How to Clean Prefinished Hardwood Floors: Ensuring Longevity and Shine

Room Sources: Brass Picture Light | Lumbar Pillows | Rug

Prefinished hardwood floors are a popular choice for homeowners seeking durability and ease of installation while still adding value to their homes. Unlike traditional hardwood floors that are finished on-site, prefinished floors come from the factory already sealed and finished. This pre-application of finish makes them more resistant to stains, moisture, and wear, making maintenance easier. However, to keep these floors looking their best, regular and proper cleaning is essential. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions and recommend products to clean your prefinished hardwood floors effectively.

Understanding Prefinished Hardwood Floors

Prefinished hardwood floors differ from refinished floors in several key ways. Prefinished floors are finished in a controlled factory setting, receiving multiple layers of finish and sealant. This often includes aluminum oxide, a hard-wearing compound that extends the life of the floor. The controlled application ensures a consistent, durable finish that is difficult to replicate on-site.

Refinished hardwood floors have been sanded down and treated with a new finish after the original finish has worn away. This can be done multiple times over the life of the floor, depending on the thickness of the wood. Refinishing gives old floors a new lease on life but requires professional skill and equipment to achieve high-quality results.

Daily Cleaning

Dust Mopping

Begin your cleaning routine with a daily dust mop to remove surface dirt, dust, and hair. Use a soft, microfiber mop that traps particles without scratching the finish. Avoid using brooms with stiff bristles as they can damage the surface.


Weekly vacuuming can help remove debris that the dust mop might miss. Use a vacuum cleaner designed for hardwood floors, equipped with a soft brush attachment to prevent scratching.

Deep Cleaning

Choosing the Right Cleaner

When it comes to deep cleaning, selecting the right product is crucial. Opt for a pH-neutral, non-toxic cleaner designed specifically for prefinished hardwood floors. Avoid using harsh chemicals, vinegar, or steam cleaners, as these can damage the finish. Brands like Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Murphy’s Oil Soap are popular choices among homeowners for their gentle and effective formulas.


For deep cleaning, lightly dampen a microfiber mop with your chosen cleaner. The key is to use as little moisture as possible – the mop should be barely damp. Mop in the direction of the wood grain, taking care not to leave standing water on the surface. Follow up with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any residual moisture.

Spot Cleaning

For spills and stains, act quickly to prevent damage. Blot spills immediately with a clean, dry cloth. For stubborn stains, apply a small amount of hardwood floor cleaner directly to the stain and gently rub with a soft cloth until the stain lifts. Avoid using abrasive pads, which can scratch the finish.

Maintenance Tips

  • Place protective pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches and wear.
  • Use area rugs in high-traffic zones to minimize wear.
  • Maintain a stable indoor humidity level to prevent wood expansion and contraction.
  • Avoid wearing high heels or shoes with hard soles on the hardwood floors.

Cleaning and maintaining your prefinished hardwood floors doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps and using the right products, you can keep your floors looking beautiful for years to come. Regular cleaning, coupled with preventive measures, will ensure your prefinished hardwood floors remain a timeless and durable feature of your home.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Brittney

    This is so helpful, thank you! I am looking at getting your floors in my new build. I have two crazy dogs and I am worried about scratches. Do yours scratch easy? Maybe the oil finish isn’t the best with dogs? Curious!!

    February 12, 2022 at 4:06 pm
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