3 Quick Tips for Best Way to Clean Polyurethane Wood Floors

Polyurethane wood floors are beautiful and durable, but they can be a challenge to keep clean. When you want to give your floor a thorough cleaning, follow these tips for the best way to clean polyurethane wood floors.

best way to clean polyurethane wood floors

Understanding Polyurethane Wood Floors

Have you ever wondered what a polyurethane finish on your hardwood floors is? There are two types. One that comes from the factory and one applied by professionals in-home when getting new flooring installed or refinishing an old one.

Don’t be afraid to check your hardwood floors for the finish. Conduct this simple test to determine whether they are polyurethane:

Pour a few drops of water on the floor and wait for about a minute. If there is no darkening or change in appearance on the floor then they have been sealed with polyurethane.

If the water droplets stay intact, you likely have a polyurethane finish. This is an easy-to-clean surface that’s more durable and resistant to stains. An unfinished hardwood floor will soak up water just as easily as stained or painted wood floors do and is harder to clean since it doesn’t protect as well as polyurethane does.

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water drops on wood

Polyurethane finishes can be made water-resistant, but it’s best to use them sparingly if at all because they don’t usually need deep cleaning often (although vinegar does help with problem stains).

Now that you have the type of finish figured out, below are a few tips on the best way to clean polyurethane hardwood floors. Cleaning is essential for keeping things looking polished and new!

Best Way to Clean Polyurethane Wood Floors

The modern hardwood floors are easier to clean because spills and dirt do not penetrate beyond the surface. This is owed to a sealant that prevents moisture from penetrating into the wood. Having said this, they also tend towards being dusty or dirty since high oil content in these finishes allows dust to cling onto its surfaces.

Here are easy methods for cleaning your polyurethane hardwood flooring and retaining its shine.

Remove dirt from the surface

Dust is a constant annoyance, but you can get rid of it with an electrostatic broom. The brush will pick up dirt without the need to clean over an area multiple times! If that’s not your thing, you may want to use a vacuum cleaner instead – just be sure that there are bristles on the attachment so as not to scratch or damage your floor (especially if it’s made out of metal).

cleaning polyurethane hardwood floors 1

Mop the floor to remove difficult-to-clean stains

You can use a special hardwood floor cleaner or water-based, pH-neutral cleaners to clean your floors. Experts recommend the alkaline variant for very soiled surfaces but baking soda and water will also work on grease and dirt. Make sure you dilute your cleaning solution with enough warm/hot water as polyurethane finishes require milder agents than normal laminate ones!

One of the most important steps in mopping a floor is to clean your mop before you use it. Avoid walking over the wet surface until it’s completely dry, or else any footprints will leave ugly outlines behind! If stubborn stains and marks have had plenty of time to set into place on top of your hardwood floors, don’t hesitate to use a non-abrasive cloth in some water mixed with a gentle cleaner intended for hard surfaces. Just be sure not to put pressure when scrubbing away at these tough spots.

Buffing the floor to make it look shiny

What is the best way to get that beautiful, shiny finish on your hardwood floors? Buffing! Although buffing is not really necessary, it only takes a few minutes and some soft and absorbent cloth for it to be an easy task.

shiny polyurethane wood floor 1

For a beautiful and fresh-looking polyurethane hardwood floor, use one of the following recipes:

  • Pour a little lemon juice and water into a small bowl, soak your microfibre cloth in it and use the solution to wipe your hardwood floors.
  • Pour over two teabags in a pot of water, then heat it up. Once it has cooled down enough to scrub with, dip your cloth into the pot and start cleaning away!

Tips for Maintaining and Cleaning Polyurethane Hardwood Floors

  • If you want your polyurethane hardwood flooring to have a long life, be sure to inspect it for any scratches or damage. You might need refinishing if there is anything surface-level that needs fixing up.
  • Place rubber leg protectors on furniture so people don’t leave permanent marks on the floor as they move around in their home.
  • Place doormats at the entrances of your house to prevent dirt and other liquid spills from being dragged into the house and result in stains all over.
  • Wipe stains right away before they are left behind forever by using warm water and a damp towel while spot cleaning everything else often too – this way you’ll be able to avoid more work in the future.
wiping hardwood floor 1
  • You should avoid using heavy-duty floor cleaning machines if you want to clean polyurethane surfaces.
  • Experts recommend that your best bet for cleaning polyurethane floors is to avoid using products that are the wrong match. These include oil-based cleaners like Murphy Oil Soap, which leave a residue on polyurethane while paste wax and acrylic polishes can dull the shine of this smooth surface. It’s important to remove grime but also pay attention to maintaining its luster as necessary with an appropriate cleaner.
  • When cleaning wood floors, it is important to not flood the zone. Water standing in between boards and from wet towels or mops will result in damage down the road.
  • Do not use steam cleaning on wood. Let it be for tile, linoleum, laminate floors, and vinyl.
steam cleaning on wooden floor
  • To make sure your hardwood flooring lasts, dry off all moisture from wet slippers before walking on the floors.
  • Use specially formulated products to clean it if you don’t want to use homemade solutions mentioned in this article.
  • Try to keep a steady temperature throughout your home because variations in temperature can bleach or warp wood over time, leading to discoloration.
  • To keep the beautiful hardwood flooring in your home, don’t wear high heels or shoes with spikes on them.
high heels on wooden floor 1
  • Don’t clean them with hot water and avoid using a soaked mop to wipe up spills.
  • Avoid leaving moist items like towels, rugs etc., for prolonged periods of time because this can damage the finish too!
  • If you’re cleaning floors in your home, there are some ingredients to avoid. Ammonia and vinegar can damage the polyurethane finish on hardwood.
  • Don’t neglect cleaning because it will make wooden flooring look worn before their time!

In conclusion, cleaning polyurethane wood floors can be a relatively simple process if you follow the instructions carefully.