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How to Clean Hardwood Floors

how to clean hardwood floors

Hardwood floors exude timeless elegance and charm, adding warmth and character to any space. However, maintaining their pristine beauty requires a little extra care and attention. Hardwood floors require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. Routine cleaning not only enhances the appearance of your hardwood floors but also helps to prolong their lifespan. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how to clean hardwood floors effectively and without causing damage.

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s cover the basics of cleaning hardwood floors. Whether you’re new to hardwood floor care or a seasoned pro, these tips will help you maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors for years to come. 

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Understanding Your Hardwood Floors

Before you grab your mop and cleaning supplies, it’s crucial to know what kind of hardwood floor graces your home. Solid hardwood and engineered hardwood are the two main types, each with its quirks when it comes to care and cleaning. And it doesn’t stop there – the finish on your floor, whether it’s polyurethane or wax, plays a significant role in dictating your cleaning regimen. Polyurethane-coated floors might enjoy a bit more moisture during cleaning, while wax-finished floors demand dry or damp methods to maintain their luster. Knowing your floor’s type and finish ensures you’re not just cleaning effectively but also preserving its beauty and integrity for years to come.

The Cleaning Spectrum: Basic to Deep

Routine Cleaning:

Your hardwood floors are the unsung heroes of your home, enduring daily traffic with grace. But grace needs support – regular cleaning support. Sweeping with a soft-bristled broom or a microfiber mop picks up daily dirt and dust, preventing premature wear. For a gentle clean, a pH-neutral cleaner does the trick, safeguarding the floor’s finish. This daily devotion keeps your floors looking their best and sets the stage for less frequent, more intensive care.

Deep Cleaning:

Every so often, your floors deserve a spa day – a deep clean that goes beyond the surface. This isn’t a weekly ritual but an as-needed refresh that brings back the glow to tired planks. Start with your trusty vacuum, using an attachment that kisses the floor gently, removing the gritty villains hiding in the nooks and crannies. Then, with a damp (not wet!) mop and a hardwood-approved cleaner, mop your way to brilliance. Remember, water is not a friend to hardwood, so less is more. Finish with a soft, dry cloth to remove any lingering moisture. Deep cleaning is like pressing the reset button, giving you a floor that feels as good as it looks.

Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Trying to keep your hardwood floors clean can feel like a full-time job. However, there are several best practices you can follow to help keep your hardwood floors clean.

Regular Dusting: 

Dirt and dust can act like sandpaper on your floors, so it’s essential to dust them regularly. Use a microfiber mop or a soft-bristled broom to sweep your floors daily or as needed. You can also use a dust mop on your wood floor surface as well. We suggest reducing waste with reusable and machine-washable microfiber pads found on our Quick Shine Sustainable Hard Surface Floor Mop.

graphic about dirt and dust on hardwood floors

Elevate your cleaning to the Next Level: 

Switching from a bucket cleaning system to a ready-to-use formula offers several advantages. Using ready-to-use floor care products is convenient, as they require no mixing or diluting, saving time and effort. These products provide consistent cleaning performance, ensuring reliable results each time. They are also efficient, effectively cleaning floors without the need for multiple applications. Ready-to-use products are easy to apply and come in convenient packaging. They are formulated to be safe for specific floor types, reducing the risk of damage. While they may seem more expensive vs. dilutables such as Pinalen, Pine Sol, Murphy Oil Soap, Fabuloso, or similar brands, they can be cost-effective when considering the time and effort saved. Ready-to-use floor care products offer peace of mind by avoiding the potential risks associated with using tap water, which may contain hardness minerals or other impurities that could damage or dull your hardwood floors over time.

Quick Shine ready-to-use floor cleaners offer convenience, consistency, and ease of use, making them a popular choice for millions of households. Quick Shine Cleaners start with the purest water for their formulation.  Quick Shine® Power Water, developed by their in-house lab, uses a four-stage filtration process, including 8 reverse osmosis membrane filters that create a streak-free, haze-free, zero-residue, bucket-free formula. The Quick Shine exclusive Power Water is a zero-residue system that will not create streaking or hazing as can be the case with tap water that is used in the dilutable cleaner bucket systems.

