What works and doesn’t work when cleaning your wood floors.

Maintaining wood floors right from wood experts at Hallmark Floors.

Wood floors continue to gain popularity as do products that claim to give these wood floors the ultimate shine. From recommendations on using apple cider vinegar to green wood floor cleaners, numerous marketers promote their mops and cleaning liquids for wood floor cleaning and maintenance. With so many options and so many theories about wood floor maintenance, it is no wonder that consumers are completely confused as to which strategy would be the most effective.

Maintaining Wood Floors – Things to Avoid

Steam cleaner damage that will occur when use a steam cleaner on wood floors. A photo of Damaged Hallmark Floors from steam cleaning

Damaged Hallmark Floors from steam cleaning

Do not use steam cleaners on wood floors. Steam Cleaner Illustration for the Maintaining wood floors right.Steam Cleaners

We’ve all seen our share of television commercials where using steam cleaner’s results in completely shiny, disinfected and sanitized wooden floors. But here is what most people don’t know: steam cleaners are not good for your wood floors. Not only will you destroy your floors with continued usage of steam cleaners, but you will also make them instantly dull and cloudy. A steam cleaner will gradually peel off your floor’s finish and will leave you with a drab and dull wooden floor. In short, steam cleaners are not recommended for maintaining wood floors.

Home Cleaning Liquids

Some people have a completely opposite approach than traditional cleaners. They would not touch any commercially marketed cleaners and/or mops. Instead, they opt to use homemade cleaning liquids made with vinegar and water, especially those made with red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Once again, there is no evidence to show that this is an effective cleaning solution. In fact, vinegar is acidic in nature and will most likely damage the finish of your wood floor.

Using Wet Mops without Removing Dust

Another common method of cleaning that is highly promoted these days is to use a wet mop on your wood floor. They go as far saying that it doesn’t require dust-removal before usage. These product manufacturers claim that the mop is designed to attract and hold dust, while cleaning your floors. This is absolutely the worst way to manage your wood floors. First, you don’t want to leave dust on your floor before you mop it. That will not only give your floor a haze, but will also result in an accumulation of dirt and debris. Basically, all it does is spread and smear the dust and dirt everywhere on the floor. Never use any cleaning liquid or wet mop on your floor without sweeping up the dust and dirt first.

Maintaining Wood Floors – Things to Do

Cleaning Liquids Recommended by Wood Floor Manufacturers
You should know that most wood floors today have a urethane-type finish. The most effective way of finding the right solution for your wood floor is to visit your local wood flooring retailer and ask them which product they sell and recommend for wood floors. All Hallmark Floors customers, for example, can simply register and get a free bottle of cleaning liquid that we recommend for their wood floor. By using the right cleaner, you will ensure that your wood floor remains spick and span without any dulling.

Vacuum Your Wood Floors

We do not believe in this new approach of simply wet mopping your floor and voila, all is done. Vacuuming is essential for proper cleaning and maintenance of your wood floors. Vacuum your floors as often as possible as this will increase the life of your floor, maintain its finish and keep it nice and clean. Just make sure you don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar as this can often damage the finish.

Place Rugs after Six Months

Area rugs are commonly used by consumers. While there is nothing wrong with this, we generally recommend that you wait at least six months after your floors are installed to place the rugs. The reason is that wood changes color when it is exposed to light. You don’t want to have patches of different colors if you place rugs too quickly. Take your time, let the wood floor get into shape and then place the area rugs. This will avoid the risk of any color difference. It is also a good idea to avoid using area rugs that have plasticizers as they can damage the finish of the wood floor. It may also create lines and patterns on your floor which can really damage the look of your floor. You may need to re-coat the floor to remove these marks. In the worst-case scenario, the floor may need to be re-sanded. Because of this, it is recommended that you use floor rugs that have a natural backing.


In short, the secret to keeping your wood floors clean and well- maintained is to ensure you use a cleaner that is recommended by your wood floor manufacturer or a local wood floor retailer that you trust. You should never use home-made solutions or multipurpose cleaners on your wood floor. Also, avoid using wood polish/conditioners as most of the time, these are not even recommended for wood floors. If you use the wrong type, you might end up with a sticky and dirty wood floor. Use area rugs, and walk-off mats to increase the life of your floors. Use floor protectors for any furniture items that are likely to run on the floor. Always clean up spills immediately. Naturally, spills left unattended will damage the finish of your floors.

As Tim Ryan, a 30-year flooring expert would recommend, “Dust to dust with a dry fabric or vacuum without a spinning beater bar! Clean to clean BUT with the appropriate recommended cleaner as infrequent as necessary, use walk off mats at ALL doorways, felt under EVERYTHING that touches the floor and your Hallmark floor will look great for a very long time! Trust me on this…..”

For any additional queries or concerns regarding the cleaning and maintenance of your wood floor, email us at info@hallmarkfloors.com We want to make sure our customers get the best wood floors and are able to maintain and sustain the life of the wood floor for as long as possible. Our staff is well-versed in the maintenance of wood floors. Call or visit if you have any questions or if you are looking for the most effective cleaning solutions.

We have Spotlight Dealers who are ready to help you with any questions you may have about our floors. To locate a dealer near you, click on our dealer locator.  If you have any questions, please contact us. We will be more than happy to help.