Floor Polishing Service
Floors Restored
Residential Sanding Service
27 Years Experience
Floor Renovation Service
Wood Flooring Association Certified

Step-By-Step Guide to Successfully Scrubbing Solid Wood Flooring

Posted on July 1, 2023


Effective Cleaning of Solid Wood Flooring – Comprehensive Guide

As a fairly large percentage of London homes have retained their original solid wood flooring, it is always good to know how to scrub and maintain floors and keep them in optimum condition. This is especially true if you have inherited the floor from past owners and it is in need of a clean-up. This could lead to a game of ‘guess the stains’, and how best to remove them! Using the wrong method of cleaning can be disastrous to both hard and softwood flooring. However once you have the floor properly cleaned it is a simple task to keep it in good condition, so if you are gazing at a wood floor right now and wondering where on earth to start – begin here by reading this blog. The best way to keep a wood floor looking great is to clean up stains immediately, but if you have inherited a floor this may not be an option. The biggest stain problem is usually marks caused by water or liquid that has been left to seep through the floorboard gaps and puddle on the planks, causing warping and discolouration.  

Polyurethane sealant

If the floor is in reasonably good condition apart from a few stain spots then it may be worth considering sealing the floor afterwards with a protective polyurethane-based sealant. This will add sheen to the floor, but that doesn’t mean you can forgo the maintenance and scrubbing. But it will add a protective shield to the veneer of the floor, making the finishing last longer. If a matt finish is preferred then change the polyurethane for a wax-based sealing product. Light footprints, paw marks (not scrapes) and small dust particles can all be safely removed with a slightly moist mop. Never mop floors with an overly wet mop or leave water to dry into the wood. Untended grit and small stones trekked in from outside will leave tiny scores on the floor’s smooth surface, rather like skate marks on ice. These can be extremely difficult to eradicate, but can be minimised by the use of hallway mats, feature rugs and avoiding wearing outdoor shoes inside. In the cases of mildew presence or a musty odour you can introduce a little white vinegar to the cleaning water.

Successful stain removal

Ground in or untreated stains may require a little more work though and in such cases you can (gently) use a lightly moistened scrub pad or steel wool. This should only be used with patience and care, and avoid rubbing into the veneer. Gums, paint and crayon scores can be removed with a careful application of white spirit on a lint-free rag. Common stains made by wine, grease, oil or detergent can be removed with a white toothpaste applied with a child-sized toothbrush. If there is a smell of old pet urine but you cannot locate the actual spot, work on the general area using a warm damp cloth and a little bit of mild household scourer. If you intend refinishing the flooring in any case then remove all traces of urine with a ratio of one-tenth bleach to tepid water and apply with a mop. Whatever the stain always remove all traces of the cleaning solution and dry thoroughly. If your floor is badly stained, has rust marks or is stained across large areas your best bet is to call in a professional floor sanding company for an initial assessment and expert advice. Once your floor has been made beautiful again it will be the focal point of any type of room, and therefore worth spending time on.


Maintaining the beauty and longevity of your solid wood flooring requires regular cleaning. It’s essential to know the right techniques, and this guide helps you understand how to scrub solid wood flooring successfully. Following these methods can ensure your floors look their best, resist damage, and serve your home for many years to come. Remember, the secret lies in using the right cleaning products, tools, and technique, and giving your flooring the care it deserves.

Some Useful Links:

More from our Blog:

Discover Inspiration: 20 Home Renovation Blogs That Spark Creativity Amazing Real-life Discoveries Found Beneath the Floorboards London Homes Rejuvenated by Refurbished Old Flooring | Home Decor Trends Hardwood Flooring: DIY Installation vs. Hiring Experts Expert Softwood Flooring Refinishing Services in London  
Four cheerful customers holding up signs with the Mr. Sander logo and the text 'We give Mr. Sander 5 stars', showing their satisfaction with the service provided.
Floor Sanding Service


We provide virtually dust-free sanding with our continuous belt machinery with mobile extraction units, giving you a safer environment for your family.

Floor Oiling Service


This organic finish not only adds beauty to your home but also has exceptional water-repellent characteristics, making it easier to clean and maintain.

Floor Waxing Service


This natural floor finish offers the softest and most mellow appearance – and leaves your floor able to breath.

Floor Buffing Service


Using soft buffing machines (and hand-polishing where required) will bring a wonderful sheen to your newly-finished floor.

Wood Floor Repairs


We offer a full assessment of your wooden floors to determine what repairs are needed to provide the perfect working surface for the later stages of sanding, staining and sealing. 

Floor Restoration Service


We offer a comprehensive restoration process designed to address floors that are improperly fitted or damaged over time through wear and tear.

Request a fixed price quote for your wood floor restoration now

Simply enter your postcode below to get started.