Are you still worrying about how to clean the unfinished wood floor? Here I will introduce a way for you to make your unfinished wooden floor clean. It is essential to clean unfinished wood flooring to be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
This is for the natural oils in the wood to strip away, allowing any dirt or dust particles to settle in and thrive. You can perform this in several ways, but we recommend using a damp mop with soap and water or an all-purpose cleaner.
Never use bleach on unfinished wood floors as it will not kill existing bacteria but may cause other problems such as yellowing your wood flooring over time.
You want to make sure that each section of your floor has been scrubbed thoroughly before moving onto the next section so take care when cleaning them one at a time rather than going across parallel areas, which will only create streaks. If you find that there is still a residue left over after your scrubbing, then you can change the mop water and try again.
We recommend that you dry off the wood flooring using towels or micro-fiber cloths as this will help eliminate lint that some other types of cloth may leave behind. In this content, we will demonstrate How to clean unfinished wood floors.
Table Of Contents
What is an Unfinished Wood Floor?
Unfinished wood flooring usually comes from softwood, and the most common varieties are pine, oak, fir, and cedar. These woods are naturally durable but have been stripped of their natural oils to be stained or painted with ease. They will also take well to varnishes as they don’t have any oil-based finishes in them already.
Dyes are often added to the wood flooring at the factory so that you can choose any color or finish you like. This means that your unfinished hardwood flooring will need less care and maintenance than a natural one.
How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors?
When it comes to caring for your unfinished hardwood flooring, it is essential to remember that the more you use chemicals on them, the less they will be able to breathe.
Unfinished hardwood flooring can easily absorb moisture and odors, so it is best to clean them with a mild solution that will not strip away any of their natural oils.
- First, sweep or vacuum your unfinished wood flooring to get rid of any dust and dirt.
- Now, mop the floor using a damp cloth or mop with some soap or an all-purpose cleaner on it. Never use bleach on your unfinished wood floors, as this will not kill existing bacteria but may cause other problems such as yellowing your wood flooring over time.
- To dry the floor, use a towel to remove excess moisture and then move onto drying with a micro-fiber cloth.
It is important to remember that unfinished wood flooring strips off its natural oils, making it very porous. It can absorb water quickly, which can cause it to swell and buckle and leave the floor vulnerable to staining. This is why you should avoid washing it with high-powered water jets as these can force water into the wood itself and cause damage if left for a long time.
If you have tiles down, then these can be easily removed from your unfinished flooring, but it will be much challenging to remove them if they are stuck on. To perform this, apply a heat gun and hold it about 6 inches away from the tile before heating the adhesive, holding them on, and then carefully ease them off with a scraper.
If you have to remove some of the flooring’s wood, try to keep these pieces intact so that you can reuse them and don’t use a saw on your flooring as this will cause damage. If you have to put down new tiles, we recommend using only cork so that the wood can breathe well and absorb odors and moisture that synthetic materials may trap.
Step 1 – Clean Dirt Away
Make sure to sweep or vacuum the ground thoroughly before attempting to clean any marks off of it. For perfect results, we suggest using a dry mop as opposed to a wet one.
If you use a wet one, make sure you change the water frequently so that dirt and bacteria are not spread around by your mop head. If you have a vacuum with a hard floor attachment, then use this first before resorting to the broom.
If you find that any tough marks won’t move after scrubbing, it is worth using some diluted soap or all-purpose cleaner (a plant-based one is best) as this can be more effective than just water. Just don’t use too much of it, as this could allow the dirt to build up in the first place!
Be sure to be gentle when scrubbing any tough marks so that you do not damage your flooring’s surface. It is also an excellent concept to test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous part of your floor first in case it leaves any residue or discoloration.
You can apply your vacuum cleaner to purify the floor. But you need to be careful because some hardwood floor is very delicate. If it scratches, make sure that you polish and wax after cleaning to minimize the damage.
If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, buy an inexpensive one or go with the broom – depending on your situation. And you can use a broom, but only if it doesn’t have plastic bristles because this will create scratches.
Soft-Bristled Brooms and Brushes
These are preferable to using a vacuum cleaner because they will not scratch the floor. They can be used with or without any water and detergent mixture, though we recommend using one with soap.
If you use water, make sure that it is in a skinny layer without giving the wood too much moisture, distorting it. When cleaning your floor, use sweeping motions to remove dust and dirt rather than the short-term scrubbing motions you would use elsewhere.
If there is grit on the floor, this can scratch the surface, so make sure you remove it before beginning to clean. Take care when mopping up excess water as this can also leave unsightly marks on the floor.
Make sure that you dry off any exposed sections of the flooring as soon as possible so that they don’t warp or become sticky.
Microfiber Mops and Cloth
Microfiber cleaning cloths and mops are the best things to use on unfinished hardwood flooring. These clothes generally won’t leave lint on your floor, which is what you want.
Be sure only to use a small amount of detergent or soap when you clean with microfiber not to create any residue. And give particular concentration to the area around the grout lines as this is where dirt and dust seem to “gather.”
If you frequently use your microfiber mop, then it may be a worthwhile investment to get one with disposable cleaning cloths so that you do not have to rinse or wash it out in between uses.
Step 2 – Remove Hard Stain
Hard stains are usually caused by shoes with low heels, like those that women wear. The acid in the dirt can react and etch into the surface of your flooring. It is essential to clean the floor immediately after any spillage or mark comes to avoid drying out too much.
