also lift some objects up off the floor a little, protecting it better.
  • Clear spills. Don't ever leave any liquid to stand on the floor surface. Spilt fluids can stain wooden floors, dry and become sticky, or absorb into the timber. Clean spillages as soon as possible, using towels, mops, or wet and dry vacuum cleaners.
  • Regular brushing. Sweeping up more often and remove grit, stones, and other objects from collecting on the floor. Hard, abrasive item can chip, scuff, and scratch wooden surfaces. They can dull the finish, and imperfections can collect more dirty and expand over time.
  • Regular vacuuming. Using a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris, grit, dirt, and dust is a good idea. Small pieces of grit, like salt and sand, can act like sandpaper against a wooden surface. We recommend using a cleaner with a soft brush head to prevent damaging the floor as you work.
  • Regular mopping. Like sweeping and vacuuming, mopping can lift residual dirt. Using a damp mop is great for lifting little splashes from food and drink. We recommend using a small amount of water and two buckets. One bucket for draining the mop and collecting the dirty water, and the second bucket of fresh water to replenish the mop.
  • Avoid steam cleaners. Steam will break down surface finishes. It also makes it easier for timber to absorb moisture.
  • Avoid household cleaners. Non-specialised detergents can be far too abrasive. Only use chemicals designed for cleaning real wood floors.

Lacquered Floors

The cleaning and care of lacquered floors are quite simple. You can keep them looking great with regular sweeping and mopping.

That said, lacquered finishes are more difficult to repair and replenish. You'll need to be careful not to push tough grime around. You'll also need to use appropriate cleaning products. Harsh soap can break down lacquer over time.

Oiled Floors

Cleaning and caring for oiled floors is also easy. You can do regular dry cleaning and damp cleaning. 

Oiled floors are also easy to replenish, so you can maintain them when you need to. It's best to match the cleaning product you use to the type of finish your floor has. For example, use hard wax oiler soap on a hard wax oil finish.

Using Floor Scrubber Polishers

Floor scrubber polishers are great. You can use them to scrub dirt off your floor, and you can do it in minutes.

These rotary floor cleaning machines are also versatile. You can use them to strip the floor back and remove old polish, scuff marks, and scratches. You can then reapply your chosen finish, and use the machine to buff it up. This leaves your wooden floor gleaming, with a beautiful shiny finish.

Floor scrubber polishers are ideal for domestic floors. They are also suitable for small commercial applications. You can use them in hotels, schools, offices, shops and leisure centres.

But, they might not cut it for larger commercial and industrial wooden floor cleaning. You might need to use a floor scrubber dryer for  halls, larger offices, shops, warehouses, schools, leisure, and care facilities.

Refinishing & Retreating Your wooden Floor

Real wood floors at home shouldn't need retreating often. But, you can do it if it's ever needed.

Often, you can give the floor an intensive clean and apply the chosen finish.

If you want to strip the floor back to its bare bones and release its gorgeous natural wood grain pattern, you can. You will need a floor sander and a floor edging sander to strip the top surface. Once you apply your finish, your floor will be vibrant and interesting. That said, with proper care and maintenance, that shouldn't be necessary.