Gentle Cleaning: 

Gentle cleaners are great for hardwood floors because they preserve the finish and look of the floor without harming it. Harsh cleaners with high or low pH levels, on the other hand, can harm the wood by removing its natural oils or causing stains. pH-neutral cleaners are designed to effectively clean without causing these issues, making them the safest choice for maintaining the natural beauty and longevity of the hardwood floor. Professionals recommend a pH-neutral cleaners that are gentle yet effective and provide the best quality and performance.  

Spot Cleaning:

Regular spot cleaning can help prevent the need for more extensive cleaning or repairs down the line. By addressing spills and stains promptly, you can avoid the hassle and expense of refinishing or replacing damaged areas of your hardwood floors. Spray cleaners are perfect for this.

graphic about Spot Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Routine Cleaning: 

This encompasses the regular cleaning routines necessary to preserve the cleanliness, appearance, and condition of floors over time. It involves a combination of scheduled cleaning tasks, such as sweeping, mopping, and spot cleaning. This ongoing maintenance ensures that floors remain in optimal condition and prolongs their longevity.

Seasonal Care: 

It is recommended to periodically apply a liquid polish to safeguard your wood floors. Polishes form a protective layer on the surface of your floors, guarding them against scuffs, scratches, and everyday wear and tear, thus extending their life span. Every floor, regardless of its inherent shine, can benefit from the revitalizing touch of polishing, depending on traffic & preference. Quick Shine polishes offer the only Safer Choice Certification and are safer for kids, pets, and the environment.

Avoid Excessive Sunlight: 

UV damage can affect the finish and protective coatings on the floor, reducing their lifespan and accelerating the deterioration of wood fibers in hardwood floors, making them more susceptible to damage and wear. To protect hardwood floors from excessive sunlight, consider using window treatments such as curtains, blinds, or UV-blocking films. Additionally, rearranging furniture or rugs periodically can help distribute sunlight more evenly across the floor, reducing the risk of localized damage. It is recommended to use a protective polish formulated with Carnauba to add extra protection and durability to withstand heavy traffic and shield against UV rays and future wear. Use Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster to help minimize the harmful effect of UV radiation, preserving the color, sheen, and integrity of your hardwood floors, including engineered hardwood, laminated hardwood, or sealed hardwood.

Protective Mats: 

Use area rugs and doormats at entryways and high-traffic areas to prevent dirt and grit from scratching your floors. Mats can help elongate the lifespan of your hardwood floors by providing a buffer between the floor and potential sources of damage. Protective mats and rugs can also add an aesthetically pleasing touch and style to your hardwood floors. Protect your floors and elevate your space in one easy step.

graphic about Protective Mats for Hardwood Floors

Professional Results: 

Achieve professional cleaning results without breaking the bank by utilizing a reliable floor polish that streamlines the cleaning and maintenance of your floors. The polish creates a smooth surface that wards off dirt and stains, facilitating more efficient routine cleaning.

Can You Mop Hardwood Floors?

Absolutely, mopping is an essential part of hardwood floor maintenance. However, it’s crucial to do it correctly to avoid damaging the wood or leaving behind streaks. Use a damp microfiber mop pad, not a wet bucket string mop. Excess water can seep into the wood and cause warping or damage. Professionals recommend using a ready-to-use pH-neutral cleaner specifically made for hardwood floors and avoiding using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Dry the floor immediately after mopping to prevent water from sitting on the wood. A microfiber mop is gentle on the wood and picks up dirt effectively. We recommend pairing your microfiber mop with Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner for a streak-free, haze-free, bucket-free experience.

Can You Mop Wood Floors Every Day? 

It’s generally not recommended to mop wood floors every day, as excessive moisture can damage the wood and its finish over time. Instead, you can use a dry mop or vacuum to remove dust and dirt daily and then mop with a damp (not wet) mop once a week or as needed. While it’s not necessary to mop hardwood floors every day, you can certainly do so if needed, especially in high-traffic areas or if you have pets or small children. Just be sure to use a mild pH-neutral cleaner.

Can You Mop Hardwood Floors with Vinegar? 

