The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Hardwood Floors

published Mar 7, 2016
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(Image credit: Bona)

We love our hardwood floors — until the sunlight hits them and highlights all the dust we haven’t swept up. But just because hardwood doesn’t hide dirt does not mean it’s a high-maintenance diva. In fact, we partnered up with Bona®, one of the most trusted names in hardwood-floor maintenance, to find an easy routine that’ll leave your floors all shine and no grime.


  • Dust to keep dirt from piling up. Brooms tend to just push the mess around, but microfiber mops — we love the Bona® Microfiber Floor Mop and Bona® Microfiber Dusting Pad— trap dirt and allergens without scratching floors. Pro tip: Keep the mop on the floor, and you’ll keep dirt trapped on the pad.
  • Spot Clean a few times a week, more if you have fur machines (aka pets). Quickly and easily remove any spills and dirt with a disposable Bona® Hardwood Floor Wet Cleaning Pad.
(Image credit: Bona)


  • Vacuum to nab harder-to-reach areas like corners and the spaces between planks. Just make sure your vacuum has a hardwood setting and keep the beater bar from hitting the floor to avoid damage.
  • Mop next — go with the wood grain to grab dirt — but remember that water is wood’s nemesis. You want a damp mop (preferably a microfiber one), not a water-logged one. A light mist of hardwood floor cleaner will suffice, and is much easier to handle than a sloshy bucket of increasingly dirty water.

    Use a residue-free cleaner formulated specifically for hardwood floors, like Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner.


  • Deep clean away a winter’s worth of abuse with a dream dirt-removing duo: Bona PowerPlus™ Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner and Bona PowerPlus™ Microfiber Deep Clean Pad. Bona’s most powerful cleanser yet, the PowerPlus line cleans deeper, easier. (Translation: No more hands-and-knees scrubbing.)
  • Don’t use cleaners with (literally) lackluster side effects: Water and vinegar solutions dull finishes, soap and wax leave reside, and steam cleaners go way too hard on heat and water, which can lead to long-term damage and cupping (when floorboards go concave).
  • Polish (if desired) hardwood every two to three months with a nourishing protectant like Bona® Hardwood Floor Polish. If your floors have a sealant, then that — not the wood itself — is what’s getting the most cleaning attention. A semi-regular polish evens out that protective surface and fills in microscopic scratches.


  • Revive your dull floors back to life in an instant! Spring Cleaning is the perfect time to extract the tough dirt and year’s worth of grime. Use the Bona PowerScrubber machine with the specially formulated Bona® Deep Clean System. Your floors will thank you.
  • Renew next – When your protective surface is slightly stained and showing scratches, opt for a professional recoat of finish.
  • Refinish your floors if they’re severely damaged, starting to yellow and/or have deep scratches. For something like this, we think it’s best to go with the professionals – trust a trained and tested Bona Certified Craftsman to ensure your the most durable and beautiful results.

Even if your hardwood floors need a little TLC, the right tools and techniques will make them shine. Bona has a huge selection of cleaners and hardware that are designed to keep your boards looking their best. A bunch of us are die-hard Bona fans here because it has genuinely made cleaning quick and easy – it’s literally become a topic of conversation at the office! The pads are washable, not disposable, and totally effective on our high-traffic floors. A few of us with older homes have also learned that Bona is safe and gentle enough for even the highest quality hardwoods and finishes.