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Cleaning Hardwood Floors 101

There is a lot of debate on the best way to care for hardwood floors. Follow our quick and easy steps below to transform your floors from dull and grimy to gleaming and clean.


Before you grab a bucket of water and a mop, it’s best to find out how your hardwood floor is sealed. Below is a list of different types of sealed hardwood floors.

Surface-sealed floors: Most new wood floors are sealed with urethane, polyurethane, or poly-acrylic. Surface-sealed floors are stain- and water-damage resistant and easiest to clean: just sweep, mop, and you’re done!

Penetrating seal-treated and oil-treated floors: A penetrating seal or oil finish will soak into the wood grain and harden. This type of floor must be pampered and protected with liquid or paste wax.

Lacquered, varnished, shellacked, or untreated floors: Although technically surface finishes, lacquers, varnishes and shellacs are not as resistant to moisture, spills, and wear as the other sealants mentioned. Treat floors with these finishes (or floors with no finish) with liquid or paste wax.

Not sure what kind of finish you have? Just rub your finger across the floor. If no smudge appears, the floor is surface sealed. If you do create a smudge, the floor has been treated with a penetrating seal, oil finish, shellac, varnish, or lacquer. Not sure if your floor is sealed? Add a drop of water to the floor. If it sits on the surface, it is a sealed floor. If it soaks right in, you will want to seal your floors to avoid damage.

DO’S AND DON’TS When Cleaning Hardwood

Don’t use oils, waxes, or furniture sprays. Oil leaves a residue, furniture spray creates a slippery surface and wax takes time to apply and makes re-coating difficult.

Don’t use straight ammonia, alkaline, acidic products, or abrasive cleaners. They’ll dull or scratch the finish.

Do use a floor-cleaning product recommended by the floor finisher. We recommend our Quick Shine® Hardwood Floor Cleaner as it is pH neutral and will not leave behind a sticky residue like many other cleaners which contain a lot of soap surfactant.


In high-traffic areas, like the dining room and kitchen, you should sweep daily if possible and mop your floors once or twice a week.


Never flood-coat wood floors! Use a damp mop rather than a soaking wet one. With our Quick Shine® Hardwood Floor Cleaner, simply squirt the cleaner on the floor and spread it with a damp microfiber or sponge mop. You can also use our cleaner in spray mops too. We recommend our Quick Shine® Multi-Surface Spray Mop. It is important to rinse the mop pad frequently to release the dirt and soil you are picking up so you are always using a clean pad. This prevents streaking by eliminating the possibility of pushing dust and dirt around. Our cleaner is ready-to-use which means you do not have to finish with a clean water rinse. Now that is easy! But, don’t be afraid to get on your hands and knees if necessary. When a floor needs serious attention, clean it with a cloth. (It’s better than a sponge because you can “feel” the dirt as you wipe!) For downright dirty floors, try our Quick Shine® Deep Cleaner to cut through the toughest grime.

If your floors are to the point of needing to be refinished, our Quick Shine® High Traffic Hardwood Floor Luster will bring back the color and beauty to your floor. Simply squirt and spread with a damp microfiber mop for a shine that lasts. It’s like a new floor in a bottle!

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  1. Michael Covington
    Posted March 11, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Can this product be used on Cali Bamboo floors

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted March 11, 2019 at 9:47 am

      Hi Michael,

      Yes, our Quick Shine Finishes and Cleaners are pH neutral and can be applied on Cali Bamboo floors. For additional information, please contact customer service at 800-255-1891. We are always happy to help!

      Reply »
  2. Janice
    Posted May 4, 2019 at 11:05 am

    How do you clean the mop after use?

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted May 6, 2019 at 10:07 am

      Hi Janice,

      We recommend soaking the pad in a mixture of ammonia and HOT water for 30-45 minutes and rinse with clean water. The ammonia solution should liquefy the Finish and soften the fibers again. This method has worked for many consumers. If you need additional assistance, please contact customer service at 800-255-1891. We are always happy to help!

      Reply »
  3. philip evangelous
    Posted April 6, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    The finish is awesome. But, we are 78 years old. And the floors are slippery. Did I make a mistake ?

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted April 7, 2020 at 11:33 am

      Hi Philip,
      Quick Shine Floor Finish is formulated with anti-slippage agents to provide a grip as you walk over the floor. If you are wearing socks, the floor finish may loose friction. Does it feel slippery even while wearing shoes in the house?

      Reply »
  4. Vandy Bradow
    Posted March 11, 2021 at 10:11 am

    I have a Braava sweep and mop robot, and both hardwood and laminate floors. Can I use your product in its reservoir? all of them?

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted March 11, 2021 at 10:19 am

      Great question Vandy! We do not recommend using Quick Shine Floor Finish (green label) in the reservoir as it can clog the mechanism. Our Quick Shine Multi-Surface Cleaner (blue label) is pH neutral and is safe to use in this type of machine.

      Reply »
  5. Judy Keene
    Posted August 17, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Hi! what are the best products to remove water spots on hardwood table? Thank you for your help!

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted August 18, 2021 at 2:01 pm

      You should try our Holloway House Lemon Oil. This product is designed to restore wood furniture and remove water spots.

      Reply »
    2. Walu
      Posted January 10, 2022 at 10:45 pm

      Can you use the Quick Shine hardwood floor luster on uv cured aluminium oxide solid hardwood floors?

      Reply »
      1. Joni Thompson
        Posted January 11, 2022 at 1:44 pm

        Yes, Quick Shine is pH neutral and safe for an aluminum oxide finish.

        Reply »
  6. Kate
    Posted April 8, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Can I use these products on floors that were oil sealed. If so which products should I use to clean and shine the floors.

    Reply »
    1. Joni Thompson
      Posted April 11, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      Quick Shine products are pH neutral and water based. They are designed for factory finished or polyurethane finished floors.

      Reply »
  7. Julio Elias
    Posted April 25, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    What product would be best to use on Bella Citta french oak hardwood floors that have been finished by a white wash stain? Thank you.

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted April 26, 2022 at 8:44 am

      Hi Julio,

      We recommend applying Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster to your white wash french oak hardwood floors. This product is pH neutral and safe for any sealed hardwood floor.

      Reply »
    2. Leti Paoli
      Posted April 27, 2024 at 10:19 am

      Can I use Quick Shine on engineered hickory hardwood floors?

      Reply »
      1. Steven Quick
        Posted April 29, 2024 at 8:53 am

        Hi Leti,

        Yes, Quick Shine is pH neutral and safe for any sealed hard surface flooring including engineered hickory hardwood floors.

        Reply »
  8. Gwen Howard
    Posted December 30, 2023 at 10:35 am

    We have treated our floors with the Floor Luster. Is a steam mop safe or is damp mopping preferred. They look great but we want to keep them that way!!

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted January 2, 2024 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Gwen,

      We recommend maintaining the shine with Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner as it is compatible and will not streak or haze like other cleaners or steam mops.

      Reply »
  9. Steve
    Posted May 1, 2024 at 12:01 am

    I have 7 years of wax buildup on (I believe polyurethane) engineered oak floors
    with gunstock stain. Floors look very cloudy and dull.

    What do you recommend to remove this wax buildup?

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted May 1, 2024 at 8:29 am

      Hi Steve,

      We recommend using Quick Shine® Deep Cleaner to safely remove our Finish. This product was specifically developed to remove polymer and wax finishes without harming Hardwood floors or other types of hard surface floors such as Luxury Vinyl Plank, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Stone, Tile and Laminate.

      Reply »

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