Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

8 Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips & Best Cleaning Solutions

Yellow sign board with mop bucket on wooden floor against wall. Hardwood Floor Maintenance

If you had to find a common link among all the top-notch interiors, chances are that it would be hardwood floors. 

Whether it is a residential or commercial space, a hardwood floor enhances its elegance as nothing else does. In fact, if you keep up with changing interior designs, you know that hardwood has been the benchmark for flooring for a really long time. 

And why wouldn’t it be? It not only looks classy but also lasts a lifetime. But there is something worth noting. It tends to be a tad bit more expensive and more high-maintenance than the other standard flooring options like tiles and laminates. That’s why some people steer clear of hardwood floors. 

But we don’t want you to dismiss the idea of installing hardwood flooring because we have compiled a list of the best maintenance tips and cleaning solutions. This guide will tell you exactly how you can keep your hardwood floor in the best condition without spending a lot. 

So, let’s get started, shall we? 

Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips

Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips 1

For the sake of brevity, we have divided this guide into two parts. Here are the eight best maintenance tips for your hardwood floor that will make your life easier. 

  1. Be smart about dusting

One of the best things you can do regularly to preserve the quality of your hardwood floors is dusting! Believe it or not, dust is continuously present all around you. And your floor gets the worst end of the bargain because that’s where all that dust finally settles. 

We recommend using a mop that has been additionally treated with a dusting agent or relying on disposable electrostatic cloths. If you do this regularly, you would only need one or two deep cleanings in a year. 

  1. Vacuum daily

If you have considerable free time or an obsessive-compulsive disorder for cleaning, you should vacuum the floor every day. If that seems like a lot of work, make sure you are at least dusting the floor daily. 

When you vacuum your hardwood floor every day, it ensures that no stain or dirt gets time to settle on the floor. It is undoubtedly the best thing you can do to maintain your hardwood flooring in a pristine condition. 

  1. Wax but never mop

If you have waxed hardwood floors, things are not always as simple. Almost all cleaning solutions contain ammonia, which can damage waxed hardwood floors. And water is nearly as bad as ammonia, so never wet-mop your waxed hardwood floors. 

The best thing to do regularly is to use a cloth or dry-mop the floor to get rid of dirt. If you accidentally spill something on the floor, make sure to clean it immediately with a damp cloth. 

Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips 4

  1. Mop – damp or wet?

Even for sealed and finished hardwood floors, it is not advisable to wet-mop the surface. So, as a rule of thumb, if you are mopping a hardwood floor, make sure it is only damp and not wet. You would probably have to wring a cloth almost dry to ensure that it is only damp to the touch. 

Mopping hardwood floors is part of the cleaning process, and you cannot avoid it. But you need to be careful to never wet-mop it, or you may risk damaging it. 

  1. Vinegar or no vinegar?

This one is a bit of a gray area. Some people, especially back in the day, said that the best way to clean wood floors with a polyurethane finish is to use a mixture of water with vinegar. One quarter cup vinegar was added to one quart of water and then used to clean hardwood floors. 

More recently, though, it has been said that you should never use ammonia or diluted vinegar to clean polyurethane surfaces because the acid can render the floor dull and old. 

  1. Type of cloth

You need to pay attention to the kind of fabric you use to clean hardwood floors. We have already established that you need to dust the floor and damp-mop it regularly. But when you use a mop or cloth, make sure it is a microfiber cloth. 

And follow up a damp-mop with a dry microfiber cloth to make sure that there is no water on the surface. When it comes to buffing, cloth diapers work best because of being extra soft and absorbent. 

  1. Spill some tea, literally!

If you’re looking for a DIY cleaning solution and you are a tea-lover, this next tip is perfect for you! It involves dipping two tea bags in boiling water to create a cleaner that adds a beautiful shine to hardwood floors. 

For those of you who are wondering if it is safe, we can vouch for this one as we’ve used it. The inherent tannic acid in tea provides a bright finish to hardwood floors. 

  1. Pay attention to the surface

This one is a no-brainer, really. But still, it is where most homeowners tend to go wrong. There is no exact cleaning schedule or solution you can employ for hardwood floors. It all depends on when you need to clean it and how. 

So the holy grail of maintenance tips for hardwood floors is to pay attention to the floor. You need to be proactive and clean the floor each time there is a spill or excessive dust build-up. 

Hardwood Floor Maintenance Tips 3

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solutions

Now that we have talked about the best maintenance tips, it is time to take a look at some of the best hardwood cleaning solutions available today. 

  1. Method Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Method Hardwood Floor Cleaner, Squirt + Mop Refill, Use as...
  • Contains (1) 68 ounce refill bottle of hardwood floor...
  • Refills your method wood floor cleaner bottle 2.72 times (to...

The first cleaning solution we have picked for you is biodegradable and plant-based, meaning that it is absolutely safe for your family. Even the bottle that it comes in is made from 100% recycled plastic. So, it is safe to say that Method’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner is one of the best, if not the best, cleaning solution. 

This dedicated hardwood floor cleaner is straightforward to use. Simply squirt it on to the floor and mop all the dirt and stains away. There is no need to rinse it. And it can be used on all kinds of sealed hardwood as well as laminate floors. We especially liked the nutty almond scent of this cleaner. 

  1. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray, Unscented, 32 Fl Oz
  • Safe for all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane finished wood...
  • Waterbased cleaning formula dries fast, is residue-free, and...

Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray is the all-time favorite cleaner of many homeowners. Bona has been around for almost a century, so you can rest assured that you won’t face any quality issues with this cleaning solution. 

