How to Clean and Wax Wood Flooring

Many homeowners are intimidated by the thought of cleaning wooden floors. Most people are afraid of ruining the wood or not being able to get the floor clean. Others don’t know where to start. This blog post will show you how to clean natural wood flooring properly and wax it without ruining its original look so it lasts and looks brand new.

Cleaning Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood floors, or natural wood floors, are an investment that can last a lifetime—but only if they’re cared for correctly. Warped, rotting boards, loose planks, and damaged finishes are all common problems when cleaning natural flooring inappropriately or using harsh cleaners on delicate surfaces. These problems can be avoided, however, by following these simple tips for cleaning and waxing your wood floors.

Use Soft Bristle Brooms and Dust Mops

One of the most important things you can do to clean your wood floors is to sweep or dust them daily. This will prevent dirt and grit from being ground into the finish, which can dull the surface and cause scratches. Using a soft bristle broom or a dust mop with natural fibers is best. Synthetic dust mops can sometimes shed, leaving behind lint that will stick to your floor and be challenging to remove.

Use a Damp Mop and Gentle Cleanser

Once you’ve swept or dusted your floor, it’s time to mop. Begin by mopping with a clean damp mop and a gentle cleanser. You can use water alone, but a mild dish soap or wood floor cleaner will help to remove any stubborn dirt or stains. Be sure not to overwet the floor, as this can damage the wood. Also, avoid using too much cleanser, which can leave a sticky residue behind.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemical Cleaners

Harsh chemicals can damage natural wood floors, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. If you must use a chemical cleaner, be sure to dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and test it in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire floor.

Waxing Hardwood Floors

Once your floor is clean, you may want to wax it to protect the finish and give it a shine. You can use a liquid or paste wax, but be sure to choose one designed for use on wood floors. Also, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before applying the wax. Reapply wax every six months or as needed to keep your wood floors looking their best.

Applying Liquid Wax

If you choose to use a liquid wax, you first need to clean the floor. Once it’s clean, apply a thin layer of wax with a clean cloth or mop, working in small sections. Be sure to buff the wax on the floor using a clean, dry cloth. You may need to apply several coats of wax, depending on the type of flooring you have and the condition of the finish.

Applying Paste Wax

Paste wax is a little more challenging to apply than liquid wax but can provide a high-gloss finish. To apply paste wax, spread a small amount of wax onto the floor with a clean cloth. Then, using a clean, dry cloth, buff the wax on the floor in small sections. You may need to apply several coats of wax to get the desired effect.

What hard floors shouldn’t be waxed?

Certain types of natural wood floors shouldn’t be waxed. These include:

  • Floors with a polyurethane, shellac, or lacquer finish.
  • Floors that have been treated with wax remover. 

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before waxing your floor when in doubt.

With these simple tips, you can clean and wax your wood floors without damaging them. Be sure to sweep or dust them daily, mop with a gentle cleanser, and avoid using harsh chemicals. You can also wax your floors to protect the finish and give them a shine. Just be sure to choose the right type of wax for your flooring and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


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