How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors: Ultimate Guide

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Hardwood floors are the greatest adornments you can have in your house. While many people get worried about the hassle of staining and finishing hardwood floors, there are prefinished hardwood boards available that solve this problem for many people.

However, they still worry about the right way to clean these floors.

To clean prefinished hardwood floors, dust daily, mop weekly, and polish monthly. However, streaks may occur, which can be prevented by avoiding the excessive use of water on floors and using a microfiber cloth for mopping.

Cleaning And Caring For Prefinished Hardwood bFloors
Prefinished Hardwood Floors Maintenance

Before diving into cleaning, learn the difference between prefinished and unfinished hardwood floors.

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

Cleaning Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Cleaning prefinished hardwood floors is relatively easy as they don’t get too dirty, and with regular cleaning routines, you can easily keep them spotless throughout the month.

All you must do is follow a simple cleaning pattern, and your prefinished hardwood floors won’t get dirty; if they are, they can be cleaned easily.

Dust Them Daily

Prefinished hardwood floors are clean compared to traditional hardwood floors. However, this should not be an excuse to ignore the cleaning responsibilities of a homeowner.

When the sunlight hits your floor and you see dust or pet hair, it’s really annoying. Brett Miller, who works for the National Wood Flooring Association and knows a lot about wood floors, says you should sweep your wood floors every day with a broom or a soft, dry dust mop like microfiber.

If you neglect your finished floors, you will only allow dirt and dust build-ups if you do not clean them daily.

But dusting them every day will keep the dust and dirt away and prevent mold under under hardwood floors.

Dust Them Daily

If you extensively allow buildups on your floors, not only will it ruin the appearance of the floors, but it will also harm the finished layer as mildew can grow and damage the finish.

This can expose your floors to all types of damage, which might result in repairs or replacements. Besides, if you follow this routine properly, you will see visible results in the overall cleanliness of the floor.

  • Always begin by eliminating any loose dirt and dust before cleaning your floors. To remove the debris, sweep or vacuum without a beating bar. But a microfiber dust mop is the finest option. The mop’s fibers attract and retain the dust, and you can wash the brush head for a clean mop.
  • Vacuuming the floor daily can yield many benefits and prevent any buildups on the floors. Hence, it would be best if you made it a routine to vacuum the floors first thing in the morning when you wake up.
  • Ensure the vacuuming is thorough, and you do not leave any hard-to-get spaces out due to laziness. A useful tip is to remove the cleaner’s head and use the pipe to access small spaces when necessary.
  • Ignoring these spaces can gradually cause them to change color and lose their texture. Moreover, the finish at that spot can also get worn off due to extensive wear and tear, so ensure you properly cater to these factors.
  • Moreover, it also keeps the surface spotless and ensures there isn’t a chance of stubborn stains on the floor. And if there are, you must try to wipe them off immediately.
  • Removing fur and lint from the floors is equally important as you don’t want it building up on the floors. Either by mopping or vacuuming, these should be removed immediately.

Note: If you see dents and scratches on your floors even after deep cleaning, these are the signs that you need to refinish prefinished hardwood floors.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Infographics

Deep Clean Once A Week

Although wet mopping is often frowned upon when it comes to prefinished hardwood floors, you will surely need some moisture content to clean the floors without refinishing every week.

Deep Clean Once A Week

What you can do, however, for further cleaning is to use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the floor manually.

The moist cloth or mop is necessary as it can attract and collect all the dust, if any, and ensure a shine on your hardwood floors.

The finished floors can often attract more dust, and due to the grit from the shoes, they can get stuck on the surface of the floors.

Hence, cleaning such dust particles through mopping or vacuuming is very hard. Therefore, you must use a damp mop, a steam mop, or a damp cloth to collect this dust occasionally.

  • Using a steam mop is the best option when deep cleaning prefinished hardwood floors as it sprays water rather than pouring it onto the surface. You can also use Swiffer to clean prefinished hardwood floors. Make sure to keep the mop in motion so the water does not collect in one place, and the mop fibers collect the droplets as soon as they are sprayed on the surface.
  • If you use a cloth or a mop, you must only let it sit on the floors for a minute, as excessive moisture can harm the surfaces. Using the cloth/mop and wiping it across the surface is a highly suitable method to keep the hardwood floors clean.
  • Make sure to wring the mop thoroughly before wiping to ensure the water does not drip from the mop. Once you are done with cleaning, dry it quickly to prevent the water from drying on the surface.
  • Cleaning the floor in a 3×3 area is recommended so you can dry it as soon as it is cleaned so the water can’t get accumulated or left out.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors  Infographics

Polishing The Floors Once A Month

Once every month, it would help if you polished the prefinished hardwood floor to sustain its shine and lush look.

Finished hardwood floors are to be cleaned with complete care, so ensure you are doing it correctly with a product or solution that supports the surface.

Polishing The Floors Once A Month

You can also get a 2-in-1 product which is also a cleaner and polisher for your hardwood floors. However, make sure to read the instructions to confirm that it is made for finished surfaces and will keep your finishes from wearing out.

You can use bona hardwood cleaner, Murphy’s oil soap, Pine-sol disinfectant, or any homemade cleaner.

Besides, you can use a homemade product for this purpose, but please ensure that it is not too harsh that it would harm the finish and expose the wood’s surface.

