How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors Like An Expert

Clean Prefinished Hardwood

Hardwood floors can add a classic, timeless look to any home and make it feel more luxurious. Most people choose prefinished hardwood floors because they are more durable and easier to install. Despite their elegant appearance, they do require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking beautiful. To help you keep your hardwood floors in pristine condition, here are some tips on how to clean prefinished hardwood floors.

What Is Prefinished Hardwood Flooring?

Before we dive into cleaning prefinished wood floors, let’s learn more about them.

Pre-finished hardwood floors are boards wight factory finished wood flooring. This means they are ready to install immediately, and there is no need for sanding or staining. The coating usually has an aluminum oxide finish that protects the hardwood from scratches and spills.

The best part about prestained wood flooring is that it can last over 20 years if you care for them. You’ll need to do regular cleaning and maintenance to maintain their luster and beauty. This way, your floors will look like new for years to come.

What You Need to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

To properly clean your hardwood floors prefinished, you’ll need to make sure you have the following items:

  • Vacuum cleaner or broom with soft bristles
  • Damp mop
  • Wood cleaner (should be specially formulated for hardwood flooring)
  • Soft cloths and sponges
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Mild detergent
  • Old toothbrush
  • White vinegar

Ways to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Now that you know what you need, let’s look at some of the best ways for prefinished hardwood floor cleaning.

Vacuuming the hardwood floor 

Vacuuming your hardwood floors is a great way to remove dirt and debris from the surface. You’ll want to use a vacuum cleaner with soft bristles, as stiff bristles will scratch the finish of your floor.

Make sure you use slow, gentle strokes when vacuuming your hardwood floors. Also, avoid going back and forth over the same spot too often, as this could cause scratches. The best way to vacuum is to go in one direction to avoid dirt or debris. This also helps reduce wear and tear on the floor.

Dusting with a damp mop or cloth 

Another best way to clean prefinished hardwood floors is by dusting them with a damp mop or cloth. This will help remove any dirt and debris tracked in from outside. Ensure you use a soft, lint-free cloth or microfiber mop not to scratch your floor’s surface.

Start by sweeping the entire floor with a damp cloth or mop. Then, use a circular motion and go in one direction, covering every inch of the floor. Be sure to wring out your cloth or mop often to avoid getting caked with dirt.

Applying wood cleaner

Once you’ve vacuumed and dusted your hardwood floors, you can apply a wood cleaner to remove any remaining dirt and debris. Make sure you use a wood cleaner specifically formulated for hardwood flooring.

To apply the cleaner, pour some onto a microfiber cloth or mop and spread it evenly across the floor in one direction. Ensure you cover the entire surface and use a light, circular motion to ensure even coverage. Let the cleaner sit briefly before wiping it off with a damp cloth or mop.

Removing stains from prefinished hardwood floors 

If you have stains on your hardwood floors, you must tackle them differently. For light stains, you can use a mild detergent and water mixture. Mix equal parts of warm water and mild detergent in a bucket.

Then, dip an old toothbrush into the solution and scrub the stain gently. Be sure not to press too hard on the brush, or you could damage your floor’s finish. Once you’ve removed the stain, rinse the area with a damp cloth and let it dry.

You can make a paste with baking soda and water for tougher stains. Apply the paste to the stained area and use an old toothbrush to scrub it gently. Let the paste sit for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off with a damp cloth.

If all else fails, try using white vinegar to remove the stain. Dilute it with one white vinegar and two water parts, then apply the mixture to the stained area. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with an old toothbrush and rinsing it off with a damp cloth.

Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Other Tips for Maintaining Prefinished Hardwood Floors 

To keep your hardwood floors in top condition, here are some additional tips:

Use coasters and rugs to protect it from scratches 

Place coasters and rugs in high-traffic areas to protect your hardwood floors from scratches. This will help reduce wear on the floor’s surface while adding a decorative touch to any room. Consider getting rugs with soft fabrics or non-slippery materials, so they don’t cause any damage to your floors.

