How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors: Last-longer Tips

Hardwood floors are a stylish and durable option for any home. However, they require proper maintenance to preserve their beauty and longevity.

In this guide, we will detail the steps and procedures on how to clean prefinished hardwood floors effectively and safely.

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors: 5 Best Methods

Taking good care of your hardwood floors helps them last longer and stay shiny. This guide makes cleaning and maintaining your prefinished hardwood floors easy:

Dusting Weekly

To start your dusting weekly process, here we give you the tools needed, and a detailed guide to ensure effective results:

What you will need:

  • A microfiber mop
  • A soft, dry cloth

Detailed Guide

First, you should choose a microfiber mop or soft, dry cloth. This refers to either a microfiber mop or a soft, dry cloth. Avoid brooms or mops with hard bristles as they can scratch your hardwood floors.

After that, run the microfiber mop or soft cloth along the hardwood floor, ensuring you cover all areas. You should pay extra attention to corners and crevices where dust and debris can accumulate.

After dusting the room, clean the mop or cloth thoroughly. If using a microfiber mop, remove the mop pad and wash it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For a cloth, shake off the dust outside, then wash it. Cleaning the mop or cloth prevents dust stays on the next time you use it.


  • Don’t wet mop the floor during dusting. Water can damage hardwood floors if left to soak in. If you encounter sticky or stubborn stains, deal with them separately using a damp cloth and appropriate cleaner.
  • Avoid using oils, waxes, or furniture sprays to dust. These can create a slippery surface and may damage the finish of your floor over time.
  • Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar attachment. This can scratch and damage your floor.
  • If your hardwood floor has deep crevices or beveled edges, be extra cautious when dusting.

Wet Mopping Monthly

Here, we will give you detailed information to clean with wet mopping monthly:

What will you need:

  • A damp mop and a gentle
  • pH-neutral hardwood floor cleaner (should be specifically designed for use on hardwood floors)

Detailed Guide:

In the first step, you sweep or vacuum the floor. This initial cleaning removes any loose dirt and dust and prevents it from being spread around during mopping.

Next, you mix your chosen floor cleaner with water according to the instructions on the bottle. It’s important to ensure you’re using the correct proportions to avoid over-saturating your floors with moisture.

After that, you continue to dip your mop into the cleaning solution, then wring it out thoroughly. Your mop should be damp, not soaking wet.

In detail, you start mopping from one corner of the room and work your way toward the exit. This way, you’re not walking on the areas you’ve just cleaned. Remember to rinse the mop frequently in the cleaning solution to keep it clean and effective.

When you are finished, allow the floor to air dry. If there’s excess water, dry it up with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water from soaking into the wood.


  • Avoid using too much water when mopping hardwood floors as it can seep into the cracks and cause the wood to warp or swell.
  • If the floor gets too wet during the cleaning process, quickly dry up the excess water.
Using a dry cloth to clean your hardwood floors

Get Streak-Free Floors

Here are the steps to ensure a streak-free hardwood floor:

Avoiding Streaks

First, always dust or sweep your floors before mopping. This picks up any loose dirt, stopping it from spreading across your floor when you mop.

In the process, make sure your mop isn’t too wet. Squeeze out any extra water before you start. Too much water can leave a film on your floor that makes it look streaky.

Next, remember to wash your mop during your cleaning. This keeps your mop clean, so you don’t spread dirty water on your floor.

Finally, once you’ve finished mopping, quickly dry your floor with a dry microfiber mop or cloth. This helps stop water spots and streaks. The quicker your floor dries, the less likely you are to get streaks.

Remember, be careful not to scrub too hard when trying to remove streaks, as this can scratch your hardwood floors. Always make sure your mop or cloth is rinsed well and squeezed out to stop more streaks from forming.

Removing Streaks

If you do end up with streaks despite your best efforts, don’t worry. Here’s how you can remove them:

First, you should identify the streaked area and get a clean, dry microfiber cloth or mop.

After that, rub the cloth or mop gently over the streaked area. The microfiber material should help to pick up any residue left behind that’s causing the streaks.

If the dry cloth or mop doesn’t work, you can try using a bit of your hardwood floor cleaner. Apply a small amount to a cloth and rub it gently over the streaked area, then wipe it dry.


  • Be careful not to scrub too hard when trying to remove streaks, as this can scratch your hardwood floors.
  • Also, always ensure your mop or cloth is properly rinsed and wrung out to avoid causing more streaks.

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To do this, you’ll need to select a polish designed for your specific type of hardwood floor. You can check with an expert flooring or the manufacturer of your floors.

After that, begin by tidying up your floor. This means picking up any dirt or small pieces. This will help prevent these items from getting stuck under the polish.