  • Firstly, you must make the solution or get the product you want, clear the area of any objects, and ensure that the floor has been cleaned according to the method mentioned earlier.
  • You can add natural solutions into a spray bottle and apply them to the desired areas. Commercial products either come in a spray bottle, or you must make a solution from them. You can make a solution and put it in a spray bottle if it’s the latter.
  • Once you’ve applied the solution to the desired surface, start rubbing it with a microfiber or lint-free cloth. Make sure you rub along the wood grain for best results, as it allows the solution to settle into the surface and makes the shine last longer.
  • Lastly, dividing the area into portions and shine is best to make it easier. Besides, ensure you’ve given it enough time to dry off before stepping on it. If you’ve used a natural solvent, you do not need to rinse it; however, the case may vary with commercial products, so it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Polishing The Floor Once A Month

Best Prefinished Hardwood Floor Cleaners

1. Bona Prefinished Hardwood Floor Cleaner

I’ve been using Bona Cleaner for prefinished hardwood floors for a while now, and it’s been great for my floors. It’s easy to use, especially with the splash-less technology, and I love that it’s made with plant-based ingredients.

It leaves my floors looking shiny without any residue, and I appreciate that it’s safe for my hardwood floors. Plus, the fact that it helps save on plastic is a bonus for me.

2. Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner

I also recently tried the Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo, and it’s been a game changer for my floors. The micro-filling technology really does work on scratches, leaving a protective layer that makes the floors look new again.

It’s incredibly easy to use and safe around my kids and pets, which is a huge relief. My floors now have a natural shine without any sticky residue, and I love that it works on all types of finished hardwood floors. It’s simplified my cleaning routine while keeping my floors in top condition.

3. Aunt Fannie’s Ultra Concentrated Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Another option that I sometimes use is Aunt Fannie’s Ultra Concentrated Hardwood Floor Cleaner. This lemon-scented, plant-based cleaner has been a fantastic addition to my cleaning routine. It’s incredibly efficient, requiring just a small amount mixed with water to leave my floors sparkling clean.

The fact that it’s safe for all types of hardwood floors and doesn’t leave any residue is a huge plus for me. I also appreciate that it’s safe to use around my kids and pets, and being dermatologist tested and EWG A-rated makes me feel confident in its safety and environmental friendliness.

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors Without Streaks?

The best way to clean the floors without streaks is to dry them as soon as they are cleaned. The most common reason for streaks to form is when the water dries on the surface.

How To Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors Without Streaks

Also Read: What Not To Use On Hardwood Floors?

Due to the prefinished nature, the water can’t get absorbed in the wood; hence, evaporating is the only option.

As it does, some water and soapy content is left behind and dries on the surface of the finish. This forms the streaks which make your hardwood floors appear as if they have been scratched.

How To Avoid Streaks?

Use a towel to dry the surface as soon you are done cleaning an area to avoid streaks from forming on your floors. However, there are other measures as well that can help to achieve this goal:

  • Don’t use excessive soap or cleaner. This can leave residues on the floors when it gets dry, making them sticky and streaky. Using more product can also saturate the mop pads and make it harder to dry them once cleaned.
  • Don’t go for cleaning the floors at once as you might not get the chance to dry the floors, and streaks may form already. A useful way to do so is to divide the entire floor into sections of 3×3 and dry each section after cleaning before moving to the next one.
  • The dirty mop can also form streaks; hence, it is suitable to rinse your mops often in clean and fresh water. However, make sure to wring them out before you put them on the floors again.
  • Changing mop pads when necessary is crucial if you don’t want streaks to form. Dirty mops can neither clean nor dry properly, making the job harder.

How To Remove Streaks Which Have Formed Already On Your Floors?

If the streaks have formed on your floors, you can buff them out and get clear shiny floors again. Drying the surface properly during your next cleaning sessions can also prove to be fruitful if you want to eliminate stubborn spots and streaks.

Here are some other useful methods that you might find handy:

  • Take a microfiber or lint-free cloth to buff the floors thoroughly.
  • Change the mop pads and use something less smooth to pick up the dirt properly.
  • Try shifting to a more powerful cleaning product to loosen debris or buildup.

Our Popular Article: How To Clean Old Hardwood Floors After Removing Carpet?

Prefinished Hardwood Floors Maintenance And Care

To keep prefinished hardwood floors looking good, use rugs and mats, especially in busy areas. Put doormats outside and inside each door to stop dirt and mud from getting on your floors. Things from outside can scratch the wood, and water and mud can damage it.

It’s also smart to stick felt pads under your furniture legs to avoid scratches when you move things. Some folks move their furniture around every few years to keep the floor wearing evenly and to prevent uneven color fading.

If you have pets, keep their nails short to stop scratches. Also, wash them regularly and clean their paws when they come inside. This helps keep your floors clean and scratch-free.

Protective Measures For Prefinished Hardwood Floors

  • Spill Clean-Up

Act quickly to clean up spills to prevent staining or warping of the wood.
Use a dry cloth or paper towel to blot up the spill, starting from the edges and moving towards the center.
For sticky spills, like juice or syrup, dampen a cloth with water and a mild wood floor cleaner. Wipe the area and then dry it immediately.

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Never use abrasive cleaners, wax, or oil-based products on prefinished hardwood floors as they can damage the finish.
Use only products recommended by the manufacturer or a trusted flooring professional.

  • Sunlight Protection

Direct sunlight can cause the wood to fade over time. Use curtains or blinds to protect your floors from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

  • Temperature and Humidity Control

Maintain a stable indoor temperature and humidity level to prevent the wood from expanding or contracting, which can lead to gaps or warping.

  • Regular Inspections

Periodically inspect your floors for any signs of wear, damage, or loose boards. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

  • Professional Maintenance

Consider hiring a professional floor refinisher for deep cleaning and refinishing as needed, typically every 3-5 years, depending on wear and tear.


Cleaning prefinished floors is very easy but that doesn’t mean that it can be ignored. Maintenance of hardwood floors is crucial if you want them to retain their original appearance, shine, and increase their longevity.

Hence, if you also have prefinished hardwood floors at home and you’re also not cleaning them, follow this guide and get them to their spotless condition today!

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