While vinegar is a natural cleaning solution, it’s not recommended for hardwood floors. Vinegar is acidic and can strip away the finish, leading to dullness and damage over time. Opt for a pH-neutral, ready-to-use cleaner like Quick Shine Safer Choice Certified Floor Cleaners for safer and more effective cleaning.

Can You Mop Hardwood Floors with Hot Water? 

Using hot water to clean hardwood floors is not recommended because excessive water can seep into the wood, causing it to swell and potentially damage the finish. Additionally, hot water doesn’t effectively sanitize hardwood floors, so it’s best to use a ready-to-use cleaner such as Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner. This approach ensures effective cleaning without the risk of damage. If sanitization is a concern, consider using a cleaner with disinfecting properties, such as Quick Shine Disinfectant Floor Cleaner.

graphic asking Can You Mop Hardwood Floors with Hot Water?

What Kind of Mop Do You Use for Hardwood Floors?

For hardwood floors, it’s recommended to use a microfiber mop or a mop specifically designed for hardwood floors. Microfiber mops are gentle on the floor while effectively picking up dust and debris. They also don’t require much water, which is important for hardwood floors to prevent damage from moisture. Avoid using traditional string mops or steam mops, as these can leave too much moisture on the floor or even cause warping. Here are some popular options for hardwood floors:

Sustainable Mop Kits

Quick Shine Sustainable Mop Kits are designed with sustainability in mind. They use reusable microfiber pads that reduce waste compared to disposable alternatives and require no batteries. They are designed to efficiently clean a variety of floor surfaces, including hardwood, laminate, tile, and more, by removing dirt, grime, and stains effectively. Quick Shine Sustainable Mop Kits are easy to use, lightweight, and maneuverable, allowing you to clean different floor surfaces with ease for a quick and hassle-free task.

These mops are more cost-effective than disposable alternatives. The reusable nature of the microfiber pads saves money in the long run, and you won’t need to buy new pads constantly. Overall, choosing Quick Shine Sustainable Mop Kits offers a combination of sustainability, effectiveness, ease of use, cost savings, and versatility, making them a great choice for floor cleaning. Try Quick Shine Sustainable Spray Mop and Hard Surface Floor Mop Kits with Quick Shine Safer Choice Floor Cleaners.

Floor Cleaner Machines

Hardwood Floor cleaner machines are highly regarded for their efficiency. However, it’s important to consider factors such as moisture control, brush roll quality, weight, maneuverability, and initial investment. Several reputable brands, including Bissell, Tineco, iRobot, and Shark, offer excellent options. Each machine can also be paired with a cleaner that effectively cleans hardwood. Quick Shine pH neutral, Safer Choice Ready-to-Use Floor Cleaners are the perfect choice. There’s no need to dilute or mix cleaning solutions; simply pour directly into the cleaning tank, making cleaning quick and easy.

How Do You Mop Hardwood Floors with a Microfiber Mop?  

The best type of mop for hardwood floors is a microfiber mop. These types of mops are a great choice because they are gentle on hardwood and they absorb water well. You can also consider a spray mop, which allows you to control the amount of liquid applied to the floor. Avoid using steam mops or string mops, as they can leave too much moisture on the floor. Use the microfiber mop to gently clean the surface, working in small sections. When using these types of mops, you can avoid the extra step of drying the floor as excess moisture will not be present like a traditional mop and bucket cleaning.

How Do You Clean Hardwood Floors Without Damaging the Finish?

There are several different approaches to cleaning hardwood floors without damaging the finish. Regular dusting with a microfiber mop or soft-bristled broom can prevent dirt from causing abrasions. Using gentle cleaners that are pH-neutral can clean effectively without damaging the wood or stripping it of its natural oils. Prompt spot cleaning can prevent stains from becoming permanent and causing costly repairs or refinishing. In addition, area rugs and doormats can protect high-traffic areas and reduce the risk of scratches and damage from dirt and grit. Protecting your floors from excessive sunlight with window treatments and rearranging furniture can also help. Finally, regular maintenance with a protective polish can guard against scratches, scuffs, and everyday wear and tear. Consider using Quick Shine’s array of Safer Choice Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solutions and Sustainable Mop Kits.

What Should You Not Clean Hardwood Floors With?

