How to Clean Hardwood Floors

The most often-asked question at Real Wood Floors is an important one. How do I clean my wood floor? This is a great question because, like with pretty much anything else, the better you care for it, the longer it’s going to last. And this is especially true if you would like your floor to continue to look just as it did when you first bought it. We have been happy to get this question over the last fifteen years, and we have the answer for you. Also, if you don’t know about them, we’ll talk about our very own wood-floor cleaning products that will help you keep those floors pristine.

It’s all about preventative care.

Preventative care of your wood floor is the biggest contributor to the quality of its lifespan.

It’s best to try and keep hard, heavy objects from sliding across your wood floors. Protective pads should be placed under any furniture that moves. This includes chairs and small tables.

Floor mats should be placed inside all exterior doors to capture dirt, rocks, and any foreign debris. Traffic on top of these materials causes the most damage day to day on wood flooring.

In the same vein, regular dry cleaning goes a long way to keeping your floor’s finish looking like new. We suggest vacuuming with a hard-surface vacuum, sweeping, or dry mopping. (The robot vacuums work great for this!) All liquid spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. Besides looking sloppy on your floor, liquids can potentially damage wood flooring over time.

How to mop properly.

Next, grab your floor mop with a microfiber pad and a spray bottle of floor cleaner. Spray the mop pad first so it’s damp before you begin. Starting in the far corner of the room, spray an area a little wider than your arm span with cleaner, about the size of your mopping motion side to side. You’ll quickly learn how large it is as you go.

You want your mop to move primarily in the same direction as your wood grain. In other words, along the lengths of your floorboards, not across them. We’ve learned that the best method is to move the mop in a serpentine motion. Move the mop head across the floor to your farthest reach, then turn back and move the opposite direction (snake-like) alongside the previous stroke. After the section of sprayed floor is finished, simply move to the next dry area and repeat until you finish the room.

The texture of your flooring and the cleanliness of its surface will determine how much cleaning spray to use. Generally, the more heavily textured floor and dirtier floor will need more cleaning spray, and a smoother and cleaner floor will need less. Along these lines, look for dirty spots or old spills as you clean. These may require an extra cleaner in order to remove.

It’s good to check your mop pad after finishing a room and before moving on to another. If overly dirty, continued use can spread the contaminants throughout your space. In this case it’s recommended to clean or replace your pad before continuing. If your home is cleaned frequently, a fresh mop pad should be enough for complete cleaning.

What products should I use in order to clean my floor?

Now that you know how to properly clean your floor, the next question is of course, “What cleaner should I use?”

When we first fielded this question, we recommended floor cleaners we were familiar with, but we realized many of the most well-known floor cleaners on the market weren’t necessarily that good at cleaning wood floors. Some would leave a waxy sheen, or worse yet, streaks. Others left a shiny residue.

We eventually realized what we needed to do: make our own cleaner.

We researched floor cleaners and tested a great number of them to document their best features. We gathered customer feedback. Then, we partnered with an American coatings and cleaning manufacturer to produce the first in a collection of cleaning products we named Real Clean Floors.

Our cleaning spray uses the natural cleaning agent, D-Limonene, made from orange peels. A strong, natural degreaser, it does not leave streaks, cleans tough stains, and doesn’t damage floors. With its citrus fragrance, Real Clean provides a fresh clean with a pleasing aroma that dissipates quickly. It is safe on all types of flooring, and better yet, safe around family and pets.

Along with the typical cleaning spray, we did the same research on mops. Through trial and error, we developed what we consider to be a product a few steps ahead of most other microfiber floor mops. The Real Wood Floors mop includes an extra-long telescoping handle and a visual and physical queue on the mop head we named scrub-step. Scrub-step cleans those hard-to-get spots when you press your foot on the mop head to dig in a little extra.

We also realized that some people grew tired when cleaning large spaces because of the constant downward pushing movement for cleaning, so we developed a feature to help with that. With added weight to the head, gravity aids the downward pressure and helps take some burden off of the cleaner’s back while mopping.

To round out the cleaning suite, we also developed a couple of types of mop pads, a cleaner concentrate, and protective felt pads. You can find all of Real Clean Floors products available at

We recommend our floor cleaner be used on, not just each of our own products, but all types of wood floors. We believe it’s the best way to care for your hardwood floor; making it and your home happier. Happy cleaning!