If you catch a spillage or mark in the early stages, it is not too difficult to remove and will hopefully only leave minimal damage.
Using Trisodium Phosphate
An exciting and very effective way to remove these marks is with a solution of trisodium phosphate (or TSP) which you can buy from most hardware stores.
This will neutralize the chemicals in the dirt so that they can no longer etch into the flooring. Pour some TSP onto a damp cloth or paper towel and then gently rub the affected areas. If your flooring has a lacquer, you should not use TSP as it will damage this finish.
Using Mineral Spirits
Mineral spirits (white spirits) are another excellent way to remove hard stains from your floor. Mineral spirits are a type of solvent, but they will work the same way as TSP – apply it with a damp cloth or paper towel and then clean off any excess after about ten minutes.
Another way to remove these marks is with a solution of white distilled vinegar. Apply some undiluted vinegar to the affected areas and rub it in gently. After about fifteen minutes, give the place a quick scrub and then use a damp cloth or paper towel to cleanse any excess liquid.
For this method, you will need to sand your floor. This is not too difficult but may take some time, depending on the severity of the damage. The sandpaper should have a grit rating between 120 and 220, and you can use either an electrical sander or do it by hand with a piece of wood wrapped in sandpaper (e.g., medium-coarse sandpaper wrapped around a small, flat block of wood).
If you are using an electric sander, be sure that it is not too powerful as this can damage the surface of your floor. Just rub the paper gently back and forth over the affected area until all signs of hard stains have gone. It may take some attempt to get the desired result, so try different sandpaper grits.
If you do not have access to an electrical sander, this method is more complicated but achievable. You will need to keep applying the vinegar solution and scrubbing (see above) until you are satisfied with the results.
The most important thing when sanding your floor is not to use too much force or pressure, as this can harm the surface of your flooring.
Step 3 – Clean Surface
After removing tough stains, you will need to clean the surface of your flooring. Start by thoroughly sweeping the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then, using your microfiber cloth or mop with just a tiny amount of soap, wipe over the surface in circular motions.
When mopping, be sure to occasionally wring out your cloth as you don’t want them to become too wet. Excess water will cause more damage than good and can warp your flooring.
After mopping, let your floor dry for thirty minutes before you walk on it. Some people prefer to leave their floor to dry overnight, but this isn’t necessary if you hurry.
Thinks to Keep in Mind When Cleaning Unfinished Wood Flooring
Mopping the floors will keep them clean and provide you with a regular opportunity to check for problems. If you notice any areas that are scratching or scuffing easily, you should probably have them repaired by a professional before using your hardwood flooring again.
We recommend that you pay attention to the following points when cleaning unfinished wood flooring:
- Rinse the floor with water before using a cleaning product. This is to remove any surface dust and dirt, which will improve the effectiveness of your cleaner and stop the cleaner from drying out too quickly.
- If you use a wooden broom, clean it as soon it becomes dirty. This is because a dirty broom will take stains out of the surface of your unfinished wood flooring. Using an old and worn-out broom could also leave behind pieces of bristles that can scratch or mark the floor.
- Use cleaned water for cleaning the floors. We recommend using clean water on your hardwood floors as it will not dry out too quickly, and you won’t need to change the water often. If your house has hard water, you may wish to use a product made for hard-water areas or an all-purpose cleaner with some vinegar in it. This will prevent any build-up of limescale.
- Never pour water on unfinished wood flooring. That’s why water can seep into the unfinished flooring and swell it, causing warping or splitting.
- Use cleaners with neutral PH levels only. Acidic cleaners can stain unfinished wood floors, so stick to using a neutral product as these come for use with all types of hardwood floors.
- If you are using oil-based cleaners, make sure you use plenty of wax protection afterward. This is to stop the wood from becoming dry and brittle and give it a bit of extra protection.
Making Unfinished Wood Floors Shinier
If you want to make your unfinished wood floors a little bit shinier without any oil or wax, all you need is an old pair of denim jeans.
Cut off one leg of your old jeans and tie it into a knot so that there are about three inches left at the end. Then, use this as a polishing rag to remove stains and give the floor a nice shine.
The denim’s weave will act like thousands of small brushes, perfect for polishing and getting into those hard-to-reach places. Just make sure to apply a light touch when using it. Or, you might end up with a flat finish that isn’t very glossy at all.
How to Protect Unfinished Wood Floorings
If you’ve just refinished your wood floors and are looking for a solution to help protect the surface of them from dirt, then consider using Linseed Oil.
When they think of wood finishes on hardwood floors, most people immediately think of “polyurethane.” However, there are other options, such as wax or polyacrylate.
Linseed oil is one of the decaying wood finishes known to man, and for a good reason. It provides an excellent seal while not causing any problems with yellowing or staining, as can sometimes happen with other products.
However, You should note that many types of Linseed Oil will change color over time due to exposure to light – this is especially the case if you have lighter wood types.
If you are still worried about yellowing, try using a ‘non-yellowing Linseed Oil like here. The great thing about it is that it will not change color over time and is very easy to apply.
In addition to being non-yellowing, it is also an excellent sealer. It will keep moisture and dirt from staining or damaging your floor while providing a high-shine sheen with minimal effort on your part.
We hope you liked this content and that it has given you some tips on how to clean your unfinished wood flooring. Remember, a well-cared-for, regularly cleaned floor is the secret to keeping your home comfortable throughout all seasons and gives you many years of enjoyment from your new hardwood floors!