How to Safely Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors add value and beauty to your home. You can even customize them to suit your style or refinish older hardwoods for a classic look.

Hardwood flooring is durable, long-lasting, and relatively easy to clean. However, there are still tips you should follow to keep your hardwood floors looking their best for as long as possible.

1. Clean Gently

The most important tip to keep in mind when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors is to be gentle. Your hardwood floors are beautiful and strong, but using any harsh materials can scratch them.

When going for everyday cleaning, choose soft dry mops or soft-bristled brooms to sweep away dust and dirt. Luckily, utilizing these soft cleaning tools will easily clean your floors and keep them shiny day-to-day. You can use a vacuum, but make sure it is set up with a floor-brush attachment rather than a beater bar.

If you find your floors need a deeper clean, DO NOT use a wet mop. Hardwood floors, especially solid hardwood, are sensitive to moisture and could get ruined or warped from using a wet mop. Instead, purchase a hardwood cleaning solution meant to mop your hardwood floors. People often use products like Murphy’s or Bona products, for example.

2. Use Hardwood-Friendly Cleaning Products

Speaking of Murphy’s and Bona products, make sure when you are cleaning your hardwood floors, you always use hardwood-friendly products.

Products and materials to avoid include: vinegar, ammonia, steam cleaners, oil soap, water (wet mop), hard bristle brooms, beater bar vacuum attachments, and “all purpose” cleaners.

Your hardwoods are special, so treat them as such. Though you might think a specific cleaner works for everything else, it could harm your hardwood floors.

This might seem counterintuitive, but some oil soaps are not good for finished hardwood floors. The oil from the soap can make them even slicker and even eat away at the finish, so just be careful what you choose to use.

The best way to be sure you’re using the right products is to consult your hardwood flooring distributor. The company should have a list of products that will clean your hardwood floors without harming them in the process.

3. Refresh Often

The best way to keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful is to give them a quick cleaning a couple times a week. You don’t have to deep clean every time, but you should take the time to sweep them free of dust and debris with a soft-bristled broom or microfiber mop. Don’t forget to dust and sweep the corners and under furniture!

By keeping your floors clean, you also help prevent scratching from dirt and debris. Then, you can deep clean with an approved cleaning product and mop once or twice a month to keep your floors fresh.

4. Move Furniture Carefully

When you do decide to go for a deeper clean of your hardwoods, be very careful when moving your furniture around. You should always pick up heavy furniture rather than sliding it across the wood floors to avoid scratching.

Also keep in mind where you keep heavy furniture for long periods of time. It’s preferable to pad furniture legs or keep a rug under heavy pieces if possible. And you may want to move the furniture around from time to time to lessen the pressure on your flooring.


As always, you should approach your hardwood flooring by simply enjoying it! Part of that is cleaning and taking good care of your floors.

When you take the time to clean carefully, you will have the chance to keep the beautiful look of your hardwoods that you love so much.