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How to Clean Floorboards

Updated February 21, 2017

While wooden floors are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to sweep clean, proper maintenance is required to keep your floorboards looking their best. Properly clean and polish your wooden floorboards to keep them beautiful and protected for years to come.

Remove furniture from the area to make the process easier and less back straining; you won't have to be twisted and bending to get underneath or around furniture. Use the broom to sweep up large particles and most grains of sand; broom sweeping works better than Swiffer sweeping on wood floors because gritty pieces of sand are not pressed against the floor, potentially scratching the surface of the floor.

After all visible large particles are removed, go back over the floor with a Swiffer sweeper; this will help you remove small particles of dust from the floor. Make two passes over the floor with the sweeper; sweep all dust and grit into dustpan and dispose of.

Fill a paint tray with wood cleaner or denatured alcohol. You want to use a cleaner specified for use on wood, because such cleaners are nonwater based so that the solution evaporates quickly before it has a chance to seep into the wood. Never use water to clean wood of any kind as it seeps into the pores of wood and causes water stains.

Remove the dust cloth from the Swiffer, toss in the garbage, place the dust-free cloth on the sweeper and dip into the wood-cleaning solution. Make a couple of passes over the entire area. Scrub stuck-on messes with a soft sponge.

Apply wood polish to the floor according to the directions on the packaging. Be sure that you follow the instructions properly. You may need to remop the floorboards with the wood-cleaning solution, as many wood-polishing agents tend to leave a sticky film on the floor. If this is the case, allow the polish to sit for a few hours before mopping away.

Return all furniture and rugs to the room. Place protective pads on the legs of furniture if you don't already have them; this will prevent scratches and gouges from hurting your floorboards.

Tip

Mop up liquid spills immediately to prevent water stains from forming on your wood floors. Avoid wearing heeled shoes and other shoes with hard, sharp bottoms; this will prevent scratches from forming on floors.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Swiffer sweeper
  • Wood cleaning solution or denatured alcohol
  • Soft, dust-free cloth
  • Wood polish
  • Soft sponge
  • Paint tray
  • Protective pads for furniture
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About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.