Cleaning Hardwood Floors: Dos and Don’ts

Cleaning Hardwood Floors: Dos and Don’ts


Hardwood floors are a timeless and elegant addition to any home. They add warmth and beauty, and their durability makes them a popular choice for homeowners. However, to ensure that your hardwood floors retain their beauty for years to come, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential. In this article, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of cleaning hardwood floors to help you keep them looking their best.

The Dos of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

1. Regular Sweeping or Vacuuming

One of the most important aspects of hardwood floor maintenance is regular sweeping or vacuuming. Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. This will prevent scratches and help to maintain the shine of your floors.

2. Using a Damp Mop

For routine cleaning, a damp mop can be used to remove any sticky residue or spills. It is important to wring out the mop thoroughly to avoid excess water on the floors, which can cause them to warp or buckle. Consider using a microfiber mop, as it is gentle on hardwood and effectively picks up dirt and grime.

3. Using pH-Neutral Cleaners

When it comes to hardwood floors, using the right cleaner is crucial. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the finish and make your floors look dull. Opt for pH-neutral cleaners specifically formulated for hardwood floors. These cleaners are gentle yet effective in removing dirt without causing any harm.

4. Wiping Up Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, and spills are inevitable. However, it is important to wipe up any spills immediately to prevent the liquid from seeping into the wood and causing damage. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to blot the spill and clean the area with a damp mop following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

5. Using Protection Pads and Area Rugs

To prevent scratches and dents, it is advisable to use furniture protection pads under the legs of chairs, tables, and other heavy furniture. Additionally, placing area rugs in high-traffic areas or under furniture will help protect the floors from wear and tear. Just ensure that the rugs have non-slip backings to avoid accidents.

The Don’ts of Cleaning Hardwood Floors

1. Don’t Use Excessive Water

Excessive water is the enemy of hardwood floors. Avoid using a wet mop or excessive amounts of water when cleaning your floors, as it can seep into the wood and cause buckling or warping. Hardwood floors are not waterproof, and too much water can lead to irreversible damage.

2. Don’t Use Vinegar or Ammonia-Based Cleaners

Although vinegar and ammonia solutions are commonly used as DIY cleaners, they are not suitable for hardwood floors. These acidic substances can strip off the protective finish and dull the shine of your floors. Stick to pH-neutral cleaners specifically formulated for hardwood floors.

3. Don’t Drag Heavy Furniture

Dragging heavy furniture across hardwood floors can leave scratches and scuffs. Always lift and carry furniture when moving it to avoid damaging the floor. If moving furniture becomes a regular task, consider using furniture sliders to minimize the risk of scratches.

4. Don’t Use Abrasive Tools

Avoid using abrasive tools like steel wool or scrub brushes on your hardwood floors. These tools can scratch the surface, leaving behind visible damage. Instead, use soft cloths or gentle brushes to remove dirt and grime.

5. Don’t Ignore Regular Maintenance

Proper maintenance is vital for the longevity of your hardwood floors. Regularly inspect the floors for any signs of damage, such as cracks or splits, and address them promptly. Additionally, schedule professional hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance to ensure their continued beauty and durability.


Hardwood floors are an investment that adds value and beauty to your home. By following these dos and don’ts of cleaning hardwood floors, you can maintain their elegance for years to come. Remember to sweep or vacuum regularly, use a damp mop with pH-neutral cleaners, wipe up spills promptly, and protect the floors from scratches and dents. Avoid excessive water, vinegar or ammonia-based cleaners, dragging heavy furniture, abrasive tools, and neglecting regular maintenance. If you need professional cleaning services for your hardwood floors, Crystal Facilities Management is here to assist you.