How To Clean Hardwood Floors | Hardwood Floor Care | The Home Depot

If properly maintained, hardwood flooring will last for decades.

Hardwoods need to

be kept clean and free of the dust and debris

that can scratch and dull the surface.

High-traffic areas should be swept as often as possible.

You can either sweep the floors with a broom,

or use a disposable electrostatic mop.

Using a vacuum is also an option.

However, you should only vacuum if your

model features an on-off brush roll.

Many models have a hard floor setting, which

raises the vacuum and deactivates the

brush roll used to clean carpets.

If active, the brush roll can scratch

hardwood flooring.

Only suction is used

when removing debris on the hard floor setting.

Some models offer rubber wheels,

which are less likely to leave scratches

than models with hard plastic wheels.

Heavily trafficked areas should be

cleaned every week or two using a damp mop.

Wet the mop and wring out most of

the water so it is just damp.

Avoid leaving any standing water on the floor.

This can damage the wood.

This is especially true for pre-finished hardwood floors.

Unless the surface was sealed

with polyurethane after installation,

the water will seep between the boards.

If your floors are well sealed,

you can add a wood cleaning product diluted to the

manufacturer's instruction when mopping.

Avoid using harsh detergents.

They'll dull the surface.

The Home Depot offers a wide variety of wood care products both

in store and online.

There are products that allow you to

simply spray and mop.

These products don't require a bucket.

They dry quickly and remove dust, dirt

and grime.

For an even quicker clean,

there are disposable wet pads.

These are perfect for touch-up cleaning,

but be sure to select the wet pads

specifically formulated for cleaning hardwoods.

There are also floor polishes that help

restore the shine and offer protection

against wear.

These products will also help fill

small scratches and are

available in low and high gloss finishes.

To revitalize worn floors, use a floor wax.

These not only provide a deep clean,

but they leave a satin finish that

protects and beautifies hardwoods.

Regardless of which product you choose,

always apply them with the grain of the wood.

If your product requires a mop

application, rinse the mop often and wring it dry.

Although many products will

dry pretty quickly,

you can speed the

process by turning on a ceiling fan or

the floor can be dried using a soft microfiber cloth.

No matter how often you

clean your hardwood floor,

scratches are inevitable especially if you have pets.

There are liquid scratch concealers that

when dry form a permanent seal that

won't come off during cleaning.

Eventually, your floor's sealed surface

will wear, but fortunately real hardwood

flooring can be lightly sanded and new

finish applied to restore the floor's natural beauty.

For more detailed

information about this and many other

projects, check out the DIY projects and

ideas section of

or talk to one of our store associates.