How to Clean Hardwood Floors*

Hardwood flooring isn’t just beautiful, it’s also durable. And, with regular cleaning and maintenance they can be easy to care for. Read on for simple step-by-step instructions for how to maintain and clean sealed wood floors, and check out our other articles on how to mop a hardwood floor with Pine-Sol and how to clean laminate floors. 

In general, remember to treat your hardwood floors with care. Sweep regularly to remove dirt and debris that can scratch and dull surfaces, and use a soft brush attachment when vacuuming.  

Felt pads or coasters can help to protect wood floors from table legs, especially when rearranging or moving furniture. You can also strategically place rugs in high-traffic areas to reduce the amount of dirt tracked onto hardwood surfaces. 

For a deep clean, we recommend Pine-Sol® Original Pine Multi-Surface Cleaner, but feel free to choose your favorite scent.  

TIP: Be sure to check whether you’re using our new concentrated Pine-Sol® formula or the old non-concentrated Pine-Sol, as that will determine your dilution ratio. See the chart below and get your ratios right! 

Supplies

Steps

After selecting your favorite scent of Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner, you’re ready to begin cleaning your hardwood floors. With regular cleaning and maintenance your hardwood floors can be easy to care for. Follow these steps:

  1. Step 1 Sweep or vacuum the floor with a hard floor attachment to remove loose dirt.
  2. Step 2 Dilute Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner per label instructions.
  3. Step 3 Mop your floor with the mixture. Try not to let liquid pool, which can warp and streak wood.
  4. Step 4 Scrub stains and shoe marks with full-strength Pine-Sol®. Use a toothbrush or sponge instead of steel wool or scouring pads when cleaning your floors.
  5. Step 5 Rinse with water.

Polishing & Waxing

In addition to cleanings with a damp mop, polishing and waxing can keep hardwood floors looking new by adding shine and helping to minimize and conceal dings, scratches and scuff marks. Hardwood floor damage can be caused by things like shoes or dragging heavy furniture across floors.

If you decide to polish or wax your hardwood floors, start by making sure to select a product formulated for hardwood.

Then, for best results, follow the steps for mopping hardwood floors and proceed with polishing by following the polish manufacturer’s instructions.

Maintaining

How often you clean your hardwood floors depends on how many people and pets you have in your home and how much foot traffic you get. To keep hardwood floors looking their best, it’s usually best to sweep, vacuum or mop up dry debris at least once a week.

But, you may need to do so more often if there’s a lot of foot traffic. The more foot traffic, the faster dirt, grime and pet hair build up on your floors. Dirt and grime, especially, can make your hardwood floors look dull. If this is the case, deep clean hardwood floors every two to four weeks.

It’s also easy to clean linoleum floors with Pine-Sol® — just follow these simple steps.

Protecting

It’s inevitable that hardwood floors will get dirty. However, you can take measures to reduce the amount of dirt and grime that accumulate on your floors, help protect them from damage and keep them gleaming.

  • Make sure you clean up any spills right away so pooled water and other liquids won’t stain or damage the floor.
  • If you have a pet, it’s a good idea to put a plastic mat under its water dish to prevent spillage onto the floor.
  • Don’t drag things like suitcases or heavy objects, like furniture, across your hardwood floors. This is one of the leading causes of scuffing and scratching. Instead, place felt pads on the bottoms of furniture legs or other large, heavy objects.
  • Use area rugs in children’s play areas and parts of the house with heavy foot traffic to prevent scratches and reduce wear and tear.
  • Trim your pet’s nails regularly to prevent scratching.
  • Avoid wearing shoes on your floors to prevent scuffing, or shoes with cleats or high heels to prevent scratching and indentations.
  • Place a doormat at the door, and encourage family members and guests to either wipe off or remove their shoes before entering your home. This will ensure dirty shoes aren’t tracking dirt and other particles across your floors or creating scuff marks.

When it comes to carpets, protecting them can be trickier than protecting hardwood floors. Check out these tips for removing carpet stains.

Do's And Dont's

Do's
  • DO Take steps to protect your floors.
  • DO Clean up spills immediately.
  • DO Vacuum pet hair, dirt and dust before you deep clean.
Dont's
  • DON’T let your mop get too saturated with liquid, or let liquid pool on the floor.
  • DON’T use abrasive cleaning supplies like scrubbing pads or hard bristle brushes.

For information on the Do’s and Don’ts of cleaning your home, check out our Complete Spring Cleaning Guide.

With an improved concentrated formula that is 2x as strong* to last 2x as long*, you can use less for the same great clean.

concentrated formula Non-concentrated formula
¼ cup in 2 gallons water ½ cup in 2 gallons water
⅛ cup in 1 gallon water ¼ cup in 1 gallon water
¹⁄₁₆ cup or 1 tablespoon in ½ gallon water ⅛ cup in ½ gallon water
have a question about pine-sol®?
  1. * When used as directed.
  2. † Do not use on wood that is unfinished, unsealed, unpainted, waxed, oiled or worn.
PINE-SOL® BY THE NUMBERS
  • 2X concentrated
    formula*
    Tackle more messes per bottle.*
  • 5x cleaning
    action
    Odor, grease, grime, dirt & allergens.
  • removes 99% of allergens§
    Destroy dust mites & pet dander.
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  • * vs. previous Pine-Sol® Pine/Scented Formula when used as directed
  • When diluted as directed vs previous Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner.
  • § Non-living dust mite matter and pet dander