How to clean wooden floors

A spotlessly clean wooden floor makes the perfect skating rink for your future-figure-skating star

How to clean wooden floors

Wooden floors have a classic, stylish appeal, and as long as you clean them the right way, they’ll look great for a long time. Once you know the best way to clean hardwood floors, it’ll be a simple process and one that’s well worth the effort. Here’s how to clean wooden floors in our step-by-step guide.

1. Sweep the floor clean

Before we get on to how to polish wooden floors and how to make wooden floors shine, your first job will be to remove dust and debris. You can use a soft bristled broom or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner before you get to work with the deeper cleaning.

2. Identify the type of floor you’re cleaning

After sweeping debris away the next (and most vital) task is to establish the best way to clean hardwood floors by identifying the type of finish you have.

  • Choose a small test area and wipe it with a little rubbing alcohol. If the cloth is clear, it’s most likely you’ve got a polyurethane finish. If you see some colour, it’s most likely that you have a floor with a varnish or shellac finish.
  • Once you’ve established that, you can find the best way to clean your wood floors with the right specialist cleaner, designed for the finish you’ve got. You won’t always need a deep cleaner, but it’s important to have the right solution if you do.

3. How to clean wooden floors

Once all your prep work is done you can get onto the task of cleaning. First off, if you’ve got a floor with no protective covering you need to stick to clean water. If you’ve got a floor that has a protective finish, you’ve got more options. Here’s the best way to clean wooden floors:

  • Mop your floor with as little water and cleaning solution as possible.
  • Work the mop into all areas of your room, including the corners.
  • Once that’s done, squeeze out your mop and go over the floor again with clean water.
  • Use strong kitchen paper to get into those difficult areas and wipe the floor dry.


Plenty The Extra Big One is ideal for cleaning and drying hardwood floors, particularly in those hard to reach places. It’s super absorbent to soak up water and cleaning solution, and strong enough to hold together.

4. How to polish wood floors

Polishing your floors after cleaning will make them sparkle, and it’s easy to do as long as you follow a few simple steps. Here’s how to make wooden floors shine:

  • Choose an appropriate floor polish and always read the instructions. Generally you would use a water-based polish for polyurethane floors and wax for other types.
  • Test on a small area to check for any reactions.
  • Using strong kitchen paper, apply the polish in semicircles, overlapping your strokes to avoid a streaky finish.
  • Start at the furthest corner and work towards the middle of the room, polishing in small sections at a time. It’s best to apply thin layers and build up, rather than putting down one thick layer.
  • Finish with the section by the door, so you can step out without spoiling your work.
  • Leave to dry for at least six hours. If you’re moving furniture out of the room to polish, you can put it back after 24 hours.

There you have it, a simple guide to cleaning and polishing wooden floors. With regular maintenance and carrying out deep cleaning once in a while, your floor will look amazing for years to come.

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