Cleaning hardwood floors takes more than plugging in the vacuum or grabbing a dust mop. You’re three steps away from sanitized, shiny hardwood floors.
Step 1: Prep the floors
Remove all rugs and small pieces of furniture. Take the rugs outside and give them a good shake to loosen and remove dust and dirt. Let them air out to freshen the fabric. Move small pieces of furniture to another room until you’re done cleaning.
Start by sweeping. Use a stiff-bristle broom to collect dust balls and larger pieces of dirt such as small pieces of paper, leaves, or pieces of food. Move the dirt into a dustpan and toss it into the garbage. You’ll still notice a dull appearance and dust on the hardwood floors. That’s OK–you’ll get rid of that next.
Step 2: Wet mopping
Grab a 1-gallon bucket and fill it half-full with hot water. Add a cup of white vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Use the homemade vinegar cleanser and a wet mop to clean the floors. Cleaning hardwood floors with an acid-based cleaner will sanitize the surface and help remove stubborn sticky stains.
Dump the mop bucket and fill it with clear, hot water. Go over the hardwood floors one more time with the wet mop to remove any leftover cleanser and tackle any missed spots. Squeeze the mop so it’s nearly dry and go over the floor to absorb any leftover moisture. Now, let the floor air-dry for a few minutes.
Step 3: Finishing wax
Finally, it’s time to restore your hardwood floor’s naturally gorgeous shine. Choose a flooring wax that’s made for your type of floor. Do you have laminate wood floors or natural hardwood? Apply the wax according to the package directions. This usually requires a wet mop and time to let the floor dry.
Once the cleaning and waxing is finished, replace your rugs and furniture and enjoy the glow of your clean floor. If the rugs still look untidy, use a vacuum to fluff the fabric and remove any ground-in dirt. Use a sprinkle of carpet freshener to add a clean scent to the rugs.
Try to sweep and mop weekly to keep the floor looking great. Finishing wax only needs to be used once a month or so depending on the amount of traffic and dirt tracked across the floor.