The best way to clean and restore hardwood floor the right way, plus tips for preserving the entire floor in high traffic areas. The easy way to clean dirty hardwood floors, how to remove the existing finish, and how to use polyurethane finish, for the best results. 

How to clean and restore hardwood floor the right way
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Old wood floors can sometimes be a gem or a nightmare. Depending on the condition of the wood, you can choose to restore it or replace it with a new oak floor. This can be done by yourself or by hiring a professional welding company. The second option is when the wood is rotten and you see signs of mites, mold bits, or other wood insects that you won’t be able to deal with.

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How to clean and restore hardwood floor the right way

Nowadays, hardwood floors can be found very rarely in newly built properties. The labor and high cost of oak floors make it difficult for property developers to make a profit; therefore, laminate floors are widely used instead. Laminate floors are beautiful and practical too, but won’t last that long like the hardwood ones.

Check this post, if planning to buy a property in the near future, to learn some important factors that might affect your purchase. You will discover some great tips that not everyone is talking about.

When buying an old property and discovering an old wood floor take your time to examine the hardwood floor thoughtfully.  Hardwood floors are extremely expensive and durable, and this kind of investment will last for generations

So, you’ve bought a house, peeled off some carpeting, and you see the original hardwood floors underneath. You see so much potential, but they’re also filthy and beaten up, given everything they go through daily (high heels, pet claws, kids’ toys, and moving around furniture). 

So, are you wondering how to bring an old hardwood floor back to life? Keep reading and take notes to restore your wooden floors to their once pristine condition.

Fortunately, there are now several do-it-yourself solutions to rejuvenate old hardwood floors back to life. It’s not that complicated and expensive, mainly if the damage is not extensive and they do not require refinishing, which involves the long, messy, and costly process of sanding and staining. 

To help you get this task quick, efficient, and cost-effective, follow the practical ideas below and bring the old hardwood floor back to life.

How do you deep clean old hardwood floors the right way

Best cleaning solution for deep cleaning hardwood floors

Deep cleaning at least once a month plays a huge part in preserving and keeping your hardwood floors in tip-top shape.

  • Sweep the floors using a soft bristle broom. Avoid brooms with hard or stiff bristles, which can scratch and damage the surface.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of stubborn dirt and debris in hard-to-reach corners and floorboards. Vax ONEPWR Glide Cordless Vacuum is one of the best-rated wood floor vacuums that comes with a decent price tag. Available at John Lewis. ($245)
  • Use a microfiber mop dampened with a commercial cleaning solution. You can also use a bit of dish soap diluted in a gallon of warm water to soften hardened or sticky grime. Refrain from using steam, white vinegar solution, or bleach-based cleaners that can cause discoloration of your hardwood floors.
  • If you see scuff marks, you can easily remove them by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of warm water until it forms a paste. Use a tack cloth or microfibre towel to rub the scuff marks until they are completely gone. 

In some cases, professional deep cleaning may be required to restore the natural beauty of your hardwood floors, particularly for those high foot traffic areas such as the dining room where the floor is more prominent with dark spots and deep-seated grime. 

A Step-by-Step Guide on Polishing Hardwood Floors 

Step-by-Step Guide on Polishing Hardwood Floors

If you have already cleaned your hardwood floor thoroughly and still appears dull and dingy, or you see minor scratches, maybe you need to give it a little boost with proper polishing. 

However, this technique only works if your hardwood floors are sealed with a protective waterproof barrier, such as polyurethane. Unsealed wooden floors or those with penetrating finishes, like tung oil, would do better with paste wax. Hence, it’s crucial to determine what type of finishing your hardwood floors have so you don’t end up with even costlier or irreversible damage.

To get started you need to find out what type of finish your hardwood floors has first

How to clean and restore hardwood floor the right way

Do a patch test on small sections of the wood floor area in each room before applying the right product.

To find out what kind of finish your hardwood floor has, take a cotton swab and dip it in nail polish remover and rub it on a small area on the hardwood floor. If the hardwood area becomes tacky, then the floor finish is shellac or varnish, and if it beads, it has a polyurethane finish. And the last option, if the finish dissolves completely, then the floor finish is lacquer. 

Clear furniture and other potential obstructions to ensure the even application of the wooden floor polish. Cover walls and other exposed surfaces with newspaper, as well as the edges of the room. You don’t want to accidentally stain the walls with a floor finish.

Next, you need to create a bit of bonding between the old and new floor finish. This is an important step for restoring hardwood floors the right way. If the old finish has light scratches, you might use a piece of steel wool to rub the floor surface until it becomes matte.

Cover your face with a face mask to avoid breathing the toxic ingredients from the dust created when doing this procedure.

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Eliminate dust and grime by deep cleaning your hardwood floors (i.e., sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping them with hardwood floor cleaner products). This time, do another round using a damp mop with clean water to wash off the wood cleaning products. Finally, wipe dry with a clean towel or microfiber cloth to remove the excess water.

Once the floor is dry, use the floor vacuum to get rather of fluff, pet hair, or leftover dust. This is a very important step before applying the floor polishing solution.

Using a brushmaster floor stain applicator pad kit, spread the polishing solution starting from the back area of the room. Mop back and forth in the direction of the wood grain. Get rid of bubbles forming by continuously mopping. As a rule of thumb, apply thin layers and allow to dry completely first before applying the second coat of floor finish.

Make sure to buff the floor a bit for quick adhere between the two rounds of coating and clean the floor thoroughly by vacuuming and wiping every bit of dust.

Wait for at least 24 hours before putting the furniture back or letting family members walk on the hardwood floors. When it’s time to restore the room, install felt pads on the feet of your furniture and lift, not drag, them to avoid scratching the wood.

Daily Maintenance and cleaning tips for hardwood flooring

Daily Maintenance and cleaning tips for hardwood flooring

Now that your hardwood floors look brand-new, be proactive in taking care of them to prolong the effects of the polish. Here are some maintenance and cleaning tips for having clean hardwood floors all the time.

  • An effective way for minimizing the dust and debris from getting stuck on your hardwood floors is to place rugs and doormats at the entryway.  
  • Place an absorbent rug or non-slip mat near the kitchen sink to prevent water droplets or splashes from damaging your hardwood floors.
  • Covering the high-traffic areas such as the living room and hallway with rugs and carpets is the best solution for maintaining the floor’s condition.
  • Stick to a regular surface cleaning schedule of sweeping and vacuuming the floors twice a week.
  • Try alternative furniture, such as hanging chairs, to reduce damage. Another cool option is wall hanging shelves, or creating build-in wall shelves for maximizing the room space and for avoiding cluttering with furniture.
  • Avoid using homemade cleaning solutions that may include vinegar, bleach, and ammonia in the list of ingredients, which may cause fading of your hardwood floor’s natural color.


Cleaning old hardwood floors is not rocket science. Using the right cleaning floor products and following the right procedure, you can definitely bring the wood floor back to life. If I’ve been able to do it, anyone can.

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