How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors: 3 Best Methods

by | Dec 26, 2021

How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors: 3 Best Methods

Wood flooring is a beautiful and durable material, but it requires maintenance. Whether you’re looking to refinish your floors or just get rid of the buildup in them, there are three methods that can be used for cleaning unfinished wood floors.
1) Vacuum cleaner2) Swiffer3) Sweep pad on wet mop

The “how to clean unsealed wood floors vinegar” is a great way to clean unfinished wood floors. The best methods are using the “vinegar, water, and dish soap” or using the “vinegar and baking soda”.

Unfinished wood floors have a special appeal since they are as natural as it gets in terms of flooring. There is no wax or other finish applied to the wood. However, most detergents may harm natural untreated wood, thus one must be extremely careful while cleaning their flooring.

To clean unfinished wood floors, dilute a cup of vinegar in one gallon of water, dip a mop in the diluted vinegar, then wipe the floor while blotting away the excess water. Trisodium phosphate may be used to remove stains on the spot.

Unfinished wood floors may be cleaned in three different methods, all of which are covered in this article. You’ll discover how to clean your floors using vinegar, trisodium phosphate, and mineral spirits in great detail. You’ll also learn how to polish unfinished wood floors and keep them in good condition.

Method 1: Use Vinegar to Clean Unfinished FloorsHow to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors: 3 Best Methods

The preservation of a natural aesthetic is one reason why many homeowners choose unfinished wood flooring. What better way to clean natural wood than with a natural cleaner? Vinegar is efficient in removing deep-seated dirt from between the plant’s creases and cracks. It also protects unpolished wood from mold spores and mildew. To clean your unfinished wood floors with vinegar, follow the procedures below.

Get the Cleaning Solution Ready

This is an important stage in the cleaning procedure since a solution that is too diluted will not be efficient enough to clean the floor thoroughly, and although vinegar is not poisonous, a very concentrated solution might leave an unpleasant odor behind. Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Fill an empty bucket with one cup of vinegar (make sure the bucket is free of dirt or dust).
  2. Mix with one gallon of water well. You may scale the answer as long as the ratio remains constant. As a result, you may use two, three, or four cups of vinegar as long as you use two, three, or four gallons of water.
  3. Filling the bucket to the rim will cause it to spill every time you dip a mop into it. Because this process takes less than a minute, it’s best to produce just enough cleaning solution to fill half the bucket and make more if it runs out.

Prepare the Grounds

Prepare the floor by removing any furniture, items, or rugs that are covering the unfinished wood before you begin cleaning. It’s also a good idea to close the door so no one can go in and leave new footprints while you clean.

Ensure the Surface is Clean

Clean the floor with a dry mop and make sure it’s clear of dust and surface filth. While the vinegar cleaning solution will remove most of the filth and stains from your floor, it is best to remove the top layers with a broom or a dry mop first to enable the vinegar solution to reach the layers underneath.

Vacuum the Grounds

While this step is not required, it is strongly recommended since it minimizes the frequency with which you must thorough clean. When you vacuum up the remaining dust on the floor, you’re allowing the vinegar to perform its magic at a deeper level. So vacuum the whole floor, hovering longer with each stroke.

Using the Vinegar Cleaning Solution, mop the floor.

This step necessitates the use of the first-step solution. Dip a mop into the bucket, then filter off the extra liquid using a strainer. Cover the area with the wet mop. It’s worth mentioning that a strainer isn’t required, but it will help you use less solution to clean a bigger area with less effort.

The liquid cannot be dispersed over a big area because unfinished wood is not polished, and it seeps into the surface too rapidly. As a result, drain any extra liquid into a bucket and use as little of it as possible on each application.

Allow time for the floor to dry.

While detergents may discolor a floor and need an additional phase of washing with water, you can go to the drying stage immediately after cleaning with vinegar. At this point, all you have to do is avoid putting any furniture on the wet floor or allowing anybody to walk on it.

