How Do You Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

How Do You Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

One of the things associated with wooden flooring is that it certainly brings attractiveness and allure to your surroundings and everyone admires the wooden flooring, but if your wood flooring is indeed unfinished then you will need to find the answer to how do you clean unfinished wood floors. If you think so, then you are in the right spot, as I am about to dive deep in here very soon.

But wait a minute, let’s clarify which materials are the type of wood that needs this special care before jumping right to the tips. Unlike their finished counterparts, unfinished wood floors do not have protective layers. This puts them at a greater risk of getting damaged from dirt, spills, or scratches.

Hardwood floors like white oak unfinished flooring require a delicate touch and the right cleaning techniques. By incorporating regular cleaning into your maintenance routine, you can prevent dirt buildup and maintain the luster of your unfinished wood floors. 

Why Unfinished Wood Floors Need Cleaning?

Regular cleaning removes dirt and grime and helps stop that moisture from warping the boards and turning them the color of the weather. Properly clean unfinished wood floors and materials preserve your wood floors and extend their life.

Left uncleaned, hardwood floors go from shiny to dull and discolored. If you dust it with regularity, you can prevent such a thing from happening. Dust can get in the grain of the wood and make the bathroom vanities lose some of their beauty. Spills and stains can also work their way into the wood causing the wood to suffer permanent damage. Prepare for the Cleaning Process.

Preparing for Cleaning

Materials Required

  • Unfinished wood floor cleaner
  • Microfiber mop
  • Soft-bristled broom
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Gloves
  • Comfortable clothing

Safety Checks

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from any chemicals in the cleaner.
  • Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows or doors during cleaning.
  • Clear the area of any furniture or obstacles to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Inspect the floors for visible damage before cleaning, noting areas that may need special attention.

Top 10 Tips to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors

Cleaning unfinished wood can be a hassle but by setting standard practices you can maintain the luster and beauty of your wooden flooring. You don’t need to regularly do a deep clean on your floor but you can set a monthly deep clean routine and follow these simple cleaning tips.

Sweeping and Dusting

To keep the beauty of your hardwood floors, you should sweep and dust regularly. This removes dirt, dust, and debris particles that may lead to scratches on the surface of the floor. A soft bristle broom or microfiber mop is ideal for this job, as hardwood floors can get scratched by rough cleaning tools and materials.

Microfiber Mop

An effective cleaning tool for hardwood floors is the microfiber mop which collects dust and dirt without leaving any residue upon cleaning. You can also use a string mop but it is advisable to avoid rough cleaning methods and materials like string mops or steel wools as they can scratch the wood surface.

Excessive Moisture

Too much moisture is harmful to unfinished wood floors as it may lead to warping or cupping. When cleaning, use as little water as possible and wipe or mop thoroughly to avoid excessive moisture. Work in small areas to maintain the amount of water on the floor.

Cleaning Solution

The right cleaning solution matters a lot in floor cleaning. Use a mild cleaner that is pH-neutral and specifically formulated for hardwood floors to maintain its quality and lustre.

Alternatively, you can create a DIY cleaning mixture of vinegar and water. Do not use harsh cleaning agents or ammonia-based products as they strip the natural oil from the wood surface.

Gentle Cleaning Mix of Vinegar and Water

You may opt to prepare a DIY cleaning solution of vinegar and water. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar and use it to dissolve dirt and grease on the floor without compromising its finish.

Stains and Spills

Stains and spills need immediate attention. Use a clean and dry cloth to blot spills on the floor to prevent them from soaking and worsening over time. For stains, lightly scrub the area with a damp cloth and mild soap solution.

Beeswax Polish

Rejuvenate the lustre and shine of your unfinished wood floors by buffing them with beeswax polish. Apply a thin layer of beeswax on the floor using a soft cloth and buff in circular motion.

Sanding and Refinishing

Sanding and refinishing your unstained hardwood floors from time to time is necessary to get rid of dents, scratches, and wear that they may accumulate over time. For this, you may opt to hire a professional or consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate sanding and refinishing procedures.

Area Rugs and Mats

Set area rugs and mats at strategic positions like high-traffic areas and entry points to stop dirt and debris from being tracked by shoes and footprints onto the floor. Also, place felt pads or furniture coasters on the bottom of heavy furniture legs with casters to prevent scratches and dents on the floor.

Frequent Inspection and Routine Maintenance

Frequently check your unfinished wood floors for any signs of wear like dents, scratches, and water marks. Create a routine maintenance for cleaning and caring for your hardwood floors to ensure their durability and beauty for many years.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It is common for people to use cleaning products that they use on finished wood which can leave long-term damage on the flooring. This can damage the aesthetic of your home. There are many common mistakes that are perceived to be harmless but are not. So what are the don’ts?

  • Never use harsh chemicals as they can strip the natural oils of the wood and can generate toxic fumes.
  • While mopping make sure the wood is dry and do not leave standing water as it can lead to mold growth.
  • Regularly clean your wood and do not let dirt sit on the flooring because it can lead to bacterial accumulation.
  • Use rugs as protective measures to prevent scratches, dents, and other damages.
  • Do not apply too much pressure or else it will leave long-term scratches and dents.
  • Always apply a protective coating to keep your wooden flooring protected for the long term.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting is very important. Even with prevention, there can be many spills here and there and hence you should know how to rectify them. If any of the above-mentioned common mistakes arise then follow these common troubleshooting tips to save your flooring. Always remember to be quick and be calm.

Scratches and Scuff Marks

  • Light scratches can often be buffed out with a soft cloth and a bit of beeswax polish.
  • For deeper scratches, consider sanding and refinishing the affected area.

Water Damage

  • If you notice water spots or stains on your floors, gently blot them with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture.
  • If the damage is severe, you may need to sand and refinish the affected area to restore its appearance.

Fading and Discoloration

  • To address fading or discoloration, consider sanding and refinishing your floors to refresh their appearance.
  • Be sure to use a compatible unfinished wood floor cleaner to avoid further damage.

Gaps Between Planks

  • Gaps between planks are common in unfinished wood floors and can be minimized by maintaining proper humidity levels in your home.
  • If the gaps are large or persistent, you may need to fill them with wood filler and sand the area smooth.

Creaking or Squeaking

  • Creaking or squeaking sounds can be caused by loose floorboards or subfloor issues.
  • Tighten loose floorboards or consult a professional if the issue persists.


Knowing how to clean unfinished wood floors is essential for maintaining their natural beauty and longevity. By following the right techniques and using suitable products like unfinished wood floor cleaner, you can keep your white oak unfinished flooring or unstained hardwood floors looking their best for years to come. Regular sweeping, using a microfiber mop, and avoiding excessive moisture are key steps in preserving the integrity of your floors.

Remember to address common issues like scratches, water damage, and discoloration promptly to prevent further damage. By incorporating protective measures such as area rugs and mats, you can prevent scratches and extend the lifespan of your floors.

Overall, with a little care and attention, you can enjoy the timeless elegance of unfinished wood floors in your home. So, next time you’re wondering how do you clean unfinished wood floors, refer back to these tips and maintain your floors with confidence.


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