How to clean a wooden floor – A Naked Floors Guide

cleaning wood floors

The question of how to clean a wooden floor is one we’re often asked as customers choose their floors. The beauty of wooden floors is in their natural tones and textures. These shine through with character as they gently age over the years. Keeping your floors in tip top condition is a priority if you want to enjoy them looking at their best for years to come.

Too often we see floors being resanded and refinished because homeowners didn’t know how to clean a wooden floor or care for it correctly. This extra upheaval and expense are easily avoidable. So how do you get a wooden floor so clean that Mrs Hinch and the Hinch Army would be proud of it? Read on for our tips

How to clean a wooden floor by naked floors

Naked Floors Essential Kit List to Clean a Wooden floor

To do any job properly you need the right equipment to hand. Here’s our list of cleaning essentials for your wooden floor

  • A Dust Pan and Brush
  • A Microfibre Sweeper
  • A Soft Cloth
  • A Hoover
  • A Mop
  • Wood Floor Cleaner

Regular Spot Cleaning

You’ll need the first two items in the list to carry out on the spot cleaning. Always act quickly to mop up any spills or accidents. Regular sweeping with a broom, dust pan and brush will collect up any dust. Dust can dull the finish of your floor. In addition it will collect grit from the floor which can also cause scratches.

spot clean a wooden floor naked floors


Wipe up any spills immediately with a soft cloth. Never leave water sitting on a hardwood floor as it can seep through the surface seal and penetrate the wood to cause even more damage. Wipe up any accidents and grimy spills with a damp cloth and always finish by drying the floor. Try and use water alone but if this won’t do it use a specific hardwood cleaner.

A mat at the doorway, especially if your floor meets an exterior entrance, is essential to catch dirt and grit from shoes before it spreads across your wooden floor. Dirt dulls the surface shine and grit can cause scratches so its important to keep these at the door if you can.

If your floor is in a high traffic area such as a hallway or kitchen put a rug or runner in place to protect the floor. A rug can be easily replaced so it is worth  getting one to protect the investment in your wooden floor. Areas where you stand often such as in front of the sink or hob will benefit most from being protected. Hoover the rug and give it a regular shake outside to loosen trapped dust and dirt. 

A deeper clean

Whilst a quick sweep each day will pick up daily dirt, regular hoovering is a necessity in busy homes. This is especially true if you have pets. Make sure that the hoover has a bare floor setting and test an area to ensure that the bristles on the brushes don’t damage the floor.

Wooden floors hate water and moisture so only use a mop to clean a wooden floor when absolutely necessary. If you regularly sweep/hoover and spot clean, mopping the floor will only need doing occasionally. Taking your shoes off whilst you clean will help to avoid creating dirty footprints across the floor as soon as you’ve mopped it.

Use a specific hardwood floor cleaner correctly diluted and applied with a soft microfibre mop. After you have mopped the floor use a second dry mop head, microfibre sweeper or soft absorbent terry cloth to buff the floor dry absorbing as much of the water as possible.

cleaning wood floors

Can I steam clean a wooden floor?

In a word – No! Whilst steam cleaners market themselves as a perfect solution to clean a wooden floor we really don’t recommend them. The steam helps water penetrate the wood even deeper than just a mop alone. Where the water absorbs in the wood it can cause the wood to warp and distort so avoid using steam mops on your wooden floor.

Which products should I use to clean a wooden floor?

There’s a whole host of products out there to clean wooden floors with but choose carefully. It goes without saying that harsh household cleaners shouldn’t be used on natural wooden floors. Products such as bleach, ammonia and abrasive cleaning products can discolour and damage the floor. Additionally products which leave a residue such as furniture oils, waxes and polishes should not be used on wooden floors as they will   react with the seal on the floorboards causing damage to the wood.

Each of our floors is hand finished with different products according to the type of wood, finish and colour. There is no one particular product that is great for everything. We’re happy to recommend cleaning products when you purchase which are specific to your type of floor.

To keep your floors in the best condition, as well as cleaning, ensuring you minimise damage from heavy furniture, high traffic and pets is also advisable. Visit our care page for more tips on floor care and maintenance