Avoid using harsh chemicals 

Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your prefinished hardwood floors. Harsh cleaners can damage and discolor the wood, leaving it dull and faded. Stick to gentle cleaners that are specifically formulated for hardwood flooring.

Light mopping the floors 

For everyday cleaning, you can simply use a mop with warm water. This will help remove dirt and debris from your prefinished hardwood floors without causing any damage. Ensure you wring out the mop thoroughly to avoid getting too much moisture on the floor.

Deep cleaning the pre-finished hardwood floors 

You can do a deep clean every few months for a more thorough cleaning. Start by sweeping the entire floor with a broom and dustpan to remove any dirt or debris. You’ll then want to mop the entire floor with warm water and a gentle cleaner. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with a damp mop or cloth.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Prefinished Hardwood Floors

To keep your prefinished hardwood floors looking their best, here are a few additional tips:

Use proper cleaning equipment 

Make sure you use the right cleaning equipment when caring for your hardwood floors. Vacuum cleaners with soft bristles are great for removing dirt and debris, while microfiber cloths or mops work well for dusting and mopping. Avoid using stiff-bristled brushes, as these can scratch the finish of your floor.

Avoid excessive water usage 

When cleaning your floors, avoid using too much water. Excessive moisture can damage the wood and leave it looking dull and discolored. Stick to damp mops or cloths when cleaning and always wring them out thoroughly before use.

Wipe up spills immediately 

Spills should be wiped up immediately to avoid staining your hardwood floors. If you don’t have a cleaning solution, try using club soda or white vinegar to clean up any messes.

Maintain appropriate humidity levels in home 

Maintaining the right humidity level in your home is also important for preserving your hardwood floors. Make sure the relative humidity stays between 40 and 60%, as this will help prevent damage from fluctuations in temperature or moisture levels.

Invest in professional cleaning 

Finally, consider investing in professional cleanings every few years. A professional cleaner can help keep your hardwood floors looking beautiful for years. They’ll use special equipment and techniques to ensure a deep clean that will remove any dirt or debris stuck in the wood.

By following these tips, you can keep your prefinished hardwood floors looking great for years to come.

Read Also: Best Steam MOP For Vinyl Floors

Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Frequently Asked Questions:

What cleaner to use on prefinished hardwood floors?

The best cleaner for prefinished hardwood floors is designed to clean wood. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives, as these can damage the finish of your floor. Instead, use a cleaner specifically made for hardwood surfaces that won’t leave residue behind.

Can you use vinegar on prefinished hardwood floors?

No. Vinegar is highly acidic and can strip the finish of prefinished hardwood floors, leaving them dull and lifeless. Only use products designed for wood surfaces to ensure a long-lasting, beautiful shine.

How do you clean hardwood floors that aren’t finished?

Unfinished hardwood floors require special attention. First, use a vacuum or broom to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, damp mop the floor with warm water and a mild cleaner designed for wood surfaces. Ensure to dry the surface immediately after to prevent damage from moisture absorption.

Can I wet mop hardwood floors?

It is safe to wet mop hardwood floors as long as you use a mild cleaner designed for wood surfaces. Ensure the surface is dry after each cleaning session to prevent any damage caused by water absorption. These steps will help ensure your floors remain beautiful and last for years.

How can I make my wood floors shine naturally?

Regular cleaning and basic maintenance are the best way to make your wood floors shine naturally. Start by vacuuming or sweeping the surface to remove dirt and debris. Then damp mop with a mild cleaner designed for wood surfaces and dry immediately after. Finally, use a wax-based polish to bring out the natural luster of your hardwood flooring.


Prefinished hardwood floors are a great way to add timeless beauty and value to any home. This guide on how to clean prefinished hardwood floors has given you the necessary steps to maintain your floors for years to come. 

By being proactive about regular cleaning and maintenance, your prefinished hardwood floor will remain in prime condition. So go forth and enjoy your beautiful, clean-as-a-whistle prefinished hardwood floors for many years.

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