How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Damaging Them? (Full Guide)

Let’s be honest; hardwood floors are better than tiles or other flooring options. They give a sophisticated and elegant vibe. 

Managing them might be tough if you don’t know how to do it the right way. When we think about cleaning hardwood floors, we think of the easy way, a sponge and a bucket. That is not the right way to do it; it hurts the flooring.

This might make you question how to clean hardwood floors without damaging them? 

It’s pretty easy. You have to vacuum the dust before cleaning, and then you can use either dry or wet cleaning. 

This post is all about how you can clean hardwood floors the right way. If you want to save your wood and make it last longer, stick around. 

How to Clean Hardwood Floors


Cleaning doesn’t have to be challenging; it can be fun and de-stressing. So let’s treat it that way. Here are some things you will require before getting started:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Water
  • Dish Soap
  • Microfiber mop
  • Broom with a soft head (optional)
  • Dish soap

Here’s the thing: you don’t need both a broom and a vacuum cleaner to clean hardwood floors. But we highly recommend using both.

Without further ado, let’s get on with the actual cleaning process.

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1. Sweeping with a broom

Sweep off the dust with a broom before starting with the big stuff. Pick out everything lying on the floor (clothes, food packets, etc.) It makes your job easier. You can use a microfiber mop, too, for this process if you want.

2. Vacuum

After the dusting process, use a vacuum cleaner that has a soft head. If you have heavier debris, change it before getting on with the cleaning process. Get a vacuum cleaner that lasts long; 1 hour is the bare minimum before a recharge.

3. Use a Damp Mop

Using water and dish soap, make a solution. Then dip your mop into it gently. You must avoid direct water in contact with hardwood floors. You can use a spray bottle of the cleaning solution and spray it on the floor as you mop. Make sure your mop is made of microfiber; it works best with hardwood floors.

A regular hardwood floor household needs the floor cleaned four to six times a year. Which means deep cleaning it. If you live in Toronto and don’t have time, let Condo Cleaning Toronto do it. They have one of the best services in town. 

Other ways of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Besides the in-depth process mentioned above, you can clean hardwood floors without damaging them in the following ways.

1. Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is basically cleaning without a damp sponge. You pick out the leftover things from the floor, use a broom to sweep off the dust and let vacuum cleaners seal the job.

Dry cleaning is suitable for those who don’t have that much time for deep cleaning. It’s easier and quicker, but we prefer taking the time and doing everything.

2. Wet Cleaning 

Wet cleaning comes after dry cleaning. You can’t and shouldn’t do this process without dry cleaning. Because there’s no point in mopping the floor if the dust hasn’t been vacuumed beforehand.

People sometimes use a steam cleaner for wet floors. Contact your floor manufacturer and ask whether it will damage the floor before using the machine. 

Make it a routine to clean your hardwood floors, and they will last you a lifetime. Flooring is an investment; you should not have to change your flooring system every summer.

Things to Avoid while Cleaning Hardwood Floors


Everything has its own do’s and don’ts; these are a few things you should consider avoiding before cleaning.

1. Use a cleaning solution that is recommended by the flooring manufacturer. 

Not all hardwood floors are the same. Each of them is different and requires specific maintenance. It’s best to use a cleaning solution verified by your floor manufacturer. If you don’t have the option to verify, you can use the safest option by using a low pH level of soap and water.

2. Avoid complex shining products to shine the floor.

Don’t use oil to make the floor shiny. It doesn’t work like that. Some people use furniture sprays or waxes, which might give the floor a shine. But it will be very temporary. 

Besides, these do more harm than good. We will explain the best things you can use to shine your hardwood.

3. Avoid heavy equipment.

Don’t use a super heavy vacuum cleaner or a broom. Your floor needs you to be gentle with it. Using a 150 lbs vacuum or a broom that’s meant for outdoors will only damage the flooring. 

4. Don’t use lemons, vinegar, or baking soda solutions.

This may come as a shocker, but it’s the truth. Old-school methods like this do more harm than good. These solutions can weaken the floor’s sealing. Use proper cleaners. 

Lastly, avoid high pH level products like ammonia and coarse cleaners.

What Should You Use to Make Hardwood Floors Shine?


Refrain from using weird solutions or waxes; use specified things. Such as:

1. Citric Acid

Citric acid can remove or break the dirt and give your floor a neutral and healthy pH.

2. Oxidizers

They function similarly to citric acid, except it uses hydrogen peroxide to break the dirt apart.

3. Solvents

Every floor needs a different kind of solvent. You should consult your floor manufacturer first before purchasing a cleaner. 

These are things that make the floor shine. But your floor will shine naturally if you clean and polish the floor regularly. As we said earlier, you can use complex shining products such as wax, oil, or any weird stuff. Still, we highly recommend using commercial shining products to polish your floor.

Read Next: How To Locate And Fix Leak Under Bathroom Floor

Final Words

Cleaning your hardwood floors takes time and patience. That’s why you need to do it only four or six times a year. It’s not rocket science and will take less time if you have the necessary tools and guidance.

Still, if you are confused about how to clean hardwood floors without damaging them? Tell you what, get the things we said you’ll need, and the rest will become crystal clear. You should always steer clear of heavy tools while cleaning and use cleaners recommended by the people you got your flooring from. 

This post is a step-by-step guide that beginners can follow to expert levels. We made it as easy as possible.