What You Need
- dry mop or vacuum
- bucket of water
- dish soap
- dry cloth
- hardwood floor
Follow These Steps
Clear the floor
Clear the floor area of any furniture that’s easy to move.
Tip: Invest in furniture pads—they make moving furniture much easier, and prevent your wood floors from getting scuffed.
Dry-mop or vacuum floor
This gets rid of all surface dirt and debris.
Mop floor, going with the grain
If your floors are polyurethaned, dampen a mop with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Be sure to ring out the mop thoroughly before using it on the floor. Run the mop back and forth, going with the grain of the wood in smooth strokes.
Tip: If your floors are lacquered or shellacked, don’t use water, which can stain the wood and cause buckling.
Buff floor with a cloth
To lift soapy residue after mopping and make your floor shine, hold a soft cloth in your hand and use it to rub the floor gently in a circular motion. Still not sparkling? Use a wood-floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer.
Tip: Cloth diapers work well for buffing, because they’re very soft and absorbent.