How to Safely Clean Unfinished Hardwood Floors

Lead Image
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 40-200
What You'll Need
Trisodium phosphate
Mineral spirits
Safety glasses
Face mask

Unfinished hardwood can provide you with a very natural and rustic look in your home. When you have this type of flooring, you are going to need to make sure that you clean it safely. You want to avoid causing any permanent damage, and many cleaners out there will damage unfinished wood. Here are the basics of how to accomplish this task without compromising your floors.

Step 1 - Remove Dirt and Dust

Anytime that you have hardwood flooring you are going to have to spend some time regularly removing dirt and dust. You can use a simple broom and dustpan in most cases, but if you have a vacuum cleaner that works on hard surfaces, this can be a great tool to use as well. You are going to want to do this at least once a week but most likely twice a week. Dirt and dust can build up quickly on wood flooring and you want to get rid of it as quickly as you can.

Step 2 - Use Trisodium Phosphate on Stains

If you spill something on the floor that stains the wood, you could try using trisodium phosphate to clean it up. Make sure that you start out with a small amount of the chemical on the stained area. Use a small scrubbing brush to work it deep into the grain. Rinse afterward with a bucket of clean water. You are going to want to wipe up all of the moisture left behind with a clean white rag. Liquid and hardwood flooring do not go together very well and it could lead to problems if you do not dry address it completely.

Step 3 - Clean With Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are something else that you can try on unfinished hardwood floors; it is a good all-around cleaner for flooring. It does not have any harsh chemicals in it that will permanently damage the unfinished hardwood, so you can simply put some on a rag and use it to wipe down the entire area. Sometimes, this will work where other cleaning methods do not. When you are done, you want to make sure not to leave any excess on the wood.

Step 4 - Sand out the Stain

Since you are dealing with unfinished hardwood flooring, you do not have to worry about affecting the finish. Because of this, you have an option to simply sand out permanent stains in the wood. Take your sander and go over the stain, paying special attention that you don't work too long in one area. When you are done, clean up the dust and the floor should be back to normal.

WARNING: To avoid inhaling sawdust, wear safety glasses and a face mask while operating the sander.