Why You Should Deep Clean Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are some of the hardest-working surfaces in your home. Hardwood floors hold strong through the wear and tear of daily foot traffic, pets, furniture scuffs, and messes. Just like your carpets, your hardwood floors need attention and care to stay clean. Experts recommend regular deep cleaning every few months to maintain the beauty of your hardwood floors.


If you’re wondering how to deep clean hardwood floors, you’ve come to the right place. The best way to clean your floors will depend on the finish. Since each hardwood floor finish is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cleaning solution. Using the wrong method of cleaning can cause significant damage to your flooring.


Thankfully, the expert team at Atlanta Floor One has all the information you need to clean your hardwood floors safely and efficiently.

The Two Types of Hardwood Floor Finishes

There are two standard hardwood floor finishes — surface and penetrating.


Surface finishes are made from polyurethane and protect your floors by forming a waterproof barrier. If you spill liquid onto the floor, it will not soak into or damage the wood beneath. It is safe to use water-based cleaning products on these types of floor finishes.


In contrast with surface finishes, penetrating finishes do not form a barrier on top of the wood floor; instead, penetrating finishes are soaked into the porous wood and then a glossy wax coating is applied on top to provide sheen. These finishes absorb water, so do not use water-based cleaning products on them. Atlanta Floor One recommends solvent-based cleaning products that the wood will not absorb in order to clean penetrating finishes.

How To Test Your Floor’s Finish

Knowing which finish is on your home’s floors is a crucial first step to cleaning your hardwood floors.


Lightly scrape the floor in a low traffic area. If the material has a transparent, waxy-looking substance, you likely have a surface finish. If you merely smudge the floor, but no material comes up, you have a penetrating finish.

Cleaning Your Hardwood Floors

Now that you’ve learned about your floor’s finish, it’s time to clean those floors!

Start by Dusting Your Floors

Weekly dry mopping or vacuuming keeps your floor free of dust, dirt, and pet hair.


Dry mops with large microfiber cloth heads have small fibers that reach into the grooves of your floorboards, picking up dust without scratching or damaging the floor.


When using a vacuum, avoid using a rotating brush attachment — the rough treatment and hose attachment can dent your floors. Instead, use gentle pressure with a floor-brush attachment designed for cleaning hardwood floors.

Deep Clean for Heavier Build-up

Sometimes your hardwood flooring needs a bit more TLC than just a quick dusting. Whether you can see dirt and grime or not, you should conduct a thorough floor deep clean at least twice a year.


For surface finished floors, any wax and petroleum-free hardwood floor cleaner works. Even a homemade solution made of a quarter cup of dish soap and a gallon of water will do the trick.


If your floor has a penetrating finish, deep cleaning your hardwood requires you to strip off the old wax coating and re-apply a fresh one. To do so, rub a cloth saturated in mineral spirits over small sections of your flooring.

Let the solution sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a damp cloth. After stripping old wax be sure to apply hardwood floor wax with a cloth or electric polisher. Atlanta Floor One recommends contacting a professional to do this type of cleaning.

Atlanta’s #1 Hardwood Flooring Contractors

If you’re left with any questions about how to deep clean hardwood floors or just want to External link opens in new tab or windowrestore or External link opens in new tab or windowreplace your floors completely, talk to the professional hardwood flooring contractors at External link opens in new tab or windowAtlanta Floor One. We provide price match guarantees and guarantee a job done right the first time.


Give our Atlanta, GA, office a call today at 404-578-0926 or External link opens in new tab or windowcontact us on our website to schedule your free estimate.