Clean and care a hardwood floor

Hardwood floors can add timeless beauty and warmth to your home. However, this beauty comes at a price (and I’m not just talking about money). You need to clean them regularly to ensure their longevity and maintain their beautiful appearance. And sadly, throwing a bit of cleaner in a bucket and mopping the place won’t always cut it.

Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through the best way to clean and care for your hardwood floors so (hopefully) even your children won’t have to replace them.

In this article:

  • Understanding hardwood floors
  • Preparing for cleaning
  • Regular cleaning techniques
  • Tackling stubborn stains
  • Preventative maintenance tips
  • Dealing with hardwood floor issues
  • Finishing and polishing
  • Long-Term Care
  • Conclusion

Understanding hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are solid wood or engineered wood, crafted into planks of pure style. They’re the epitome of authenticity and craftsmanship giving your home a warm, cozy, and timeless look.

There are different types of hardwood floors, each with its own personality and quirks. From solid wood cut from a single mighty timber to engineered wood boasting layers of bonded strength. These floors demand respect and appreciation for their durability, charm, and ability to transform any room into a work of art.

Preparing for cleaning

Before you embark on your cleaning journey, you need your arsenal of tools and supplies. As I always say, “Victory loves preparation”. So what do you need?

If you’re going old-school, you need your trusty soft-bristle broom or a microfiber dust mop (can’t risk scratching those floors, can we?). For a more modern-day approach, you need a vacuum cleaner equipped with a hardwood floor attachment.

And of course, you need a bucket, a pH-neutral wood floor cleaner, and a mighty microfiber mop. But first things first, get your floors rid of any loose dirt and debris. Sweep, vacuum, and make those floors gleam with anticipation for what’s to come.

Regular cleaning techniques

Regular cleaning is the secret sauce to preserving the allure and longevity of your hardwood floors. Begin with a dry mop or a sweep. Remove that surface dirt and dust like it’s the enemy of all things shiny.

Pay extra attention to those high-traffic areas and hidden corners—they need some extra care. Now, dampen your mop with the hardwood floor cleaner, diluted as instructed by the bottle.

Be mindful not to drench your floors. A gentle touch is all it takes. Mop away, ensuring your mop is only slightly damp. Swap that dirty water like a pro and let those floors air dry or give them a little love tap with a clean, dry mop.

Tackling stubborn stains

Accidents happen, and your hardwood floors may occasionally take in stubborn stains. It’s crucial to address these stains promptly to prevent them from becoming a permanent fixture in your home.

For food or liquid spills, blot the area immediately with a soft cloth or paper towel. Blot, don’t wipe – you don’t want to smidge the stain. If it persists, use a slightly damp cloth with a small amount of wood floor cleaner and gently rub the affected area.

For tougher stains such as ink or pet stains, consult the manufacturer’s guidelines or seek professional assistance to prevent damage.

Preventative maintenance tips

Prevention is the name of the game. Let’s shield your floors from scratches and wear. The easiest thing is to attach furniture pads or felt protectors to the legs of your chairs and tables—your floors deserve the gentlest touch. An added bonus is your furniture will be a lot less noisy when you move it. Honestly, this was a game-changer when I did it at home.

Next, you can lay down area rugs and floor mats in those high-traffic zones and entryways. You don’t want to cover the entirety of your hardwood floors – what would be the point of having them otherwise? But it’s a good idea to have some level of protection. You’ll thank me later.

Floor coverings can add just that little pinch of pizzazz to the room. But beyond fashion, they can trap that dirt, soak up that moisture, and keep your floors looking brand new for longer.

And if you have pets, trim their nails. It’s a small act of love that prevents scratches and shows them that you care. Also, you might want to look into how to deal with pet urine stains and odours.

Dealing with hardwood floor issues

Life happens and so our floors are not immune to scratches and dents. Fear not, for we shall face these challenges head-on. Shallow scratches, meet your match—a hardwood floor touch-up pen or a wood filler in a matching shade.

If things have already gotten out of hand, you can smoothen that surface with a gentle sanding. And don’t forget the final touch—a thin coat of polyurethane to protect and preserve.

However, if it’s gotten to this point, or you’ve got deeper scratches or significant damage, I recommend calling in professionals. It probably won’t be cheap, but trying to fix things on your own if you don’t know what you’re doing is usually a recipe for disaster. You should know when to throw in the towel.

Finally, remember to monitor the humidity levels at your home. This is your secret weapon against warping and shrinking. Humidifiers or dehumidifiers—choose your weapon wisely.

Finishing and polishing

No matter what you do, time will eventually take its toll on your beloved hardwood floors. The only thing you can do is fight back with finishing and polishing.

To prepare the field—clean those floors with surgical precision. You want to do a thorough job. If needed, a light sanding to smoothen any imperfections.

Carefully apply your chosen finish following the instructions on the bottle. Allow that finish to cure. Patience is our virtue. And when the time is right, let the polishing begin. A hardwood floor polish will enhance that natural shine and protect the finish for the years to come.

Long-Term Care

Long-term care is the secret to a floor’s longevity. Sweep, vacuum, and rid those floors of dirt and debris at least once a week. More, if you can afford the time.

Deep clean when the need arises to prevent embedded grime. And when the time comes, sand and refinish those floors to breathe new life into them. Stay vigilant, address issues swiftly, and show our floors the love they deserve.


Caring for hardwood floors is a rewarding investment that ensures the long-lasting beauty of your home. Establish a cleaning routine, tackle stains, take preventive measures, and address minor issues with swiftness.

Take good care of them, and your hardwood floors will keep your home beautiful and stylish for the years to come. And, as always, if you need a hand, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Samyx Cleaning - Branding Consultant, Author - Atanas
Author: Atanas Dzhingarov

Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.