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Originally posted 28th July 2016

Last updated 6th February 2023

How To Clean Your Solid Wood Floor

We explore how to clean your solid wood floor, from preventing damage in the first place to ow to best apply a cleaning solution.

Paul Hambidge

Managing Director Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

3 min read
Written by Expert
A wooden floor is a real gem to behold and makes a home look superb, leaving guests jealous and owners proud as punch. But with great flooring comes great responsibility, and cleaning it properly is hugely rewarding. Read More: What is the best solid wood flooring? Wood floors might be very hard-wearing, but they take a lot of care and attention to make sure they don't wear and tear in places susceptible to particularly high levels of foot traffic. shutterstock_440944516

Prevention is the cheapest option!

The old proverb that says prevention is better than cure is less cliche and more the best advice possible when it comes to looking after wooden flooring. Things to avoid include:
  • Dust and dirt - Make sure you sweep regularly, this will lower the chance of tiny stones creeping in and causing little scratches to your precious wood floor. Use a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner most of the time, if you are inclined to use a mop, make sure you leave no moisture sitting on the floor's surface.
  • Dry as a desert - You should avoid moisture on your floor at all cost since it makes the wood warp and swell. If you have a lacquered wooden floor then this will help protect it, but is it really worth the risk?
  • A dog is not your floor's best friend - Any pet with nails that can scratch a wooden floor is one to keep an eye on. Trim those nails, or invest in a hamster.
  • Fear high heels - You are pretty safe with most footwear, but high heels are the bane of wood floors, causing scratches and dents.
  • Beware furniture - The feet of large furniture are prone to scratching wood floors, so it's advised to either use extreme caution when shifting it or place a rug underneath.
  • Apply wax - Nothing protects a solid wood floor better than a protective layer of wax that can withstand wear and tear in your floor's place.
Read More: A guide to different flooring grades how to clean a solid wood floor

Dealing with scratches

If you've accidentally let preventative measure fail and delivered a scratch to your formally pristine solid wood flooring, then you can use a permanent marker to fill the scratch until you eventually refinish the whole floor. You can use a stain marker that matches your floor so at least the scratch won't be visible. Simply apply it to a cotton bud or microfibre cloth and rub it in. For deep scratches, solid wood can be sanded down quite easily and refinished, the deeper the scratch the wider the area you'll need to sand, just to get it as even as possible. But if the scratch is a serious dent, you'll need to consider replacing the whole board.

The benefit of a solid wood floor, instead of engineered or laminate, is that if your floor undergoes excessive damage, you can simply sand away the damage to reveal a good-as-new floor underneath. This is the best way to deal with any dents or scratches. After sanding, ensure you refinish the floor to keep it protected.

Read More: The cost of solid wood Dog paws on scratched wood floor

How to clean like a pro

As long as are careful not to scratch it or apply too much water, then you are pretty safe. Use clean or distilled water with no added products, mop the surface with as little damp as possible, there should be absolutely no need to dry the floor. In particularly dirty areas, use a special spray to clean the area thoroughly before going over with a mop. If you are unsure about how to clean your solid wood floor, please call 030 100 00 15 to speak to one of our flooring experts.
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About the Author

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.