We found this water-based cleaner to work exceptionally well on hardwood flooring. And the fact that you don’t have to rinse it is a definite win-win. All you need to do is spray it on the floor and then mop up the dirt, dust, and grime with it. 

And that’s not all – it is Greenguard Gold certified. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it means that it is safe to use in homes that have pets or kids. 

  1. Orange Glo Hardwood Floor Everyday Cleaner Spray


As the name suggests, this cleaner from Orange Glo is meant for everyday use. Unlike the majority of soaps and oils, its unique formula cleans tough stains and dirt from the floor without dulling its shine. 

We especially liked the citrusy aroma of this cleaner, which will refresh your home after each use. Moreover, it is relatively straightforward to use – just spray and mop. 

You need not worry about having to deal with unwanted streaks on the floor because it leaves none. And it dries really fast, so you will never have to use a “Caution: Wet Floor” sign! You can even use it on laminate floors, wood furniture, and paneling. 

  1. Bruce Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner

Bruce 64 oz+32oz NoWax Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner...
  • Easy to use, Use refill to pour into existing Bruce Spray...
  • For No-Wax Finished floors.

This next product from Bruce is one of the most affordable and easy-to-use cleaning solutions you will find. Its residue-free, no-rinse formula makes it perfect for all kinds of laminate and hardwood flooring. But it works best for non-waxed floors, so don’t get this cleaner if you have a waxed hardwood floor. 

You can get a 64 fluid ounce refill bottle of this cleaner for a little over ten bucks, making it an excellent bargain. And the best part is that you don’t need to rinse the floor – spray it and then mop it up. It will leave your hardwood floor clean and shiny, almost as good as new! 

  1. Babyganics Multi Surface Cleaner

Babyganics Multi Surface Cleaner, Fragrance Free, 32oz Spray...
  • Made without ammonia, bleach, phosphates, phthalates,...
  • Made with plant-derived cleaning power and other...

For those of you who have toddlers crawling on all fours all across the floor, it makes sense to go for a cleaning solution that is 100% safe. And that’s where this next cleaner from Babyganics comes into the picture. It contains zero parabens, phthalates, bleach, sulfates, ammonia, phosphates, dyes, or artificial fragrances. 

Made entirely from plant-based materials, the Multi Surface Cleaner works well to clean hardwood floors, while being baby-friendly! 

You need to add one ounce of this cleaner for every half gallon of water and mix it. And voila! Just mop the floor clean. It is odorless and can be used on other surfaces like tile, vinyl, and carpet. The only surface you need to avoid is unsealed wood. 

  1. Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner

Zep Commercial 1041692 Hardwood and Laminate Cleaner, 1 gal...
  • Sold as 1 EA.
  • Removes spots, stains and scuff marks. Cleans and restores...

When it comes to heavy-duty floor cleaners, few others can compete with the Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner from Zep. Although it is advertised as a cleaning solution for commercial spaces, you will find a lot of homeowners using it. 

You can use it on all kinds of hardwood and laminate flooring, except those that are oil-finished or require waxing. And like any top-notch cleaner, you need only spray and mop it to remove dirt and stains from the floor. 

Lest we forget, we must talk about the sheer value for money you get from this cleaner. You get a bottle of 128 fluid ounces for a mere nine dollars. 

  1. Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner Lemon

Pledge Wood Floor Cleaner Liquid, Shines Hardwood, Removes...
  • Ready to use and specially designed to safely and gently...
  • Quickly and gently cleans wood floors

There’s no better option than the Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner when you want to clean a somewhat large area quickly. Unlike most of the other cleaners, you don’t have to spend any time to dilute it, and you can use it directly on hardwood floors. 

Just let the solution sit on the floor for a few moments and then mop up the grime and dirt with it. Some people have used it to clean wooden furniture too, and the results have been great. We recommend using the Lemon variant to leave a mildly pleasant fragrance when you are done cleaning. 

You should be using it only on finished and sealed hardwood surfaces. 

  1. Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner Original

Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner, Original, 32 Ounce, 3 Pack
  • Safely cleans woods
  • Contains 98% naturally derived ingredients (98% Natural Wood...

There’s not a lot of home essentials that you can get for less than four bucks. Murphy’s Oil Soap Wood Cleaner is one of the rare things that fall into that category. People have been using it for years because it works great on hardwood floors. 

But that doesn’t mean you can use it only on hardwood floors. This multipurpose cleaner can also be used on various other surfaces, including tiles, linoleum, and furniture. As long as you use it on a sealed and finished surface, this cleaner will not disappoint! 

The only thing to keep in mind while using this cleaner is not to use too much of it in one spot. Because of its oily consistency, it may leave a slight build up if you use too much of it. 

Summing It Up For Hardwood Floor Maintenance

Summing It Up For Hardwood Floor Maintenance

We have used each of these recommended cleaners and tried the maintenance tips on various hardwood floors. And the results have been satisfactory, to say the least! 

Irrespective of the type of hardwood floor you have or plan to get, you will find at least a couple of tips or cleaners from this guide that are ideal for it. 

We hope you found this guide to be helpful. Let us know in the comments section below if we missed any maintenance tip or cleaning solution that you think works best for hardwood floors. 

Till next time! 

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Anna Vaughn

Anna Vaughn

Immense painting experience recommends Anna. She shaped The Little Painters, a small local painting workshop for children that invites the little ones to explore painting through simple and creative means in a safe, loving and extremely colorful environment. In her home panting studio she plays with all paint mediums but watercolor is her expertise.

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