How to Clean Unsealed Wood Floors

Unsealed wood floors are a beautiful element to add to your home. But, since they lack any protective layer, they can quickly deteriorate and have the opposite effect if they are not well maintained. 

Cleaning unsealed wood floors is crucial if you want them to last you a good couple of years. Unfortunately, if they are not cleaned correctly, this can be even worse than not cleaning them at all. 

In this article, we will be discussing how to clean unsealed wood floors so that you can help them maintain their beauty and add to their longevity.

What this article covers:

How to Clean Unsealed Hardwood Floors 

how to clean unsealed wooden floors

We are going to discuss three different ways that you can clean unsealed hardwood floors. But, what is important to note, is that before you follow any of these methods, the unsealed hardwood floors must be thoroughly swept beforehand. 

To do this, you need to make certain that you use a soft, or natural-bristled broom. This is one of the best tools to clean wood floors because it is extremely gentle on the floor and will ensure that it does not scratch the floor with its bristles. 

It is important to sweep the floors before following the next set of clean steps because if the surface dirt and debris remain on the wood when you start cleaning they can set into the wood and create stains and scratches. 

Sweeping is something that should be done daily to remove residue and keep your floors in tip-top shape. 

Clean with Natural Oils 

Despite sweeping your floors daily, a whole lot of dirt and residue can build up on the surface of unsealed wood floors. Treating these floors with natural oils such as linseed or jojoba once a month can really help with this. 

These natural oils help to eliminate all of the residues from the surface of your floors, and leave them a lot cleaner and looking in pristine condition. 

Applying natural oils is very simple. 

  1. Use a soft cloth or mop, which is preferably made out of microfiber (our Flat Mop is the best mop to clean hardwood floors). 
  2. Apply the oil to the cloth or mop.
  3. Rub the cloth or mop with the oil onto the floor. Make sure to rub in the direction of the wood’s grain.
  4. Allow the oil to sit for a few minutes afterward.
  5. Use a dry cloth or mop to polish the floor once the oil has set.

how to clean an unsealed wood floor

Use a Lemon Water Cleaner

When it comes to unsealed wood floors, you generally want to stay away from too much water. But even more so, you want to stay away from using chemicals and strong detergents on the wood.

With this being said, water can still be used to clean unsealed wood, provided that you regulate how much you use and keep it minimal. Sometimes water alone is not enough to clean the wood though, and since you want to stay away from chemicals, natural remedies are the best products to clean hardwood floors with. 

One of the best things to use to clean wood floors, in this instance, would be water mixed with lemon. 

Adding lemon to the water is not only an anti-bacterial cleaner but also helps fight stubborn stains. 

This is how to use the water and lemon combination in a way that is safe and will not cause damage to your floors:

  1. Add half a lemon to a gallon of water. 
  2. Dip your Flat Mop into the mixture.
  3. Wring the mop out so that it is only damp, and not wet, and there is no water dripping off of it. 
  4. Mop the floors in small sections, making sure that you are going with the wood’s grain if you want to clean your wood floors without streaking
  5. Once you are done with one section, place a fan on it to dry, and move on to the next one. 

Sandpaper for Stubborn Stains 

clean unsealed hardwood floors

If you are struggling with really stubborn stains, and you have tried both of the above methods, you might have to resort to sandpaper to clean wood floors that are really dirty and stained. 

This is not a method that you want to make use of too often, as it can end up wearing down the wood in the long run, but sometimes you can’t clean hardwood floors without sanding them. 

Sanding can be very helpful to restore your unsealed wood floors to their natural beauty when stains are involved. 

All you need to do is use a small piece of sandpaper and sand the stain away. Be very gentle with this, do not press too hard, only sand away what is necessary, and no more. 

How to Clean Unsealed Parquet Floors 

Unsealed parquet floors are fairly easy to clean. They should only be cleaned with a vacuum, broom, or mop, and if you need to use moisture to remove any dirt, then try to stick to only water. 

One big thing you need to know is that steam cleaning should never be used on parquet floors. Parquet floors are held together with glue, and if you steam clean them, there is a chance that this glue could melt or be destroyed. 

how to clean unsealed hardwood floors

Here is how to clean them safely and effectively:

Step 1: Remove Surface Dirt and Debris

Use a soft-bristled brush, a vacuum cleaner, or our Flat Mop (make sure that it is completely dry for this first step if you choose to use it) to sweep the dirt, pet hair, and any other debris off of the surface of the floors. 

Step 2: Clean the Floor with a Damp Mop

Use our Flat Mop to clean the floor with water. 

Before every use, make sure that you wring the mop cover out thoroughly so that it is only slightly damp, and not too drenched with water. 

Work in small sections and mop the floor in an “S” shape pattern. If you are worried about the floor getting too wet, use a fan to dry out the section that you have just finished with while you move on to the next. 


Hardwood floors are a wonderful investment for your home and can bring you years of pleasure. But, it is important to keep in mind that they are fairly difficult to clean, especially the unsealed ones. 

best way to clean unsealed hardwood floors

Luckily, it is possible to clean unsealed floors safely and effectively, as we have demonstrated above. So, if you follow our tips and you are willing to be consistent and precise with your cleaning, you shouldn’t run into any trouble.

Since you are now proficient in cleaning your unsealed wood floors, we also have great solutions to help with tiled floors. Have a look at our hydro force tile cleaner if this is an area you’d like help with, too.

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