Next, find the instructions on your polish bottle. Follow these as you apply a bit of the polish onto a clean, dry rag or a special pad for polishing.

Now, start rubbing the polish onto your floor. Move in circles and focus on one small spot at a time. This way, you’ll make sure the polish coats the floor evenly.

After you’ve applied the polish, give it time to dry completely. Avoid walking on the floor or placing furniture on it until it’s dry.

It’s important to remember not to go overboard with the polish. Using too much can cause your floor too slippery and make it a magnet for dust.

Apply the polish to your hardwood floor

Sand or Refinish yearly

Note: You might need to sand or refinish your floors every year if they are in a busy area if you have pets that scratch them, or if you host many events. However, doing this too often can cause your floors to wear out faster. Always check your floors for damage and consider their age before deciding.

First, you take out everything from the room. After that, you’ll need to sand your floor using a floor sander. This machine helps remove old layers from your floor and any deep scratches. In the process, you remember that move the sander the same way as the wood lines to avoid making more scratches.

After sanding, you use a vacuum or a broom to clean up all the dust. After ensuring the entire area is clean and continue to apply a wood conditioner. This helps the wood soak up the new finish evenly, making your floor look smooth and shiny.

Once the conditioner has soaked into the wood, you can put on the new finish. Follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Usually, you’ll need to apply it the same way as the wood lines, and it’s often best to apply several thin coats rather than one thick one.

Finally, let the floor dry fully before you walk on it or put furniture back. Check the finished bottle to see how long it should dry.


  • Sanding floors generates a significant amount of dust. This dust can spread around your home and can be difficult to clean. So, you may need to cover furniture and other items in your home to protect them.
  • Moreover, keep in mind that sanding and refinishing hardwood floors is a big job that can create a lot of dust. It can also be tricky if you’re not experienced. If you’re not confident doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional.

Maintaining Prefinished Hardwoods

Proper maintenance is essential for preserving the beauty and durability of your prefinished hardwood floors. Regular cleaning is crucial, whether it’s sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris.

Remember to avoid excessive moisture by quickly wiping up spills and using mats in high-traffic areas to trap dirt and moisture. Protecting your floors from sharp objects and high heels is important to prevent scratches and dents.

Also, shield your floors from excessive sunlight exposure to prevent fading. Consider professional maintenance for deep cleaning and refinishing services. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines ensures you’re using the appropriate cleaning methods and products.

Prefinished Hardwoods

Dos and Don’ts for Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Here are some important tips for keeping your prefinished hardwood floors in top shape:

Need to do:

  • Dust and Clean Regularly: Make it a habit to clean your floors often. This can be as simple as sweeping or vacuuming to pick up any dirt that can scratch your floors. Remember, if you’re using a vacuum, use the attachment meant for hard floors to avoid any damage.
  • Use Rugs: They will protect your floors too! Put rugs in places where there’s a lot of foot traffic to protect your floors from wear and tear.
  • Clean Up Spills Right Away: Don’t let a spill sit for too long. Clean it up right away to avoid any water damage.
  • Use Furniture Pads: Stick felt or rubber pads including those made from mattress materials under your furniture. This way, when you move things around, you won’t risk scratching your floors.
  • Trim your pet’s nails regularly


  • Use Strong Cleaners: When you clean, make sure to use cleaners that are safe for your type of floor.
  • Use Steam Mops: Steam mops can cause your hardwood floors to warp because of the heat and moisture. It’s best to avoid using them.
  • Use Too Much Water: When you’re mopping your floors, make sure the mop is damp, not soaking wet. Too much water can cause your floors to warp.
  • Drag Furniture: When moving furniture, lift it instead of dragging it across the floor to avoid scratches.

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Taking care of your prefinished hardwood floors doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With regular dusting, monthly mopping, occasional polishing, and proper precautions, your floors can maintain their beauty and durability for years to come.


What’s the best way to clean hardwood floors without ruining the finish?

You should aim to sweep or dust mop your hardwood floors a couple of times a week, specifically paying attention to corner areas. Keep in mind that it’s not advisable to clean your hardwood floors with water, and you should never use a wet mop since moisture can be harmful to the material. If any liquid is spilled on your floors, it’s best to quickly wipe it off with a clean, dry cloth to prevent potential cracking.

Which cleaners should be avoided when cleaning hardwood floors?

When it comes to maintaining your hardwood floors, cleaning solutions containing vinegar or ammonia should be avoided. These substances can remove dirt effectively, but they also harm the floor’s finish. Over time, the acidic nature of these cleaners can degrade your hardwood, resulting in irregular patches that are challenging to restore.

Why do my hardwood floors appear unclean even after mopping?

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