How to keep hardwood floors from showing footprints

Favoured for their ageless appeal, plentiful styles, and irrefutable durability, hardwood floors add natural charm to any home. Walking indoors with dirty feet or shoes, however, can leave unsightly footprints on hardwood floors. High traffic portions of hardwood floors, such as hallways and kitchens, are particularly vulnerable to footprints. Aside from appearing grungy, footprints often contain abrasive sand and dirt fragments that generate slight scratches on hardwood. Fortunately, you can keep your hardwood floors from showing footprints using basic techniques.

Clean the hardwood regularly to eliminate existing grime and footprints. Begin by sweeping the entire hardwood floor thoroughly with a household broom. Remove all sand and grit fragments from existing footprints.

Vacuum the crevices between individual hardwood planks using an ordinary vacuum without a rotating beater bar. Beater bars can scuff hardwood floors.

Add two drops of bleach-free dishwashing liquid to a mop pail containing 1 gallon of warm water. Thoroughly mix the soapy mopping solution.

Immerse a soft, clean mop in the mopping solution. Thoroughly drain excess solution from the mop.

Glide the slightly moist mop gently over any existing footprints, stains or visible grime. Rinse the mop frequently in a second pail of water to keep it from contaminating the soapy mop water. Thoroughly wring out the mop after rinsing it.

Buff the damp areas of the hardwood floor immediately with clean microfiber towels to remove moisture and any soap film. Do not rinse the hardwood as too much water is damaging.

Place rubber-free floor mats at every door entrance to keep the hardwood floor from showing footprints. Wipe your shoes on the floor mat each time you enter your home.


Take your shoes off before walking on the hardwood to prevent footprints.


Excessive water or moisture warps hardwood floors. Always abide by your hardwood floor manufacturer or installer's maintenance instructions to prevent damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Household broom
  • Dustpan
  • Vacuum without beater bar
  • Bleach-free dishwashing liquid
  • 2 mop pails
  • Stirring utensil
  • Soft, clean mop
  • Clean microfiber towels
  • Rubber-free floor mats
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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.