Liquids, as you may know, are highly conductive to dust, and having dirt deposits left on the floor at this point contradicts the purpose of cleaning.

Spot-Clean Stains on Unfinished Wood Floors (Method #2)How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors: 3 Best Methods

People looking for solutions to clean wood floors often have a specific location in mind. While scrubbing the whole floor with vinegar is a terrific, healthy option, you need use a much more powerful cleaning solution for stains. Trisodium phosphate (TSP), such as the Sunnyside TSP, is recommended for this. TSP may also be used across the whole floor (it does not harm wood). To spot-clean your wood floors using TSP, follow the instructions below.

To make the TSP Cleaning Solution, combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

If you’re using a cleaning solvent with trisodium phosphate, you may skip this step. TSP, on the other hand, is normally sold as a powder. Half a cup of TSP must be dissolved in 2 liters of boiling water. You may dissolve more TSP and ensure that the water evaporates faster by using hot water. Excess water should not be allowed to sit on your unfinished flooring.

Prepare the Grounds

You may skip this step if you’re just cleaning a single stain. If you’re going to thoroughly clean the whole floor using TSP, make sure all of the things that are covering the unfinished wood are removed and that no one can walk about while you’re cleaning.

TSP Cleaner should be used.

While the vinegar cleaning technique requires dry mopping, brooming, and vacuuming before to application, trisodium phosphate is a heavy-duty cleaner, thus those processes are not required. It can remove stains whether or not there is dust present.

  • Apply the liquid with a teaspoon and scrape the stain away with a toothbrush for smaller stain areas.
  • After applying tsp liquid with a sponge, scrape off the stain with a shoe polish brush for somewhat bigger spots.
  • Use a mop to clean the whole floor if there are no particular stains to remove. When cleaning the floor with a wet mop, you must strain the surplus liquid before using the wet mop.

The Floor Should Be Dried

This step is required because, although trisodium phosphate has no negative effects on your flooring, excessive water may deform and ruin untreated wood. After spot cleaning the stain, quickly dry the area with an absorbent towel.

When washing the whole floor with TSP, take a ten-minute break and dry the area with a new dry towel after every ten minutes. That’s because, if you’re cleaning a big enough area, the moisture will almost certainly have absorbed into the wood by the time you’re done. If this is the case, drying the floor will not help protect it.

Method #3: Using Mineral Spirits to Clean Unfinished Wood FloorsHow to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors: 3 Best Methods

Mineral spirits, such as Klean Strip, may be quite helpful for cleaning unfinished floors. However, due of the toxicity of the spirits, it is not the favored way of cleaning. When breathed, the spirits might be dangerous to one’s health. If you don’t have a respirator or enough ventilation, don’t use this procedure. If that’s the case, go to the procedures below.

  1. Make sure you’re ready to employ mineral spirits. Allow for ample ventilation by opening all doors and windows. If you don’t want to inhale the spirits, put on a respirator.
  2. Apply the cleaner to the area. Mineral spirits are often available in spray bottles. At this point, spritz the spirits on the stain and massage them in with a smooth cloth until the stain is gone. Because the spirits have a significant effect, you don’t want to massage the stains with gritty cloths or bristle brushes because you risk damaging the wood.
  3. Remove any leftover cleaning (if any). If there is any cleanser remaining on the floor, absorb it with a dry absorbent towel. Anything that the fabric can’t absorb should be let to air dry.

Unfinished Wood Floors: How to Keep Them Safe

While unfinished wood floors have a natural visual appeal, they need a lot of maintenance. To maintain the health and appearance of your unfinished wood floors, follow the guidelines below.

