Whether you discovered hardwood flooring under the carpeting in your recently-purchased home or you installed hardwood flooring yourself, you’re going to want to take good care of it. Here’s what we recommend.
Start With a Shoes-Off Policy
Wood floors get scratched when they come in contact with the stuff stuck to your footwear, so tread lightly in your stocking feet or slippers as often as you can. If you want guests to remove their shoes, make it obvious by having a shoe storage solution, such as a basket or tray, and shareable slippers in the entryway.
You’ve probably never cleaned these things in your home—but you really should!
Is Murphy’s Oil Soap Good for Hardwood Floors?
Heck, yes! People have been using this biodegradable, phosphate-free product on their hardwood floors since 1889. You can’t go wrong with tried-and-true Murphy’s.
Of course, it’s hardly the only option out there. A few more high-rated wood floor cleaners:
Method Squirt & Mop Wood Floor Cleaner is a relatively new hardwood floor cleaning product that’s getting rave reviews. Users gush about the light fragrance and that it leaves a lustrous, long-lasting shine on their floors
Babyganics floor cleaner concentrate makers say, “To you, it’s a floor. To your baby, it’s a crawling highway.” This non-toxic solution is tot- and pet-friendly, fragrance-free and effective.
Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is a concentrated, multi-purpose and biodegradable choice that’s also Oprah-recommended. If you like an air of fir and spruce, this one’s for you.
Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner‘s main ingredient is vinegar, and it comes in natural scents such as sweet mandarin and fresh lime mint. This one’s an all-around winner—earth-friendly, budget-friendly, kid-friendly and tons of friendly reviews.
DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner
If you’d prefer to make your own hardwood floor cleaner, here’s a versatile recipe that we recommend.
- 2 c. warm water
- 1/2 c. white vinegar
- 1/4 c. rubbing alcohol
- 3 drops liquid dish soap (no antibacterial ingredients, moisturizers or oxygen bleach)
- 5 to 10 drops essential oil of your choice
This cleaner, used at full strength, works for a small area of floor and for touch-ups. Any remaining solution can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one month. For larger floor surfaces, make a bigger batch in a bucket.
Additional Hardwood Floor Cleaning Tips
Good, Clean Fun
Want a clean floor on the daily, but struggle to find the time? Try this quick workaround: Turn on a favorite song, squirt some of your chosen spray-and-mop product on the floor and the drop a couple of rags down, too. Now, step on the rags and start shuffling. You won’t make it into every corner, but the main drag will be clean by song’s end.
Use Your Tools
Break out the mops and brooms regularly to remove sand and any other sharp debris that can scratch your floor. When it comes to choosing the right ones, you can’t go too far wrong with any product specifically designed for use on wood floors. To help: Here are our recommendations for vacuums and robot vacuums.
Plus: Here’s why we don’t recommend steam cleaners for hardwood floors.