To ensure the longevity and beauty of your hardwood floors, steer clear of vinegar, steam mops, harsh chemicals, excessive water, and oil-based soaps. Vinegar, a natural cleaning agent, can degrade the finish due to its acidity. The steam mops’ injection of water into the floor’s crevices can cause potential harm, while harsh chemicals like ammonia and bleach strip the finish, resulting in discoloration or damage. Overuse of water can lead to warping, swelling, or cupping of the wood, and oil-based soaps may leave a dull residue, attracting dirt. Instead, use Quick Shine Ready-To-Use Hardwood Floor Cleaners with a microfiber mop for the best results in preserving your hardwood floors.

graphic asking, What Should You Not Clean Hardwood Floors With?

What Do Professionals Use to Clean Hardwood Floors?

Professionals clean hardwood floors by removing loose debris, mopping with a pH-neutral cleaner and microfiber mop, spot cleaning as needed, applying a floor polish for extra protection and shine, and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for optimal results.

How Do You Deep Clean Hardwood Floors? 

Deep cleaning hardwood floors involves several crucial steps, including removing all furniture and loose items, vacuuming or sweeping to clear away debris, and spot-cleaning stains with a specialized cleaner such as Quick Shine Deep Cleaner. This cleaner is typically used to effectively remove dirt, grime, and stubborn stains from surfaces that regular cleaning products can’t handle. In the case of hardwood floors, deep cleaner can be particularly useful for removing built-up residues from wax, polish, or oil-based soaps that accumulate over time and dull the appearance of the wood. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule for optimal results and apply a pH-neutral floor polish to restore the shine to your floors.

How Do You Clean Old Hardwood Floors From the 1900s? 

Cleaning old hardwood floors from the 1900s requires careful consideration and gentle techniques to preserve their historical charm. Start by removing dust and debris with a vacuum cleaner or a broom with soft bristles. Avoid harsh chemicals, steam mops, or excessive water, as these can damage the aged wood. Instead, use a pH-neutral cleaner such as Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner applied with a damp microfiber mop or cloth. Finish by applying a high-quality hardwood floor polish to protect and enhance the wood’s appearance. Always test any new cleaning method or product in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility and avoid potential damage to the antique hardwood.

How Do You Get Streak Marks Off Hardwood Floors? 

To remove streak marks from hardwood floors, start by vacuuming or sweeping the floor to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, use a microfiber mop or cloth slightly dampened with a hardwood floor cleaner specifically designed to remove streaks. Gently wipe the floor in the direction of the grain, making sure not to leave excess liquid on the floor, which can lead to streaking. Avoid using oil-based cleaners or vinegar, as they can leave a residue that causes streaks. For a streak-free surface, use Quick Shine Safer Choice Cleaners, as they are gentle and residue-free, leaving only the shine behind.

graphic about getting streaks off hardwood floors

How Do You Remove Buildup From Hardwood Floors? 

To remove buildup from hardwood floors, start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove loose dirt and debris. Then, use a hardwood floor cleaner specifically formulated to remove buildup, such as Quick Shine Deep Cleaner. Apply the cleaner to a microfiber mop or cloth and gently scrub the affected areas, working in the direction of the wood grain. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive tools that could damage the wood finish. Finally, rinse the area with clean water and dry it thoroughly to prevent water damage.

How Can I Make My Wood Floors Look New Again? 

To refresh your wood floors and make them look new again, start by cleaning the surface with a pH-neutral Hardwood floor cleaner and a soft mop or cloth to remove dirt and grime. For hardwood floors that look dull or worn, consider applying a hardwood floor polish. This product can help restore shine and conceal minor scratches. For deeper scratches or dents, use a wood filler matched to your floor’s color and apply it carefully to the damaged areas. Finally, regularly maintaining your wood floors by sweeping, vacuuming, and using a damp mop will help keep them looking new and extend their lifespan. Quick Shine offers a Hardwood Rescue Pack featuring two Safer Choice Certified products to clean and protect Hardwood floors.

What Is the Best Cleaner for Bamboo Floors?

