How to Clean an Oiled Oak Floor

Updated February 21, 2017

An oil finish on an oak floor brings out its natural colours and gives the floor a slight shine. This shine draws attention to the beauty of the oak floor and can enhance the decor of any room in your home. Regular cleaning is the key to maintaining its beauty. Special oil soaps not only clean your oiled oak floor, they also lay down a protective film on the floor to prevent marking and stains. Use an oil soap once per week instead of kitchen detergent or dust sprays for the best results.

Plug in your vacuum cleaner. Set it to "Floors." The floor brush attachment on the vacuum head will engage. Turn the vacuum cleaner on and vacuum the oiled oak floor.

Pour warm water into two buckets. Use 40 parts water to one part oil soap in one bucket. Do not add anything to the water in the other bucket; this will be your rinse water.

Put a soft cloth into the bucket with the oil soap and then wring it out until it is slightly damp, with no water dripping or pooling from it. Go over any stubborn, stuck-on spills on the oiled oak floor with the damp cloth until they are removed. Rinse out the cloth in the bucket with clear water.

Put a mop into the bucket with the oiled soap and water. Wring out the mop thoroughly, ensuring that there is no water dripping from its bottom sponge. Mop the floor with the damp mop, moving in one direction. Rinse out the mop in the bucket with clear water. Place the mop into the bucket with the oiled soap and water again. Wring out the mop thoroughly. Go over the oiled oak floor again with the damp mop.

Rinse the mop again in the bucket with clear water. Mop the oiled oak floor with the clean mop, wiping up any soap residue. Use a soft cloth to wipe up any water spills or drops on the floor. Let the oiled oak floor dry completely before putting any floor treatments on it.


Do not pour water directly onto an oiled oak floor, as water can cause the boards to warp and buckle. Do not use kitchen detergents or dust sprays, as these can ruin the floor's finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with floor brush
  • 2 buckets
  • Oil soap
  • Soft cloth
  • Mop
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About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.