From spills and scuffs to foot traffic and debris, floors go through a lot in a day. We’ve put together a complete guide to caring for and cleaning your timber flooring to keep it looking polished, clean, and beautiful. These effective tips and tricks will make it easier to care for your hardwood floors.

Protect Your Wood Floors

Keeping your hardwood timber flooring beautiful starts with prevention. This cuts down on your time spent cleaning hardwood floors and is an easy way to lessen the amount of damage your floors are subjected to.

Here are some easy tips to prevent spills, scratches, and dents on your timber flooring:

  • Place floor mats both inside and outside exterior doors to cut down on the amount of dirt and sand that gets tracked in
  • In rainy weather, designate an area to remove boots to prevent tracking water inside
  • Have a bench or chair next to the door to encourage the removal of shoes before going inside
  • Keep a small towel stashed near the door to quickly wipe up any spills or puddles
  • Rain or shine, always remove shoes before coming indoors (this is especially important when it comes to cleats or heels)
  • Use floor protectors under any furniture
  • Add a rug in your children’s play area to prevent scratches


Protect your wood floors

Protect your wood floors by using rugs and mats where necessary.


Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Regularly sweeping or dust mopping your timber flooring will go a long way in keeping it clean and cared for. The amount of foot traffic your timber flooring sees will dictate how often you need to sweep it.

For some households, once a day might be sufficient. Households with pets, kids, or a lot of foot traffic will need more frequent sweeping or dust mopping.

Dust mops that are specifically designed to pick up pet hair, dirt, and dust are excellent for removing debris that may scratch the flooring’s surface. We recommend a dust mop with a microfibre head as this material is gentle on flooring but excellent at trapping dust and debris. Most mops do not require an extra cleaning agent, but it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Vacuuming is another important tool for keeping your timber flooring in good condition. Once or twice a week, consider using your vacuum’s floor-brush attachment for a deeper clean. Avoid using the beater bar attachment as this can scratch hardwood flooring. Electrostatic cloths can also be used for a quick dusting.

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How to Mop Correctly

Along with regular sweeping and vacuuming, occasional mopping provides a deeper clean to remove any oil, dirt, and grime that have built up.

How to clean hardwood floors:

  • Use a wood floor mop and a cleaning product specificed for hardwood flooring and diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Saturate a rag mop or sponge in the water and wring it dry so it only feels slightly damp
  • Mop your timber flooring, taking care to avoid any areas of standing water left on the floor
  • Rinse your mop with clean water
  • If the cleaning product requires it, use your clean, damp mop to rinse the floor
  • Be sure any excess liquid is wiped up immediately and floors are only slightly damp
  • To speed up the drying process, consider running a ceiling fan or air-conditioning, especially in humid conditions


Finding the Best Wood Floor Cleaner

What is the best product for cleaning hardwood flooring? If you are having trouble deciding, please feel free to reach out to us. We can help you find a product that is specifically designed for your particular timber flooring. You can also contact the manufacturer of your flooring for cleaner recommendations.

Avoid using cleaning products designated for tile or vinyl floors as these can damage timber floors rather than cleaning them. If using harsh chemicals concerns you, check for hardwood floor cleaners that are specifically designed to be safe to use around kids and pets.


Is There a Way to Clean Hardwood Flooring Naturally?

Some individuals prefer to use vinegar as a natural hardwood flooring cleaner. To do this, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water and use a mop to deep clean your timber hardwood floors.

Note: Although vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner, it can dull certain hardwood flooring finishes. Before using vinegar, try checking with your flooring’s manufacturer and testing the solution in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it does not damage your flooring.


How to Remove Stains

Before attempting to remove a stain on your hardwood flooring, it is important to consider your flooring’s finish. If it is a surface stain, it is likely that your flooring has a hard finish.

If the stain has penetrated through to the wood, your timber likely has a soft finish. This finish type is more common in older hardwood floors that have not been refinished and resealed.

To clean timber floors with a hard finish, a soft, clean cloth can be used to remove surface stains. Never use steel wool, harsh chemicals, or sandpaper on timber with a hard finish as these can cause permanent damage to the floor’s finish.

For soft oiled finishes, here are some remedies to try (if needed, end each treatment by staining the wood, waxing it, and buffing the spot to blend the rest of the flooring):

  • For pet stains or dark spots – Rub the spot with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If needed, apply vinegar or bleach and allow it to soak into the wood for an hour before rinsing with a damp cloth.
  • For white stains or water marks – Rub the area with No. 000 steel wool and floor wax. If needed, lightly sand the floor and clean with odourless mineral spirits and fine steel wool.
  • For heel marks – For marks left behind by heels, use fine steel wool to rub in floor wax.
  • For oil-based stains – Rub the area using a soft cloth and dish detergent and rinse with water. Repeat as needed. Make sure to keep pets and children out of the room until the spot has been cleaned and dried thoroughly. Fine sandpaper can be used to smooth the raised grain if needed.


Use a soft cloth

Use a soft cloth on hardwood surfaces.


We’re Here to Help

Whether you need more cleaning tips for cleaning your timber hardwood flooring or maintaining clean timber floors, want help deciding on which colour flooring would go best with your space, or need help choosing between the different types of flooring, we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions.

You can also browse our regularly updated collection of flooring blog posts. We aim to share our decades of flooring knowledge with our customers through our extensive collection of posts dedicated to all-things-flooring.

If there is a question or topic we haven’t covered yet, please be sure to let us know.


Dean Billett

Dean Billett is our resident flooring expert. He has an impressive 28 years of experience working in the flooring industry. While working in various areas of the industry, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge related to all aspects of flooring.