How to Clean Old Hardwood Floors: The Best Way to Clean It Easily

By Cezar

Cleaning old hardwood floors can be a daunting task, but with the right supplies and techniques, it can be done. Understanding the type of wood and coating used in your hardwood flooring is essential to clean it properly. Sanding and prepping is the first step to cleaning old hardwood floors. Gather the right type of floor cleaners for your flooring, such as commercially available hardwood floor cleaners or homemade cleaners. Professional evaluation of the condition of the wood flooring is necessary to rule out the possibility of rot and moulding.

Considerations Before You Get Started

Before you begin any cleaning process, there are a few key considerations that you should keep in mind to ensure that you don’t damage your floors or waste your time.

  1. Check if Your Floor is Sealed

The first thing you need to do before cleaning your hardwood floors is to check if your floor is sealed. This is because water-based cleaning products can seep into the wood and cause damage if your floor is not properly sealed. To check if your floor is sealed, pour a small amount of water onto the floor. If the water beads up, then your floor is sealed and you can proceed with cleaning. However, if the water soaks into the wood, then your floor is not sealed and you should avoid using water-based solutions.

  1. Clear the Floor of Clutter and Small Items

Before you begin cleaning your hardwood floors, it’s important to clear away all clutter and small items from the floor. This will help you clean faster and more effectively. Additionally, it will help you avoid any accidental scratches or damage to your floors.

  1. Plan a Route and Time

When cleaning your hardwood floors, it’s also important to plan a route to avoid leaving footprints on a freshly cleaned floor. This means starting from the farthest corner of the room and working your way toward the exit. Moreover, it is recommended to choose a time when there will be minimal foot traffic to ensure that the cleaning solution works effectively. It is also suggested to turn on ceiling fans or add a circulating fan to help speed up the drying time of the floors after they have been cleaned.

What You’ll Need

Cleaning hardwood floors requires a few basic supplies. You will need a steam mop, vacuum, or just a clean cloth to clear away dirt and debris from the floor.

  • Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuuming is an essential part of cleaning hardwood floors. When vacuuming hardwood floors, use a brush attachment with soft bristles to avoid scratching the wood. Additionally, make sure to vacuum in both directions to ensure that all dirt and debris is picked up. With regular vacuuming, you can keep your hardwood floors looking like new for years to come.

  • Steam Mops

Steam mops are a great way to clean hardwood floors without using harsh chemicals. Steam mops use hot steam to loosen dirt and grime, making it easier to remove with a cloth or microfiber pad. When using a steam mop for wood floor, make sure to keep the steam setting low and avoid over-saturating the floor. Additionally, be sure to move the mop in a back-and-forth motion to ensure that all dirt and debris are removed.

  • Clean Cloth

When cleaning hardwood floors, it is important to use a clean cloth or microfiber pad. This will help ensure that dirt and debris are not spread back onto the floor. Additionally, using a clean cloth will help avoid scratching the wood. When mopping the floor with a homemade cleaner, make sure to wring out the cloth or mop before applying it to the floor. This will help avoid over-saturating the wood and causing damage.

Hardwood Floor Cleaners

There are several types of hardwood floor cleaners to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of the most popular options:

Water and Vinegar Solution: One of the simplest and most effective ways to clean hardwood floors is with a mixture of water and vinegar. This solution is inexpensive and easy to make, and it won’t damage your floors like harsh chemicals can.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Bona is a popular brand of hardwood floor cleaner that’s safe for all types of hardwood floors. It’s also non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

Murphy Oil Soap: Another popular hardwood floor cleaner is Murphy Oil Soap. This solution is excellent for removing dirt and grime, and it also helps to restore the natural shine of your floors.

Steam Cleaners: Steam cleaners are a great option for deep cleaning hardwood floors. They use warm water and steam to sanitize your floors without using any chemicals.

Cleaning Old Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, but they require regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking their best. To ensure your hardwood flooring stays in top condition, it’s important to clean it at least four to six times a year. A robot vac can be used daily to keep an eye on the entire first floor, while kitchen floors should be cleaned weekly and other rooms twice a month for most households.

Cleaning hardwood floors is not difficult, but it does require some effort. The first step is to clear away dirt and debris using a broom, vacuum, or microfiber dust mop. This will help remove any surface dirt that can scratch the floor when mopping. For a homemade cleaner, combine 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar or 1/2 cup of cleaning vinegar. This natural solution will help clean the floor without damaging the wood. Mop the floor with the solution, then let it air-dry before walking on it.

Regular cleaning of hardwood floors is essential in order to avoid damage and retain shine. Natural products such as vinegar are great for cleaning hardwood floors instead of harsh chemical cleaners which can damage the wood over time. Regularly sweeping and mopping your hardwood floors helps keep dust, dirt, grime, and allergens at bay. With the right care and maintenance, your hardwood floors will look beautiful for years to come.

The Trick to Cleaning Cracks in Hardwood Floors

Cleaning cracks in hardwood floors can be a tricky task. Older wood floors and hardwood with the improper installation may have cracks between the boards, resulting in trapped dirt and dust that can be challenging to remove. To tackle this problem, start by clearing away dirt and debris with a broom, vacuum, or microfiber dust mop. To clean the cracks in your hardwood floors, you can make a simple homemade cleaner using water and white vinegar. In a bucket, mix 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar or 1/2 cup of cleaning vinegar. This solution is safe and effective for most hardwood floors. After you’ve scrubbed the cracks, use a soft cloth or vacuum to wipe away any debris. Be sure to remove all the dirt and dust from the cracks, so they don’t become trapped again.

Finally, mop the floor with the solution and let it air-dry before walking on it. This will ensure that the solution has time to penetrate the cracks and clean the wood thoroughly.

Dirty Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a desirable option for home flooring due to their durability and range of colours. However, regular cleaning and maintenance are required to keep dirt, deep scratches and dents from occurring. In cases of extreme dirt build-up, special solutions can be used for effective cleaning.

For tough stains or spots, use a soft-bristled scrub brush to gently scrub the affected area with the vinegar solution. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the hardwood floors. Once you have scrubbed away the stain, mop the area again with the vinegar solution to remove any residue. After you have mopped and scrubbed the entire floor, it’s time to dry it off. Use a soft and dry cloth to wipe down the surface of the hardwood floors, making sure to remove any excess moisture. Allow the floor to air dry completely before walking on it again.


Cleaning old hardwood floors can be a time-consuming and challenging task, but with the right supplies and techniques, it can be done. By identifying the type of wood and coating, preparing the floors, choosing the right cleaners, and following all the steps, you can maintain your floors’ natural beauty and elegance. With these steps, you can restore your old hardwood floors to their former glory and enjoy them for years to come.