The best cleaner for bamboo floors is a pH-balanced, non-abrasive cleaner specifically formulated for hardwood or bamboo surfaces. Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the bamboo’s natural properties. It’s essential to promptly wipe up spills and avoid excessive moisture to maintain the bamboo’s integrity and longevity. Regular sweeping or vacuuming with a soft-bristle attachment is also recommended to remove dirt and debris without scratching the surface. Bamboo floors require special care, and it’s essential to use a cleaner specifically designed for bamboo.

What Is the Most Effective Way to Clean Wooden Floors?

The most effective way to clean wooden floors is to use a pH-neutral cleaner. This type of cleaner effectively removes dirt and grime while protecting the wood and its finish. Avoid harsh or abrasive cleaners as they can damage wood floors. Regular sweeping or vacuuming with a soft-bristle attachment is also recommended to remove dirt and debris without scratching the surface.

We also recommend switching from a bucket cleaning system to a ready-to-use formula as it offers several advantages. Ready-to-use formulas are convenient, as they require no dilution, saving time and effort. They also provide consistent cleaning strength and are cost-effective in the long run due to reduced waste and labor costs. These formulas are easy to use, require no measuring or mixing, and are often safer for users and the environment. Additionally, they take up less storage space compared to concentrated products, making them a practical choice for floor cleaning.

graphic about effectively cleaning hardwood floors

What Is the Best Thing to Clean Hardwood Floors With?

For the best results, clean hardwood floors with Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Its pH-neutral formula gently cleans and protects hardwood floors, leaving them looking shiny and new with every use.

Best Cleaning Products for Hardwood Floors

When choosing a cleaning product for your hardwood floors, look for those specifically designed for hardwood or wood surfaces. Some popular hardwood floor cleaners include:

 Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner

●    Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

●    Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner

●    Method Wood Floor Cleaner

●   Murphy Oil Soap

How to Clean Hardwood Floors With Pets 

Pets can undoubtedly add happiness to our daily lives, yet their presence may pose challenges to maintaining the pristine condition of hardwood floors. To preserve the aesthetic appeal of your floors, it’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines: Ensure you regularly trim your pet’s nails to minimize the likelihood of scratches. Promptly address any pet accidents by utilizing a pet safe floor cleaner, which is specifically formulated with pets in mind to prevent unsightly staining and unpleasant odors from permeating the wood. Additionally, consider placing protective mats beneath pet food and water bowls to effectively contain spills and safeguard your hardwood floors from moisture damage.

It’s time to say goodbye to dull, lackluster floors and hello to gleaming hardwoods that make your home truly shine. Your floors are more than just surfaces to walk on; they’re a reflection of your style and attention to detail. By choosing hardwood flooring and caring for it properly, you’re not only investing in durability and timeless beauty but also in the overall aesthetic and value of your home. Choose Quick Shine to transform your hardwood floors and elevate your space to new heights. 

  1. Tricia Kozlowski
    Posted March 15, 2024 at 8:05 am

    My cleaning person uses this product every two weeks and while we love the shine we are beginning to notice streaks and wondering if we are damaging the wood. She vacuums first but even so it seems to be sealing little specs into the floor. Also when we try switching to a different product the floor looks dull and smudgy. Solution??

    Reply »
    1. Steven Quick
      Posted March 18, 2024 at 9:44 am

      Hi Tricia,

      Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish or Hardwood Floor Luster should only be applied every 2-6 months when needed. Your cleaning person has been applying too frequently and has most likely caused a buildup which may need to be removed so you can enjoy your floors again. To safely remove the Finish, we recommend Quick Shine Deep Cleaner. For general weekly cleaning, we recommend Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner as it is pH neutral and compatible. It will not dull the shine or compromise the shine with streaking.

      Reply »
  2. Donna Reed
    Posted June 21, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    I can’t get to a statement that unequivocally says I can shine my bamboo floors with this product. Again, SHINE, not seal. I just want to wax my floors. Is it safe, with this product?

    Thank you, Donna

    Reply »
    1. Joni Thompson
      Posted June 24, 2024 at 11:07 am

      Hi Donna,

      Yes, Quick Shine is safe for sealed bamboo wood floors. Our formulas are water based and pH neutral and designed for any sealed hard surface flooring. We recommend Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster to shine your bamboo wood floors.

      Reply »

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