How to Clean & Maintenance Unfinished Wood Flooring?

How to Clean & Maintenance Unfinished Wood Flooring?


Unfinished wood floors allow you to invite nature into your home by showcasing the wood's raw, natural beauty. However, their lack of a protective finish means you must care for them differently than finished floors. Treating them gently and following specific maintenance guidelines will keep your stunning unfinished floors looking pristine for years to come.

This article will provide 15 expert tips to properly clean and care for your unfinished wood floors if you're in DIY hardwood floor installation. By implementing these simple methods into a consistent routine, you can keep your floors looking as beautiful as the day they were installed.

Use Gentle Cleaning Methods

When caring for your unfinished wood floors, being gentle is imperative. Since there is no protective sealant or finish, harsh cleaners or tools can damage the wood.

  1. Never use abrasive cleaners, brushes, or scrubbing pads on your floors. The boards are delicate and can scratch easily.
  2. Limit the amount of water used. Excessive moisture can seep into cracks and cause the wood planks to warp or discolor. Instead, use a lightly dampened soft cloth to spot clean.
  3. It is advisable to opt for a soft microfiber mop to clean larger areas. The gentle fibers won't scratch the raw wood. Fill a spray bottle with water and mist the floor lightly before mopping.

Using only gentle, specially designed cleaners and tools is absolutely key to keeping your unfinished floors free of scratches, gouges, and other damage.

Temporary Floor Protection | Construction Floor Protection, Renovation

Choose the Right Cleaning Products

It's crucial to use floor care products formulated specifically for unfinished wood.

  1. Look for a wood floor cleaner specially made for unfinished or raw floors. Using a cleaner meant for sealed floors can lead to discoloration or staining.
  2. Avoid cleaners with oils, wax, or silicone. These can leave residue behind and alter the natural look of the wood over time.

It is absolutely essential to use the proper wood floor cleaners formulated for unfinished floors in order to avoid discoloration, staining, or buildup of residue over time. More tips: 11 Best Wood Floor Cleaners of 2023

Daily and Weekly Cleaning

Follow these tips as part of your regular cleaning routine to keep your unfinished floors looking their best:

  1. Vacuum at least once per week with a soft brush head to remove dust and grit. These particles can scratch and dull the floor over time. Frequent vacuuming helps reduce debris.
  2. Immediately wipe up spills when they occur using a lightly dampened soft cloth. Don't let moisture sit on the wood's surface. Quick action prevents stains from setting in.
  3. Move area rugs to different locations periodically. This prevents uneven color changes from sunlight exposure in heavy traffic areas.

Establishing consistent, regular maintenance habits like vacuuming, prompt spill clean-up, and moving rugs to preserve the untouched and natural look of the unfinished floors.

How to Clean & Maintenance Unfinished Wood Flooring?

Remove Stains Properly

Accidents happen, but you can remove stains from your unfinished floors without causing damage:

  1. For stubborn stains, gently sand the affected area with fine-grit sandpaper. Work slowly and focus only on the stained spot. Be careful not to over-sand, which can create dips.
  2. When cleaning, concentrate only on soiled areas instead of wet mopping the entire floor. Targeted cleaning limits excess moisture.

It is crucial to deal with any stains or soiled areas promptly yet gently to prevent excess moisture from seeping in and causing harm or over-sanding that can damage the integrity of the boards. More tips are from here: How to Remove Stains From Hardwood Floors - NationalFloorsDirect.

Moisture Control

Moisture is the enemy of unfinished wood. Be proactive with these preventative measures:

  1. Routinely check for leaks near water sources like dishwashers, sinks, and plumbing. Left undetected, moisture damage can occur before you realize it.
  2. Use a hygrometer to monitor indoor humidity levels. The ideal humidity for wood floors is 30-50%. Consider using a dehumidifier to prevent excessive moisture.

Monitoring and controlling moisture is imperative for protecting unfinished wood floors. Here are 10 Signs of Moisture Problems in Flooring.

Carefully monitoring indoor moisture levels and controlling excess humidity is imperative for protecting unfinished wood floors from warping, shrinking, discoloring, and other irreparable damage from water.

Preventative Measures

Implement these simple precautions to avoid unnecessary wear and scratches:

  1. Attach felt pads to the bottom of all furniture legs. This prevents scratches when moving chairs, tables, sofas, etc. Try self-adhesive pads for added grip.
  2. Place natural fiber mats at exterior and interior doors. These trap dirt, sand, and moisture from shoes. Clean mats frequently.
  3. Trim pets' nails regularly if you have dogs or cats. Just walking across floors, claws can splinter or gouge the unprotected wood.

Taking some simple precautions like furniture pads, doormats, and pet nail trims prevents unnecessary scratches, dents, gouges, and other damage from occurring.


Caring for your stunning unfinished wood floors may seem daunting at first. But by following these 15 tips for gentle cleaning and preventative maintenance, you can keep them looking beautiful for years to come. Focus on quick spill clean-up, regular vacuuming, and using the right unfinished floor cleaners. Be patient when treating stains and implement moisture control measures. Most importantly, establish a consistent care routine. With just a little extra attention, your raw wood floors will maintain their natural elegance and become a lifelong fixture in your home. Don't be intimidated by the care unfinished floors need. Implement these simple methods, and you'll be enjoying pristine floors for decades to come.

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