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Flooring: How to Clean Hardwood Floors

The flooring in our homes is exposed to all of the germs we track in with us. Good thing hardwood floors are easy to clean with the tips in this guide!



It’s important to make sure that hardwood floors are looked after properly to keep them looking new and stylish for years to come. Hardwood flooring looks great and lasts a lifetime – but only when you take proper care of it. Our handy guide teaches you how to clean hardwood floors and keep them looking newer for longer.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Wooden Floors

  • Do’s:

    • Do use microfibre cloths and mops when cleaning spills and stains – microfibre cloth is the best way to clean hardwood floors thanks to its ability to trap dirt and moisture without damaging or scratching the floor.

    • Do utilise rugs in areas with a lot of traffic.

    • Do vacuum the hardwood flooring to get rid of dust and dirt – vacuuming your hardwood also means that the debris stuck between the panels is pulled out.

    • Do put up curtains or nets in rooms with hardwood flooring to prevent sunlight from discolouring the wood.

  • Don’t’s:

    • Don’t use scrubbing brushes or anything with hard bristles when cleaning wood floors, as these can scratch the surface of the wood.

    • Don’t sweep the wood with a broom – use a vacuum instead.

    • Don’t drag furniture around – always lift it up off the ground (and make sure you get someone to help you) or place felt material underneath to prevent scratching,

    • Don’t mop hardwood flooring – the water can seep into the wood, expanding and ruining it.

Dealing with Spills and Stains

In all homes, especially those with children or animals, accidents can happen. So don’t panic when a full plate of spaghetti or an entire can of soda makes its way to your beautiful hardwood flooring. We’ve put together a list of how to clean wood floors to help you avoid long-lasting stains.

  1. Deal with the spill immediately – the longer you wait, the more chance the spill has to become a stain, so get to work right away.

  2. Remove all excess – this means picking up and throwing away food and using soft paper towels or a microfibre cloth to absorb liquids.

  3. Once you’ve gotten rid of the excess, you can see what you’re dealing with. If you’re lucky, the spill is gone. If not, you might have to tackle a stain.

If your flooring is stained, there are a number of methods you can try to remove it. When you’re cleaning wood floors, make sure you test the product you have chosen to use on a patch of unseen flooring (for example underneath a couch) to make sure it won’t damage or discolour the wood.

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  1. Water – this is the simplest method. Take a soft rag or cloth and dampen it with water. Start to rub at the stain until it disappears.

  2. White vinegar – vinegar is particularly good at shifting wine stains – again, dampen the cloth with the vinegar and get to rubbing at the stain.

  3. Hydrogen peroxide – This method bleaches the wood, which is great for removing dark stains caused by water and other liquids. Soak a rag in hydrogen peroxide then place it over the stain, allowing the peroxide to soak into the wood. After a few minutes, remove the rag and wipe away the excess, taking the stain with it. Remember – hydrogen peroxide can damage sealed floors. It will also lighten wood, so use it sparingly, in a diluted solution – or if in doubt, ask a professional’s opinion. Remember: Use hydrogen peroxide safely – wear gloves and keep away from children.

So there you have it – just a few ways you can keep your hardwood floors looking clean, pristine, and in great shape for years to come.

Originally published