How To Clean Hardwood Floors Without Leaving Residue?


Many people love hardwood floors because they are elegant, beautiful, durable, surprisingly easy to clean, require less maintenance, and there is a variety to pick from; oak, birch, mahogany, bamboo, cherry wood, engineered wood, or vinyl.

As someone who just got your hardwood floor installed or plans on getting a hardwood floor for your dream house, we understand your worries about keeping your floor clean, especially when there is high foot traffic. A simple tip is to clean regularly and ensure strict preventive measures.

How Do You Clean Hardwood Floors Without Residue?

The process of cleaning all wood floors is similar. First, use a soft bristle broom to take out crumbs and grits. You can use your handheld vacuum cleaner to remove dirt from tiny holes and crevices. Use a dust mop or a vacuum cleaner with a floor brush attachment to remove dirt, hair, and other debris.

Please do not use that with the beater bar attachment as it would scratch and damage your floor. 

Saturate your microfiber mop with a suitable wood floor cleaner of your choice. Wring your mop until damp, not wet. Rinse the mop with clean water, wring excess water until moist, and mop again to rinse the solution from the floor. Use dry towels to dry spots with standing water. Allow the floor to air-dry before walking on it.

Floors experience a significant amount of wear and tear in homes. To reduce this:

  1. Do not overlook spills, and ensure a doormat on both sides of all entrances.
  2. Be careful with heavy objects to avoid dropping them.
  3. Provide an area for taking off shoes.
  4. Clean at least once a week. 

For now, let us find out the best tools to use when cleaning your hardwood floor.

What Is The Best Thing To Use To Clean Wood Floors?

Your cleaning tools should include the following:

  • A dry dust mop or vacuum cleaner without a beater bar attachment.
  • A soft-bristle brush made of rubber or plastic to remove grits and crumbs from crevices.
  • Microfiber mop (Damp, but not wet): using a wet mop would make your floor retain too much water and take longer to dry.
  • A commercial wood floor cleaner. I recommend Bissell SpinWave or Bona Hardwood cleaner. Avoid cleaners that are not pH neutral as they are not designed for wood floors. 
  • Handheld Vacuum.
  • Dry towels.

You might be wondering how often you should clean your floors. Clean high-traffic areas like the kitchen and dining room daily, depending on foot traffic; clean at least once or twice a week. Clean less trafficked areas once in two weeks or monthly. 

How To Deep Clean Hardwood Floors Naturally?

To deep clean hardwood floors naturally, you would need the following:

  • Damp microfiber mop
  • Dry microfiber dust mop
  • Vacuum with a floor brush attachment
  • Handheld vacuum
  • White or cleaning vinegar and a soft-bristled brush

Before the deep cleaning, ensure your floor is sealed correctly. If your floor absorbs water quickly, it means you did not apply a sealant to it, or the bond is worn out. Clear out the room, move furniture, rugs, and more to make cleaning easier. Clean only when there is minimal foot traffic. 

Start your cleaning by removing dust and dirt using the dust mop and your vacuum with a floor brush attachment. Use the handheld vacuum to target dust in small holes and cracks between the boards. 

To make the proper cleaning solution:

  1. Dilute a cup of cleaning vinegar in one gallon of water.
  2. Soak your microfiber mop in this solution.
  3. Wring the mop until it is damp, then use it to mop thoroughly, starting at the far corner of the room.

Rinse your mop with clean water, wring it until damp, and then mop the floor thoroughly. Do this as many times as necessary to remove all soap residue. Then let the floor air-dry. 

Do not steam clean your wood floor. It causes water to infuse into the board, making it harder to dry. If you must steam clean, ensure that your floor is sealed correctly. 

How Do You Mop Wood Floors Without Leaving Residue?

Why is your floor sticky or still has residues after mopping? There are several reasons your floor is sticky or has residues after cleaning. Some of them are:

  • Using too many cleaning products causes a sticky floor. When your cleaning liquid is not adequately diluted with the right amount of water, it leaves a soapy residue after mopping. This causes the floor to become sticky when it dries if it is not correctly rinsed with clean water.
  • Using a spray mop instead of a microfiber mop would leave too much soap residue on your floor and make it sticky.
  • Using the wrong cleaning product.
  • Using dirty mop water means a dirty floor that would be sticky. If you are mopping a large area, change the water as soon as it gets dirty to ensure that your floor is properly clean, leaving no residue.

There is what to do to prevent leaving soap residue and a sticky floor:

  • Use the proper cleaning technique; dilute your cleaning liquid with the right amount of clean water. Mop thoroughly with a damp microfiber mop. Rinse thoroughly with a damp microfiber mop rinsed with clean water. 
  • Clean your floor frequently, at least once a week, so it does not collect too much dirt and dust, making it harder to clean.
  •  Use the recommended cleaning solution and only a microfiber mop to clean.

Does White Vinegar Damage Hardwood Floors?

Although white vinegar is suitable for cleaning wood floors, it is not the best choice for wood floors if you want to maintain their quality and shine. It can damage the wood floors, the effect is not noted immediately, but over time the acidity of vinegar causes the wood to warp and cup at different ends.

 Over time, vinegar’s acidity also causes dulling of the floor finish making it lose its shine; the substances used for finishing wood, like lacquer, shellac, or varnish, react with the acid in vinegar leading to the wearing off of the finish. 

Instead of vinegar, use recommended wood floor cleaner solutions like Bona, Murphy oil hardwood cleaner, or any hardwood cleaner that evaporates quickly. 

However, in cases of a difficult stain that defies all other methods, you can use vinegar to spot clean. But please follow the following steps:

  • To prepare the solution, dilute one cup of vinegar in one gallon of water.
  • Soak a dry towel in the solution, wring it to remove excess water, and ensure it is just damp.
  • Scrub the spot with the damp towel, repeating step 2 as many times as necessary until the spot is removed.
  • Immediately after the spot is removed, thoroughly dry the area.

Use this method infrequently to ensure the durability of the wood finish. To avoid stains and spots on your floor, do not overlook spills. Clean them up immediately.


The simple tip to keep your hardwood floors clean and shiny is to clean regularly with a good hardwood cleaner and your microfiber mop. Ensure that the measures highlighted in this article that help prevent damage to your floor are strictly followed.

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