How Do You Clean Hardwood Floors That Are Not Sealed?

Although it may be difficult to say which floor type is the best overall, hardwood floors are no doubt worthy contenders for the number one spot.

They are noticeably elegant to the eye, warm to your feet, safe for your kids and when carefully cared for, easy to clean.

However, after years of service, hardwood floors are bound to lose their spark and may appear dull and hard to clean due to the wear on the floor seal.

They then become prone to damping and eventually rot away when water is applied on them. Similarly, hardwood floors which have not yet been sealed face the same misfortunes.

So, how do you clean unsealed hardwood floors without experiencing any of these problems?

1. Off With The Dust

Although cleaning unsealed vacuum floors requires extreme care and caution, simple cleaning principles also apply.

Unsealed hardwood, especially ones with either wide or narrow gaps between the planks are prone to dust and dirt accumulation, thus sweeping or vacuuming it makes good sense. Make sure to use a broom with soft bristles to sweep.

Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner with additional tool attachments such as the crevice tool.

2. Set Your Bucket

Next up is setting up the water and the bucket that you will use. In the case of unsealed hardwood flooring, warm water would be the ideal water to use.

After warming it up, place it in a bucket and add vinegar to it in the range of 1/4 cup per gallon of water. Why, you may ask? Vinegar is an effective and safe to use home disinfectant that not only kills foul odors but kills molds that may build up on your unsealed hardwood floor.

Alternatively, you can use ammonia but it is advisable to use it when the entire windows and doors are open since it may leave a not so good smell.

3. Mop

Once you have everything in place, mop the entire room clean. But wait, won’t mopping with water cause the unsealed wood to dampen? Yes, unfortunately it will but there is a safer way to do this without it happening.

First start by placing your mop in the warm water. Secondly, squeeze out almost all of the water on the mop.

Now, start by checking whether the mop is wet enough by gently mopping the floor. If there are no drips on the floor, then you are good to go otherwise re-squeeze the mop.

4. Post Mop Follow Up

Now that you have mopped the entire room, don’t think you are out of the woods yet. Chances are that on some point of your mopping there were accidental spills or drips.

Take a clean dry cloth or use the same mop to follow up on the areas that you have mopped. This should absorb any remaining water and prevent chances of foul odors developing on your unsealed hardwood floor.

Alternatively, if you have a vacuum cleaner with a wet and dry functionality, you can re vacuum it to remove any excess water drops.

5. Ventilation

Last but not least, open all your windows and doors. This will ventilate the entire room especially if you used ammonia as opposed to vinegar.

This also helps the floor to quickly dry. It is also advisable that you enforce a No-Go zone on that room for about 15 minutes to ensure that it dries well and maintains its clean status.

Once you are satisfied that it is fully dry, you can opt to leave it the way it is or wax it but ensure it is a non-water based wax.

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