The debate over the best way to clean a hardwood floor continues to engage the minds of many homeowners. You might agree that maintaining the flourish of your hardwood floor can be quite a challenge of you lack the crucial facts and tools. Hardwood floors are quite attractive and durable, but can be ruined in a single stroke because of inappropriate cleaning.

You know quite well that wood and water are never the best of friends.

Clean Wood FlooringSome flooring experts will warn you against mopping with water unless it is absolutely necessary.

You should mop it very seldomly in order to reduce the chances of compromising its quality and durability because water and moisture can cause warping, cupping, or rotting.

Reason to Mop:

  • To remove sticky mud and food stains.
  • To restore its gloss and spotless appeal.
  • To clear musty smell on old floors.
  • To prepare it for waxing or renovation.
  • To remove germs and allergens.

Unique Tips for Mopping your Hardwood Floor

1. Begin With Thorough Vacuuming

Hardwood floors can maintain their spectacular elegance if they are thoroughly vacuumed with an appropriate hardwood vacuum before the mopping process begins. The main idea behind vacuuming is to ensure that all the loose dust and debris are removed through suction power. Afterwards, the mopping process targets the tough dirt that could not yield to the vacuum cleaner.

There are some smudges, stains, and patches that need the physical force of a mop for them to come off the floor. That is why mopping becomes effective and convenient. According to experienced floor cleaners, you should begin the mopping process from the furthest end towards the door.

2. Mop Along The Grain

Mopping is a simple, but highly effective way of removing stubborn dirt. However, the task requires some method and procedure in order for you to achieve the ultimate shine. Experts recommend mopping along the grains in order to enhance thoroughness.

Microscopic dirt and dust move easily with the mop when pushed along the grains than when the mopping is done across the grains. Besides, the mop should be pressed firmly on the surface and moved in a particular pattern in order to achieve uniform cleaning across the floor.

3. Dry-Mop Your Hardwood Floor

Among the various cleaning methods, dry-mopping is one of the most effective ways of maintaining the cleanliness. The advantage of dry mopping is that you do not have to worry about the adverse effects of water or moisture. Dry-mopping is particularly effective if the floor’s surface is dusty and full of debris.

It is important to concentrate more on the busiest areas because they tend to get dirtier than the rest of the floor. Such areas include the dining space, kitchen, and around your staircase. You should remember to reach beneath your furniture and below the stairs to get the hidden dust and debris.

4. Change Your Dirty Mop Regularly

Quite often, your dirty mop may need to be changed for optimum results for your cleaning. Mops get dirty when used against extremely messy floors that are full of mud, dust, and stains. You might encounter such a surface after hosting a large party that includes more than a dozen aggressive children.

In fact, your mop can be the real source of your misery if you let it stay dirty and still use it. Dirty mops can cause stains and diminish the aesthetic appeal of the surface. Ensure that you switch from your messy mop to a new one in order to enhance the quality of your cleaning.

5. Target a Wide Surface Area

If you choose to mop your hardwood floor, ensure that you cover the whole of it for a sense of uniformity. This means that you should reach all the tight areas of the floor, which often accumulate dust and debris without notice. Mopping a few sections while leaving others leaves behind ugly patches that hint at shoddiness.

If you want first-rate results, move furniture and clutter away from the surface that you intend to mop. This helps to ensure that you are not disrupted by massive furniture and obstacles every time you move your mop over the cleaning area. You will notice that it is easier and faster to mop after moving furniture than to try and maneuver about the area.

6. Use a Damp Mop and Dishwashing Liquid

Man mopping wood floor spillRemember that damp mops should only be used on polyurethaned floors because of their special quality to resist the damaging effects of the water.

Damp mops are used for softening the tough dirt on the floor’s surface so that it becomes easier to push it with a little effort. The moisture on the mop helps to dissolve the stains.

Using dishwashing liquid helps to dissolve oily stains, grease, and grime, which may prove difficult to remove if you use the traditional methods of cleaning.

Remember to use the liquid sparingly in order to protect your floor from certain negative reactions between the wood and ingredients in the cleaning liquid.

7. Buff Until It’s Completely Dry

After using a damp mop, you should buff it with a dry rug to ensure that no water or moisture remains on the surface. Do not assume that the moisture will eventually evaporate because some of it may sip into the grains of the wood. Buffing your floor is the only guarantee for absolute dryness.

Ensure that the cloth or rug that you use to buff is dry and clean in order to avoid new stains. You may use another mop to buff your floor to absolute dryness in case you do not have a rug or cloth. However, you should only consider using a damp mop if your floor is extremely dirty.


Mopping a hardwood floor is a task the should be executed with the right tools and methods. Dry-mopping is the most recommended method because it achieves thoroughness without causing unnecessary damage. You should only consider using a damp mop on polyurethane, and if it is very messy with sticky dirt.