how to clean untreated wood floors
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A Comprehensive Guide: How to Clean Untreated Wood Floors

Wood floors lend a timeless and natural charm to any home. Untreated wood floors, in particular, exude a rustic appeal that many homeowners adore. However, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to preserve their beauty and extend their lifespan. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to clean untreated wood floors. From preparation to gentle cleaning solutions and spot treatments, we will cover all the necessary aspects to ensure your floors remain in optimal condition. So, let’s dive in and discover the best practices for cleaning your untreated wood floors!

Preparing for Cleaning 

To ensure effective cleaning of untreated wood floors, it is crucial to begin by properly preparing the area. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and efficient cleaning session:

  1. Remove Furniture and Rugs: Clear the floor of any furniture, area rugs, or objects that may obstruct the cleaning process.
  2. Sweep or Vacuum: Use a broom or vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from the wood floor’s surface. Pay attention to corners and crevices where dirt and soil tend to accumulate.
  3. Check for Stains: Examine the floor closely for any stubborn stains or spills that may require special treatment. Identifying them in advance will help you address them effectively during cleaning. Do not try to presoak the wood could cause damage.

 Gentle Cleaning Solutions

Now that you have prepared the area and created a gentle cleaning solution, it’s time to start cleaning your untreated wood floors. Follow these steps to ensure an effective and safe cleaning routine:

  1. Damp Mop the Floor: Take the soft mop or microfiber cloth and dip it into the cleaning solution in the bucket. Make sure the mop or cloth is damp and not overly saturated with the solution. Wring out any excess liquid before you begin cleaning. Remember, excessive moisture can penetrate the wood and cause damage.
  2. Clean with the Grain: Start cleaning the floor in small sections, working with the grain of the wood. Cleaning with the grain helps prevent scratches and maintains the natural texture of the wood. Move the mop or cloth in long, sweeping motions, covering the entire surface area.
  3. Use Gentle Motions: Apply light pressure and use gentle, circular motions to remove dirt and grime from the floor. Avoid vigorous scrubbing or using abrasive pads, as they can leave marks on the wood surface. Instead, let the cleaning solution do the work, and be patient with any stubborn spots or stains.
  4. Change the Cleaning Solution: As you clean, the cleaning solution in the bucket may become dirty or diluted. It’s important to replace it with a fresh solution to ensure effective cleaning. Using a dirty solution can leave streaks or residue on the floor, diminishing the cleaning results. Prepare a new batch of cleaning solution if needed.
  5. Dry the Floor: After you have finished cleaning a section, take a clean, dry cloth or mop to remove any excess moisture from the floor. This step is crucial as water left on the wood surface for an extended period can lead to damage. Ensure that the floor is completely dry before moving on to the next section.

You can maintain the beauty of your untreated wood floors while effectively removing dirt and grime. Cleaning with gentle circular motions and changing the cleaning solution when necessary will help you achieve the best cleaning results. 

Side Note on how to clean untreated wood floors:

Cleaning unfinished wood floors offers a few options in terms of products and methods. You can use natural oils, floor wax, or vinegar as cleaning agents. Alternatively, there are commercially available cleaning and polishing products such as mineral spirits, tri-sodium phosphate, oil soaps, and chemical cleaners. 

However, before you proceed with any cleaning method, consider the specific characteristics of the wood and how it may react to different chemicals and products. Taking this precaution will help ensure a safe and effective cleaning process for your unfinished wood floors.

Spot Cleaning

Despite your best efforts, there may be times when your untreated wood floor encounters stubborn stains or spills. The best way to address these spots effectively, follow these spot-cleaning techniques:

  1. Prepare a Stain-Removal Paste: For hard-to-remove stains, such as ink or wine, create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. The paste should have a thick, toothpaste-like consistency.
  2. Apply the Paste: Gently apply the paste to the stain, covering it entirely. Allow the paste to sit on the stain for a few minutes to loosen the residue.
  3. Scrub Gently: Using a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the stained area in a circular motion. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure, as this can damage the wood surface.
  4. Rinse and Dry: Once the stain has been successfully removed, rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue. Promptly dry the floor with a soft, absorbent cloth to prevent water damage.

Drying and Maintenance

After cleaning, it is very important to ensure proper drying and maintenance to protect your untreated wood floors. Follow these steps to complete the cleaning process and maintain the beauty of your untreated wood floors:

  1. Allow Sufficient Drying Time: Give your wood floors ample time to air dry completely after cleaning. Avoid walking on the wet surface to prevent any potential damage.
  2. Apply a Wood Floor Conditioner or Wax: Once the floor is dry, consider applying a wood floor conditioner or wax. These products help nourish the wood, enhance its natural luster, and provide a protective layer against wear and tear. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and ensure proper ventilation during the process.
  3. Implement Regular Maintenance: Establish a routine maintenance schedule to keep your untreated wood floors looking their best. This includes regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dust and debris, as well as wiping up spills promptly to prevent staining or moisture damage. Avoid using abrasive tools or harsh chemicals during routine cleaning.
  4. Use Floor Mats and Protective Pads: Place floor mats at entryways to trap dirt and moisture from shoes before they reach the wood floors. Additionally, use protective pads or felt sliders under furniture legs to prevent scratches or indentations when moving or rearranging items.
  5. Avoid Direct Sunlight and Excessive Moisture: Untreated wood floors can be sensitive to sunlight and excessive moisture. Protect your floors by using window coverings or UV-blocking films to minimize sun exposure. Additionally, wipe up any spills immediately and maintain a consistent indoor humidity level to prevent wood expansion or contraction.


In this guide, we have shown you how to clean untreated wood floors properly without causing damage to your floor. Cleaning untreated wood floors requires a gentle and diligent approach to preserve their natural beauty and integrity. Following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can effectively clean and maintain your wood floors. Remember to prepare the area, use gentle cleaning solutions, address stubborn stains with spot-cleaning techniques, ensure proper drying, and implement regular maintenance. With these practices, your untreated wood floors will continue to bring warmth and charm to your living space for years to come.

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