How should I clean my hardwood floors?

Your hardwood floors give your home a sense of richness, warmth and natural beauty. Van Metre wants to help you maintain that look and protect your investment. Here are some simple tips to protect and properly care for your hardwood floors.


  • If using water to clean your hardwood floors, a slightly damp rag is the best option. Preferable to water is a cleaning solution formulated specifically for hardwood care— you can readily locate different products at Home Depot, Lowe's or Amazon. Various hardwood floor cleaners might work well; ensure the flooring manufacturer recommends the cleaning solution you select. Many times, these hardwood cleaners also keep a protective layer on the hardwood with an all-in-one process.
  • Before you start cleaning, go over your floor with a dry mop or duster.
  • Use throw rugs at doorways to help prevent debris from being tracked in and scratching the floor.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly damp cloth.
  • Put stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching. Remember to replace them often!
  • When moving furniture, carry it—don't slide it. Sliding leads to scratches and gouges on your floors.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter months to minimize gaps between the floorboards.
  • Use a dehumidifier in the summer months to help prevent flooring boards from swelling due to excessive humidity.
  • If you damage your floor, never fear: there are remedies. Different types of touch-up kits exist and offer various solutions, whether it's putty to fill a deep gouge or touch-up pens to camouflage a light scratch.


  • Stay away from saturating your hardwood floor; use as little water or cleaning solution as possible. The joints in your hardwood gather water with each stroke, causing the hardwood to buckle and warp over time.
  • Stay away from the wet mop.
  • Stay away from steam cleaners. While convenient, a steam cleaner pumps excess moisture into the hardwood joints.
  • Do not use vinyl or tile cleaning products on hardwood floors.
  • Do not walk on your hardwood floors in sports cleats or damaged high heels. The impact can dent the surface.