You chose your wood floors for a reason. Wood floors are warm, classic, cozy, durable. These popular floors raise the value and the look of your home to a new level. Wood floors look great. If you want to keep them looking great, regular cleaning needs to be a part of the cleaning routine. What does regular mean? How often do wood floors need be cleaned?
The answer depends on the room; a mud room or living room that is heavily used is going to need more regular cleanings than an office that is infrequently used. However, there are some general guidelines you can use to keep those wood floors in top shape.
There are three types of wood floor cleaning tasks: sweeping and vacuuming, mopping, and a deep clean. If your floor finish looks dull or damaged (even after cleaning), your floor may need to be refinished for full protection.
Sweeping and vacuuming
The first step, and most regular cleaning task, should be a sweep and vacuum. On a daily basis (or as often as possible), you should sweep and vacuum (or a vacuum cleaner attachment) to pick up any small stones, gravel, or debris that could scratch your floor.
In between sweeping and vacuuming, make sure you wipe up any puddles or mud that gets tracked in (by pets and people!). Standing water (and mud) can permanently stain and damage the floor. Place mats and rugs by all the doors and in high-traffic areas (i.e. hallways, foyers, mud rooms) so you can pre-emptively catch any debris before it ends up on your wood floors (and so you don’t have to clean it!).
In a high traffic room, a wood floor needs to be mopped on a monthly basis (less often for spaces that are not used as much). If there are any scuff marks and stains that you are worried about, ask your local flooring experts for tips on removing marks and stains so you can avoid scratching or damaging your wood floor.
Use a wood cleaner approved by the floor manufacturer; using household products can negatively impact any warranty claims you may make and damage the finish on the floor. To find out what cleaner is recommended by your floor’s manufacturer, visit or contact your local flooring store.
As you mop, thoroughly wring out the mop. Try not to leave puddles; standing water can damage the floor. If your floor is incredibly dirty or hasn’t been cleaned in awhile, you may need to get on your hands and knees with a soft cloth (or hire someone who can deep clean your floor).
When you are done mopping, make sure the floor completely dries. If the weather is very humid (like during one of our hot summer days), use fans to dry your floors out.
Dealing with a floor with a build up of dirt and grime? Schedule a deep clean with a professional cleaner. Don’t try to tackle the problem on your own with a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners can damage the floors and void the warranty on the floor—exactly what you don’t want when trying to care for your wood floor.