How Often Should You Mop Wood Floors?

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Wood floors are timeless and they add character and beauty to your house. Mopping your wood floors regularly to get rid of grime and dirt is the best way to keep them in good condition.

But how often should you mop your wood floors? In this article, we’ll discuss this question to find out the correct answer, along with the right wood floor cleaning method.

How Often Should You Mop Wood Floors?

Generally, you should mop sealed wood floors only once every week or two, depending on the volume of foot traffic. You can supplement in between with dry mopping and sweeping, or using a stick vacuum.

Bare wood floors are different. We only recommend a light mopping every couple months on hardwood floors that don’t have any seal on them.

The frequency of mopping your wood floors depends on multiple factors such as the level of foot traffic on the floor, the presence of kids and pets in your house, and how often you clean spills.

Keep in mind that wood floors attract dust and get dirty faster than most other floor types. It means you need to mop them more frequently than other types of floors to keep them clean.

If you have unsealed wood floors, you should dry mop them daily or every other day. You must never use water to mop unsealed wood floors as it can damage them beyond repair. Instead, consider using linseed oil to remove stubborn stains from the floor while mopping. 

How to Extend Time Between Mopping Wood Floors

One of the best ways to increase the time between mopping schedules is to vacuum your wood floors daily to eliminate loose dirt particles, pollen, pet hair, and grit.

You can also use a dust mop for the same purpose. Additionally, making a habit of spot cleaning dog pee and spills from your wood floors regularly will also help.

You’ll need to spend just a few minutes vacuuming and spot cleaning your wood floors daily. But it’ll extend the time between dragging out your mop and bucket for more thorough wood floor cleaning.

Sealed and Unsealed Wood Floors

Like laminate and vinyl flooring, bear in mind that wood floors are delicate and can get damaged if you don’t use the right method to mop them. The following tips will help you mop your wood floors correctly and safely.

Sealed Wood Floors

If you have sealed wood floors in your house, consider using a mop that comes with a flat mop head and a microfiber pad. You’ll also need to make sure that you use a neutral cleaning solution specially designed for wood floors with a pH level of about 7.

Although a cleaning solution with a higher pH level than 7 will remove oils, grease, and dirt more effectively, it’ll increase the risk of damaging your floor. Anything lower than 7 will be too acidic and it can also be harmful to your sealed wood floor’s finish.

Cleaning Sealed Wood Floors

Here’s a list of steps that you should follow while mopping sealed wood floors.

  1. Before you start the mopping process, vacuum or sweep your wood floors to get rid of loose dust, hair, crumbs, and other solid debris.
  2. Use the correct cleaning solution and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to add it to hot water.
  3. Place your mop with a soft microfiber pad in the bucket with the cleaning solution.
  4. Remove the mop head from the solution and wring it thoroughly. Keep in mind that moisture can warp and permanently damage your wood floors, so make sure your mop is dry to damp. You should not see a film of water as you slide your mop on the floor.
  5. Start cleaning the floor gently. Don’t apply too much force and work on one small floor section at a time. Not only will it make the cleaning process easy but it’ll also keep moisture from sitting on the floor for too long.
  6. After mopping one section, use a clean and dry microfiber cloth or mop to wipe the mopped area.
  7. Repeat the same technique to clean the entire floor.

Unsealed Wood Floors

Unsealed wood floors are highly porous in nature and they can absorb moisture easily. Therefore, it’s critically important to clean up spills from your unsealed wood floors immediately. Additionally, you should avoid using liquid floor cleaners and wet mops to clean such floors.

Many homemade floor cleaning solutions for unsealed wood floors use vinegar, baking soda, or lime juice. But we recommend you steer clear of these chemicals as they can damage your unsealed floors beyond repair.

Cleaning Unsealed Wood Floor

If you have unsealed wood floors in your house, use the following tips to clean them.

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner or dry mop with a microfiber pad to remove dirt and dust particles from the floor.
  2. If you see any stubborn stains, consider applying linseed oil on the floor using your mop pad or a soft rag.
  3. Let the oil sit on the floor for five to seven minutes.
  4. After that, buff the oil thoroughly using your mop. It’ll allow you to remove stains or any other residue from the floor easily.

Polishing Unsealed Wood Floor

Your unsealed wood floors will start to look rough after some time because of mopping and cleaning spills. While linseed oil will help, you’ll need to wax your floor after three to six months to restore its look.

You can apply a thin and even coat of waterless wax, based on petroleum formula, using a soft rag. Let it sit on the floor for about an hour and use a dry microfiber mop to buff the surface.

It’ll be a time-consuming process but will help you improve the longevity of your unsealed wood floor and keep them in top-notch condition.

Final Words

Mopping your wood floors is essential but the frequency of your floor mopping schedule can be different for each area in your house.

Generally, you should mop your wood floors with high traffic twice a week. But you might need to pick up your mop and bucket sooner if your floors get dirty quickly. Make sure that you use a neutral cleaning solution with a pH level of about 7 to mop your sealed wood floors.

Whereas, steer clear of any solution for unsealed wood floors and dry mop them. You can use linseed oil and petroleum-based wax to remove stubborn stains and restore the look of your unsealed floors respectively.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.