How to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

How to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors? Step by Step Guide

Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many customers because of their durability and timeless beauty.  They are available in lots of different styles. To make sure your floors look nice and last a long time, you need to clean them regularly.  The most crucial part is to regularly sweep, vacuum, or use a dust mop to get rid of loose dirt, dust, and debris. Cleaning prefinished hardwood floors may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and methods, it can be a simple and easy process. Find out how to clean prefinished hardwood floors in a simple and easy way for a classic look and shiny finish.

What is Prefinished Hardwood?

Prefinished hardwood floors are becoming more and more popular for both homes and businesses. In the past, people used to buy unfinished hardwood and then finish it themselves. But now, you can easily get prefinished hardwood flooring either online or in a store.

Prefinished hardwood is like a factory-made puzzle piece, which has a special protective layer added before it’s sold. This coating is exceptionally durable and strengthened even further through heating. However, when handling each piece individually during installation, small gaps may form at the edges of the boards, resulting in visible lines between them. To make it fit your floor, you can easily cut it to size and nail it down.

Why Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

Before we get into how to clean prefinished hardwood floors, it’s good to know why cleaning prefinished hardwood floors matters. Cleaning regularly matters because it helps:

Maintain Appearance & Extend the Life: Cleaning your prefinished floors the wrong way can damage them. Even small scratches, making them too wet or getting stains can damage your floors. To clean them properly, you need to remove dirt, dust, and debris. If you don’t clean them, all this dirt can make your floors not last as long.

Preserving the Beauty of Your Floor: Maintaining your floor properly can keep it looking good, preventing it from becoming dull or discolored. Regular cleaning and care can get rid of dirt and debris, which might otherwise scratch the floor. You can also use a floor polish or conditioner to keep the floor shiny and prevent it from losing its luster.

Cleaning Is Good for Your Health: Cleaning is not just about looking; it also has mental and general health benefits. When you clean your prefinished hardwood floors, you are not just improving their appearance. Regular dry-mopping and vacuuming can remove allergens like dust mites, and pollen, making the air inside your home better and your quality of life healthier.

Now that you understand why cleaning is important, let’s move on to the steps you can follow to easily clean your prefinished hardwood floors.

Considerations Before You Get Started

Check if the Floors Are Sealed: Before you start cleaning your hardwood floors, it’s important to find out what kind of finish is on them. Is there a shiny, protective layer like polyurethane on the surface? You can do a simple test by placing a drop of water on the floor. If water doesn’t go into the floor and stays on the surface, it’s sealed, and you can use water-based or steam cleaners.

However, if the water is quickly absorbed into the wood, it means that the floor doesn’t have its protective layer. In this case, you need to be careful with water when cleaning. If you need a deeper clean, you can use a slightly damp microfiber cloth as needed, and make sure to quickly dry it using a dry microfiber cloth.

Tools and Materials You will Need

Before you start, collect the important materials:

Microfiber Mop: A microfiber mop is best for dusting and cleaning. It’s nice for your floors and works very well.

Broom: Use a soft brush to sweep away loose dirt and small pieces.

Prefinished Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Choose a cleaner specifically designed for prefinished hardwood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals or products not recommended for wood floors.

Bucket: You can use a bucket to mix the cleaning solution if needed.

Warm Water: You will need warm water to mix with the cleaner.

Soft Cloths or Microfiber Pads: For quickly cleaning up small areas or spills.

Dry Towels or Cloths: These are important for drying your floor after cleaning.

Vacuum Cleaner: If you want, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a special floor attachment to clean dirt from cracks and corners.

Step-by-Step Guide to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Now, let’s simplify the cleaning process into easy steps:

Remove Loose Dirt: Start by sweeping your prefinished hardwood floors with a soft-bristle broom. This will remove loose dirt, dust, and debris that can scratch the surface when you start cleaning.

Vacuum: If you have a vacuum with a floor attachment, use it to clean corners and tight spots. Make sure the vacuum is clean and in good condition so it doesn’t scratch the floor.

Get the Cleaning Mixture Ready: In a bucket, mix warm water with a prefinished hardwood floor cleaner according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be careful not to use too much water because too much water can damage your floors.

Mop the Floor: Dip your microfiber mop or cloth in the cleaning mixture, squeeze out the excess liquid, and then clean your hardwood floors. Don’t use too much water; it’s best to clean small sections and keep rinsing and squeezing your mop or cloth.

Dry the Floor: After you have finished mopping, use dry towels or cloths to thoroughly dry the floor. Doing this step is important to prevent water from staying on the surface and possibly causing damage.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Use Furniture Pads: To stop scratches, add special pads under the legs of your chairs, tables, and any furniture that touches your hardwood floors.

Rugs and Mats: Put rugs and mats at the doors to catch dirt and debris before they get on your floors. Use rugs that won’t slip around to avoid accidents.

Avoid Excessive Moisture: Water can be damaging to hardwood floors. Remember to squeeze out your mop or cloth well, and don’t leave any puddles of water on the floor.

Avoid Chemicals: Don’t use strong chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or vinegar because they can harm the shine of your hardwood floors.

Can You Refinish Prefinished Hardwood Floors?

Refinishing prefinished hardwood floors is not impossible, but, it’s a bit harder to clean than regular hardwood floors. Prefinished floors have a strong, factory-applied finish that’s hard to damage. Refinishing means removing this finish by sanding and applying a new one. This task is best for experts because it requires special tools.

Sanding a prefinished floor can be hard because you must remove the original finish without damaging the wood. Although it’s possible, it’s usually not advised for DIY projects. The best approach is to talk to a flooring expert. They can help you understand if you can refinish prefinished floors and what the process will involve.

Best Way to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors

To keep your prefinished hardwood floors looking good, cleaning is a must. The best way to clean prefinished hardwood floors is by using a soft broom to sweep away dirt and dust. You can also use a vacuum with a special attachment. For mopping, use a special cloth or mop with a mixture of prefinished hardwood floor cleaner and warm water. Be careful not to make it too wet, and always make sure it’s dry after cleaning. If something spills, clean it up quickly. Don’t use strong chemicals on your floor because too much water and harsh cleaners can hurt the finish.

If you are looking for professional floor care services or to refinish your prefinished hardwood floors, contact our NAE Cleaning Solutions team. Our experts are here to help you keep your floors looking best. Set an appointment today with us.


How do you refresh prefinished hardwood floors?

To refresh prefinished hardwood floors, clean them with a wood floor cleaner and a soft mop. You can also use a hardwood floor refresher to restore shine. Avoid strong chemicals or excess water to keep them looking nice.

Are prefinished hardwood floors good?

Yes, prefinished hardwood floors are a good choice. Prefinished floors already have a protective finish, which makes installing them easier. They are durable and come in different styles, making them a popular flooring option.

How long does prefinished hardwood floor last?

Prefinished hardwood floors can stay in good shape for a long time, usually around 20 to 25 years or even more if you take care of them well. How long they last depends on things like the kind of wood, how much they are used, and how well you look after them, but they are generally durable and long-lasting.