WARNING: This process is very simple and may confuse you if you’re expecting a difficult task. Please keep this in mind before proceeding. If you’re looking for a task to pull your hair out, this is not the one.


Starting this project, I knew I wanted to clean the floors but not seal them yet. We know we want to refinish them down the road and sealing them now would just make that job that much harder. So, off I went in search of a good hardwood cleaner.

In my search for said cleaner there were many places that said to not use anything with harsh chemicals in it because the wood had nothing to protect itself from the cleaner seeping in over time. I also read conflicting suggestions on whether or not to use water. Water, if applied too liberally, can cause the wood to swell or develop mold over time.

After much deliberation, I decided to go with the route with the least amount of chemicals and just the right amount of water. Here’s what you need:

  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Towel
  • Fan

Now that you have all of the materials in hand, let’s get started.


Step 1

Vacuum the floors well. You want to make sure to get all the grit and dust up first before you go swishing things around.

Step 2

Fill bucket with one gallon of warm water and add 1/4 cup vinegar.

Step 3

Dip and wring your mop until there is as little water as possible in the mop.

Step 4

Start mopping! Just make sure not to let a lot of water land on one area to avoid the problems mentioned above.

Step 5

After mopping, go around and wipe up any spots that look extra wet.

Step 6

Put a fan on the space and let it dry completely — usually about 15-30 minutes.