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Expert Guide to Cleaning Wood Floors | Laminate, Engineered & Hardwood

Posted on August 1, 2023


Essential Steps to Clean Wood Floors: Your Comprehensive Guide for Laminate, Engineered, and Hardwood Flooring!

We all love the beauty and warmth that wooden floors add to our homes. Whether it’s hardwood’s classic appeal, engineered wood’s contemporary charm, or laminate’s versatility, these materials truly enhance our living spaces. But how do we ensure they remain in top-notch condition? This comprehensive guide will enlighten you on how to clean wood floors, be it laminate, engineered, or hardwood.

Part 1: Understanding Your Flooring

Before we delve into the cleaning methods, it’s essential to know the kind of wood floor you have, as each type requires a specific cleaning method.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product, fused together with a lamination process. It’s designed to simulate wood, providing a cost-effective alternative to natural materials.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring consists of multiple layers of wood adhered together to form a plank. It’s more resistant to moisture and heat compared to solid hardwood, and it’s capable of delivering the same aesthetic appeal.

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring is crafted from a single piece of timber. It’s revered for its longevity and the natural beauty it adds to any room.

Part 2: General Cleaning Tips for All Types of Wood Floors

Regardless of the type of wooden flooring, these general tips should always apply:

  1. Regular Sweeping: Dust, dirt, and grit are wood floor’s biggest enemies. They act like sandpaper, scratching and dulling your floor’s finish over time. Regular sweeping with a soft-bristle broom or dust mop keeps your floors looking their best.
  2. Promptly Clean Spills: Wood and water don’t mix well. No matter your floor type, it’s important to clean spills immediately to prevent staining or water damage.
  3. Use the Right Cleaning Products: Always use a cleaner specifically designed for your type of floor. Never use vinyl or tile floor cleaners as they can damage, rather than clean, wood floors.
  4. Avoid Excessive Water: While cleaning, ensure your mop is damp, not wet. Excess water can seep into the cracks and cause warping or swelling.

Part 3: Cleaning Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are durable and relatively easy to clean. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Dry Cleaning: Start by dry cleaning the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment or a dust mop to get rid of dust and loose dirt.
  2. Damp Mopping: Use a damp (almost dry) mop and a laminate floor cleaner to clean the surface. Remember to follow the grain of the wood to avoid streaks.
  3. Tackle Stains: For stubborn stains like oil, paint, markers, or ink, use acetone or nail polish remover on a clean white cloth, then wipe the area with a damp cloth.
  4. Dry the Floor: Never leave laminate floors wet. After cleaning, dry the floor thoroughly with a clean, dry mop or towel.

Part 4: Cleaning Engineered Wood Floors

Engineered wood floors are a little more forgiving than hardwood floors, but they still require careful cleaning.

  1. Remove Loose Dirt: As with laminate floors, start by removing loose dirt and dust using a vacuum with a brush attachment or a dust mop.
  2. Use a Specialized Cleaner: Use a cleaner specifically made for engineered wood flooring and a damp mop. Avoid using steam cleaners or wet mops, which can cause damage.
  3. Address Spills and Stains: Clean up spills immediately to prevent them from soaking in and staining the wood. For tough spots, you may use a damp cloth and a bit of the engineered wood floor cleaner.
  4. Dry the Floor: After cleaning, dry the floor thoroughly to prevent water damage.

Part 5: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors require a bit more care in cleaning due to their natural composition.

  1. Sweep or Vacuum: Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor with a brush attachment to remove dust and dirt.
  2. Use a pH-neutral Cleaner: Dampen a mop with a pH-neutral soap and water solution, or a wood floor cleaner. The mop should be barely damp, as too much water can harm your hardwood.
  3. Clean in the direction of the Grain: This will help remove dirt lodged in the grain of the wood and will also prevent streaks.
  4. Dry Immediately: Dry your hardwood floor immediately after cleaning using a dry, clean mop or towel.

Part 6: Protecting Your Wood Floors

Proper maintenance goes beyond cleaning. Use protective pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches. Keep pet nails trimmed, and consider using rugs in high-traffic areas to protect your floors. Avoid walking on wood floors with high heels or sports cleats.

Finally, remember that each type of wood floor has its own unique care instructions. Always refer to the care instructions provided by your flooring manufacturer when in doubt.


Keeping your wooden floors clean enhances not only their aesthetics but also their durability. Now that you understand how to clean wood floors, from laminate to engineered to hardwood, maintaining their pristine condition should be a breeze. Remember, the key is regular cleaning, using the right products, and addressing spills and stains promptly. With these tips, your wood floors will remain the crowning glory of your home for years to come!

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