Mop Hardwood Floors Without Damage

Mopping Hardwood Floor

Although installing a hardwood floor can be quite expensive than simply laying a new carpet, it is definitely worth the investment. According to the National Associate of Realtors, more than 54% of home buyers are ready to pay extra for house fitted with hardwood. It is therefore important to take care of your hardwood floors in order to retain their natural beauty. If you are still wondering how to go about it, here are some tips that you can implement:

Determine Your Wood Floor Finish

What should determine the cleaning method on your floor is the finish itself. Most people make the mistake of applying universal wood cleaning methods, just because the floor is made of ample, oak, bamboo, mesquite, or engineered hardwood. According to the American Hardwood Information Center, there are four main types of surface finishes, which include oil-based, water-based, moisture cured and acid cured.

Regular Cleaning

Most homes built before 1970 mainly feature original hardwood floors sealed with wax, shellac, or varnish. Such floors require a different cleaning approach or technique. If you have such a floor in your home, then you have to begin with vacuuming, and then proceed to sweeping and finally dust-mopping using a soft mop. Avoid using highly abrasive materials, since they might lead to scratching.


Floor experts recommend that wood floors should be vacuumed at least daily. If that is not possible, ensure you vacuum them at least once per week using a vacuum cleaner with a wooden floor attachment.

If you intend to use regular machines, then you should turn off the beater bars or the interior rotating brushes as much as possible. Regular vacuuming removes dirt and dust particles which contribute to the scratching and dulling of your wooden floors.

Damp Mopping

Once the floor is clear of dust and dirt particles, you can mop, using a pH-neutral soap solution such as dishwashing soap and water. Additionally, you can use a little amount of a mild cleanser like Murphy Oil Soap mixed with a bucketful of water. You can also use commercial floor cleaning solutions such as Eco Mist Colloid W or Dr. Bonner’s.

There is a raging debate over whether to use vinegar mixed with water on hardwood flooring. Over the past 10 years, using vinegar has lost popularity. In fact, most people believe that cleaning hardwood surfaces using vinegar makes them dull. Avoid mops or cloths dripping with water. You can mop wooden floors in two main ways.

  • Dampen your mop in the prepared cleaning solution, squeeze out all the water completely and then mop towards the wood grains. Repeat to achieve the desired results. If your floors become wet, ensure that you dry them immediately.
  • Another cleaning strategy is putting your cleaning solution in a spray bottle and then misting the floor. Afterwards, use a dry cloth or microfiber mop and then work towards the direction of the grains.

Bottom Line

Hardwood floors are beautiful, classic, and timeless. However, if you fail to give them proper care and attention, you will be left with dingy, scratched and dull floors which will reduce the value of your home. If you want to extend the value of your home, you must be ready to develop regular and consistent cleaning habits. Use the above tips and you will always have a stunning hardwood floor.

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