Skip to content

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Isn’t Philly flooring beautiful?

Are you a Philadelphia homeowner with hardwood floors? It’s important to keep them looking their best.

With time and wear, hardwood floors can lose their shine and appeal. But don’t worry – there are ways to bring back that shine!

There are two popular methods for revitalizing and maintaining hardwood floors:

  1. Buff and coat
  2. Refinishing

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of each method and provide instructions for cleaning and re-coating or refinishing your hardwood floors.

We’ll also share some tips and tricks from the pros for maintaining your floors’ cleanliness, and address some common concerns in our FAQ section.

So, when hiring a professional, this guide from Hudson Hardware will help you choose the best floor-cleaning solution for your specific situation.

Let’s get started!

First, let’s define the two methods.

What is the buff and coat method?

Buff and coat, also known as screen and recoat, involves lightly sanding and applying a new coat of finish with a hard floor buffer to the surface of the hardwood floor.

This method is ideal for floors with minor scratches and wear and tear and can be done quickly and affordably. Think of it as a hardwood floor maintenance coat.

  • Benefits:  The buff and coat method can greatly extend the life of your hardwood floor! It will nicely refresh the top layer of polyurethane – a buffed floor is perfect for cleaning old wood floors without refinishing.
  • Drawbacks: The buff and coat method can deep clean hardwood floors, but it can not remove larger issues, like deep gouges, big scratches or large areas of damage from water, heat, and fire, or marks from pets.

Try this method first if you wonder how to get wood floors to shine.

What is the refinishing method?

Refinishing, on the other hand, involves sanding the entire floor down to the bare wood and reapplying stain and finish.

This floor restoration method is best for floors with deep scratches, stains, or water damage, and can significantly enhance the look and durability of your hardwood floors.

  • Benefits:  The refinishing method can get rid of even the toughest damage. And, it is much cheaper than replacing your flooring.
  • Drawbacks: Dust! There is no way to avoid dust, however we use dust containment that contains 90% of the dust.  Check out our video on how minimal the dust issue is: How Much Dust Should I Expect.

Things to consider

Before deciding on which method to use, we consider:

  • The age and condition of your floors
  • Your budget
  • Your time constraints

It’s also important to properly prepare and clean the floors before starting any restoration project.

With the right tools and techniques, we can restore the shine and beauty to your hardwood floors for you to enjoy their elegance and durability for years to come.

6 Tips and Tricks for maintaining your floors’ Cleanliness

Wondering how to deep clean wood floors, or how to shine dull wood floors?

To maintain the cleanliness and shine of your natural hardwood floors, there are some tips and tricks that you can follow:

  1. Vacuum your floors regularly to prevent dirt and dust from accumulating. Don’t sweep your floors, vacuum them with a hardwood floor vacuum. Or a vacuum that has a bare floor/hardwood floor setting. This means the brush roller will not be running.
  2. The best thing to mop floors with is a flat damp mop with natural wood floor cleaner to clean your floors, but avoid using too much water as it can cause water damage. Be sure to use a flat mop. You should only use as much water/clean or mixture on the floor as you would use on your mirrors.
  3. Look for the best natural floor cleaner: use a pH-neutral cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors to remove stains and spills.
  4. For hardwood floor deep cleaning, avoid using furniture polish, wax, or oil-based cleaners, as they can build up on the surface of the wood and create a dull appearance. Stick to natural hardwood floor cleaners, like silicone cleaners. They include products like mop and glo, orange glo, etc.
  5. Try having a professional buff your hardwood floors before and after large gatherings in your home. Since only professionals have a buffer we recommend the moping and vacuuming tips above.
  6. Put protective pads on the legs of your furniture to prevent scratches and dents on the surface of your floors.
  7. Place rugs and mats in high-traffic areas to protect your floors from wear and tear.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to keep your hardwood floors looking their best for many years to come!

Further tips

Now that we’ve covered how to deep clean wooden floors, here are some further tips to keep your floor looking pristine:

  • Don’t drag heavy furniture across your hardwood floors, as this can cause scratches and dents. Instead, lift the furniture or use furniture sliders to move it around.
  • Avoid wearing high heels or cleats on your hardwood floors, as they can leave deep scuffs and scratches on the surface of the wood.
  • If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from scratching the floors.
  • Consider using a humidifier to maintain a consistent level of humidity in your home, as fluctuations in humidity can cause your hardwood floors to warp or crack over time.

In summary

Taking care of your hardwood floors requires regular cleaning, preventative measures, and being mindful of potential hazards that can damage the surface over time.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your floors remain beautiful and durable for years to come.

Reach out to Hudson Hardwood for all of your hardwood floor needs and concerns:

  • We can discuss screen and recoat costs
  • Your hardwood flooring coating
  • Floor screening methods
  • Recoating hardwood floors
  • Recoating engineered hardwood floors
  • Add beautiful new hardwood flooring to your home

Also, we can show you refinished floors before and afters that will amaze you!

For over 20 years, Hudson Hardwood Floors has been the leader in hardwood flooring Philadelphia. We have used our expertise on commercial and residential flooring projects. We are here to help keep your hardwood floors beautiful!


Fact: Did you know that it is recommended that you clean your hardwood floors at least once a week?  It ultimately depends on how frequently the floors are used, but once a week is a good benchmark.

Fact: It is not recommended that you use a steam mop on hardwood floors. It can damage the finish and cause warping. Use a damp mop or microfiber cloth instead.

Q: Can scratches and dents be repaired on hardwood floors?
A: Yes, scratches and dents can be repaired on hardwood floors through sanding and refinishing. However, it is more cost-effective to prevent these damages from occurring in the first place.

 Q: How do I prevent sun damage to my hardwood floors?
 A: To prevent sun damage to your hardwood floors, consider using blinds or curtains to block direct sunlight during peak hours of the day. You can also apply a UV-resistant finish to your floors.

Q: How can I maintain the shine on my hardwood floors?
 A: To maintain the shine on your hardwood floors, regularly clean and polish them with a hardwood floor cleaner, hardwood buffer or polish. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using abrasive cleaners.

Q: How to clean hardwood floors without streaks?

A: Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth or mop pad for best results.

Q: Wondering how to remove floor polish buildup?

A: Mop the floor with clean water. Then Mop with a bucket of warm water and ½ cup ammonia. The ammonia should remove wax build-up from the floors.






Get a Free Quote