  • Vacuum twice a week and broom once a week. As a general rule, the more regularly you can clean an unfinished wood floor without getting it wet, the better. Getting unpainted wood wet is the most typical method for homeowners to destroy it. Moisture causes the wood to bend, and mold may develop under the surface without the owner’s knowledge.
  • Make use of doormats. Preventing stains on unfinished wood floors is preferable than eliminating stains. As a result, you should purchase doormats for all rooms and areas with unfinished wood flooring.
  • Clean up any spills as soon as possible. When a stain can be spot cleaned, never resort to full-floor cleaning using liquid detergents. Vacuuming may be used to clean the floor in general. This is in addition to extensive cleaning, which you should undertake on a regular basis. However, it is normally best to avoid getting the floor wet.

How to Polish Unfinished Wood header images 13

While unfinished wood floors seem more natural than the waxy appearance of other alternatives, you may still want to add a splash of color to your flooring. Use the following technique to give your unfinished wood floors a natural sheen to make them seem more attractive.

  • Make a shiner for your natural wood. This solution is prepared by mixing shine-inducing chemicals with hot water that will not damage untreated wood (so it evaporates quicker upon application). Pour a quarter cup of olive oil into a small saucepan. One-third of a cup of white vinegar should be added to the saucepan. Using a spoon, stir the liquid. This is the cleaning solution you’ll need.
  • For your hardwood floor, dilute the wood shiner. The shiner is concentrated at this point and may stain clothing. As a result, you’ll need to dilute it with five glasses of boiling water. Make use of hot water to help the extra water evaporate faster. It’s important to note that the aforementioned proportions are a ratio that may be multiplied up or down based on the area you want to polish.
  • Using the diluted shiner, mop the floor. Pour the diluted shiner into a bucket and begin cleaning the floor with a mop. Apply many layers to each area using circular movements. Do not go on to the next area until the current one has achieved the required sheen. Cover the whole floor with this method while being careful of the potential of sliding.
  • Remove any lingering shine. This step is only necessary if you find the floor is slick after cleaning. To clean extra oil, use a dry towel or a mop.

When it comes to cleaning unfinished wood floors, there are a few things to keep in mind.

While each cleaning technique has its own set of warnings and instructions, the following are universal.

  • For dilution, use hot water instead of cold water. Warm water helps you to create a more concentrated, cleaner solution, leaving less water for the wood to absorb.
  • Do not use detergents for tasks that can be accomplished with a vacuum cleaner. Because untreated wood does not absorb liquids, a vacuum cleaner is always the better option for eliminating stains and deep filth.
  • The more you clean using a low-impact approach, the simpler it gets to deep-clean. If you vacuum, brush, and dry-mop often, you may skip the TSP or mineral spirits and instead use vinegar to clean your unfinished wood floors.
  • Always put the cleaner to the test. Regardless of the approach you choose, test the cleaner on a tiny, less noticeable area first to see how it performs. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Last Thoughts

Unfinished wood floors have all of the same flaws as natural, untreated wood. As a result, it’s best to brush and vacuum your floors often so you may use vinegar to thoroughly clean them instead of trisodium phosphate or mineral spirits, which are both good for spot-cleaning stubborn stains.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Painted Wood Floors

Watch This Video-

The “sealed hardwood floors vs. unsealed” is a question that has been asked by many people. There are three best methods to clean unfinished wood floors, including the sealed hardwood floors and the unsealed ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean unfinished hardwood floors?

This is difficult to answer because the finish on unfinished wood floors can vary. For general cleaning, a mixture of vinegar and water with some dishwashing soap will work well. Be sure not to use any abrasive cleaners as they may damage your floors surface. To remove stains from hardwood floors, try using cornstarch or kitty litter instead of harsh chemicals that could affect its longevity

Can I use Murphy Oil Soap on unfinished wood?

A: Murphy Oil Soap is not recommended on unfinished wood as it can cause the finish to chip or peel.

Related Tags

  • how to protect unfinished wood floors
  • how to finish unfinished hardwood floors
  • how to make unfinished wood floors shine
  • oiling unfinished wood floors
  • how to clean old wooden floorboards

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