How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floor

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Wondering how to clean unfinished wood floor the right way? 

Looking for a way to make unfinished wood floor shine? 

While hardwood floors are very beautiful to look at, not looking after them well can cause unwanted damage that is irreparable. Unfinished wood floors are much trickier to clean when compared to finished floors and using the wrong products during the cleaning process can cause damage.  

No worries though. This article will highlight useful tips on how to clean unfinished wood floors properly without causing any damage to them.

how to clean unfinished wood floor

How to clean unfinished wood floor – 4 Methods

Method 1: Use Vinegar 

The first thing you have to do is understand the floor you have because unfinished hardwood, finished hardwood floors, dark wood floors, distressed wood floors have different cleaning methods.

You need to know the tools or products you need to ensure you clean the floor effectively as some might need Eco-friendly floor cleaners.

To clean with vinegar, you need to dilute a cup of it in one gallon of water, dip a mop and start cleaning, remembering to dry off any excess water.

Method 2: Use Mineral Spirits/ Murphy Oil Soap 

Since the floor is unfinished, it easily gets stained because it absorbs liquids very quickly. The things that can cause stains include pet urine, food, coffee or juice spills, and more. Caution is needed when cleaning because you don’t want to get the floor too wet. 

Using mineral spirits is one way to clean unfinished wood floors and you can get this product in your local stores or online. While many DIYers use them as paint thinners, they are also good for removing stains on unfinished wood floors. A few drops of mineral spirits on a soft cloth or clean cloth and you’re ready to start cleaning your unfinished or untreated floors. You can even use a damp cloth if you have and it will still do the job without causing any permanent damage

Method 3: Use a broom or dust mop to dry clean the floor

Sometimes the best way to clean unfinished wood floors is to sweep them using microfiber dust mops or brooms. If you have a vacuum at home, you can use them however, you need to ensure that it is designed for cleaning hardwood floors. 

Unfinished hardwood floors require plenty of care since they can easily absorb liquids like water and it can cause damage. You should never use any type of liquid to clean unfinished hardwood floors including water.

Method 4: Using Wood oils or Wax

When you’ve finished cleaning this type of wood surface, you can give a sparkle by rubbing some wood oil or wax. You need to be careful which oils and wax you use because some are designed for finished floors and will penetrate your floor leaving you frustrated. When using oil, apply on the floor surfaces, leave for 15 minutes and use a dry mop. Careful not to apply too much because this will make the floor very slippery. 

Best unsealed wood floor cleaners

The market is full of amazing products you can use on your unfinished or unsealed wood floor and below are two of them.

This product will melt and clean any dirt and grease off your floor without emitting harmful fumes in the air making it environmentally, pet and people friendly.

Begley's Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 64oz Wooden Floor Cleaner Refill - Wood Floor Cleaner - Hardwood Cleaner - Pet Safe Floor Cleaner for Mopping - Citrus Scent Pet Friendly Floor Cleaner
  • Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner - This super effective natural wood floor cleaner quickly deals with grease and dirt without harmful fumes for less risk for your family, pets, and the environment
  • Powerful Cleaning - Discover a hardwood cleaner that delivers streak-free performance with no waxy film or shine dulling residue, reduces fingerprints and smudges. This pet friendly floor cleaner can handle all wood or engineered finishes and leaves behind a fresh and clean scent
  • Why Plant-based Ingredients - Don't choose between a clean home and a safe home. When this wooden floor cleaner evaporates it leaves behind nothing harmful. Choose a natural floor cleaner for mopping that is completely safe for the whole family
  • Easy to Use - Sweep floor clean of dust and debris. Shake the hardwood spray well and pour directly on the floor. For best results, after using the pet safe floor cleaner for mopping wipe the floor clean with a micro-fiber mop. Rinse mop in water if it becomes soiled during use
  • Made in USA, Plant-based formula. Biodegradable. USDA Certified Biobased Product. Recyclable Non-Aerosol Bottle. Family and pet safe cleaning products. Our engineered hardwood floor cleaner is the hardest working and safest solution on the market

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This formula protects your floor and restores a glossy shine.

Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Restorer and Polish with Durable Finish Easy Mop On Application High Gloss Finish 32oz
  • Wood floor restoration and polishing formula fills in scratches, restores glossy shine and protects hardwood flooring
  • Bonds to existing finish to resist stains and spills with no waxy build up
  • Pour on and mop application with our microfiber mop bonnet seals and protects wood floors for years
  • Perfect for all residential and commercial hardwood floor restoration and polishing projects. It’s not recommended to use Rejuvenate Professional Floor Restorer on laminate, tile, stone, vinyl or any other flooring surface
  • One bottle covers up to 525 sq. ft. and dries within 45 minutes | Proudly Made in America

Last update on 2024-07-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to remove stains from unfinished or unsealed wood floors

1. Removing water stains

The first thing you need to do is apply some lemon oil on the stained area, leave it for a few hours then grab a clean cloth and rub the surface gently to get rid of the water stains. After that, grab a dry cloth once the stains are gone to give the floor a shiny look.

2. Removing dark stains

Make sure the area is well ventilated before you begin cleaning and put on some gloves since you are dealing with mineral spirits. Dip a cloth in the spirits then do what is known as wring so that the cloth is damp and nothing is dripping. Wipe the cloth on the stains until they disappear and add more spirits where needed.

How to remove paint from unfinished wood floors

To remove paint off your unfinished wood floor, you need a putty knife to scrape off as much paint as possible. Then grab a rag, dip it in a mix of 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts rubbing alcohol. Once you have covered the paint with the solution, leave it for 5 minutes then use the rag again to scrub off the paint.

Can you leave wood floors unfinished?

There is a very high chance that the floor could become discolored and show signs of wear and tear if you leave it unfinished.

How to protect/treat unfinished wood floors

  • Buy floor protective pads and place them under your property to protect the floor from scratch if you need to move things around.
  • Leave doormats outside the door to stop any dirt or dust from coming inside your house. If you cut down the amount of dust or dirt that enters your home. You will minimize your cleaning process.
  • If you have any pets at home, make sure you buy some portable paw cleaning devices or paw wipes. This ensures that there are pet scratch marks on your flour because these can damage the floor over time if left unattended.
  • Do not use steam cleaners on your floor because this is known to cause irreparable damage because the steam from the product is wet.
  • Do not use cleaning products or harsh chemicals that are designed for finished hardwood floors treated floors on this type of floor because they are not the same.
  • Sweep the unfinished floor of your beautiful homes regularly if you own a couple and use a broom to prevent scratches your solid wood floor
  • Can you oil wooden floors? Yes you can use oil to clean unfinished wood floors.
  • How do you oil an unfinished floor? You can apply between 1 to 3 layers of oil evenly on a roller or a stiff brush before using it on your floor.  


1. How to make unfinished wood floors shine

You can make unfinished wood floor shine by treating them with oil and by waxing.

2. Can a mop be used on unfinished wood flooring?

Where possible, you should avoid using a mop on unfinished flooring because you will need water to clean it and that will cause damage beyond repair on your wooden floor.

3. How often should unfinished hardwood floors be cleaned?

It is recommended that you clean your hardwood floor at least 2-3 times a week however, your cleaning schedule can also depend on how exposed your floor is to elements such as dirt and dust. The last thing you need is to be dealing with a stubborn stain on untreated wood floors because these take a lot of effort to clean.

4. How can I properly clean my unfinished hardwood flooring?

Sweeping or dusting it off usually does the trick and can be done with very little effort. This is perfect for people who live a very busy life juggling a career and children if any.

5. Can I use a steam mop on unfinished floors?

You should never use a steam mop on your unfinished wood floor even if it has tough stains, it is advised that you use commercial products designed for cleaning wood

6. Can I vacuum my unsealed hardwood floor?

You can use a vacuum cleaner on your unfinished wood floor because it can reach areas where a broom or a mop wouldn’t. There are so many vacuum cleaners online however, you need to buy the ones that have hardwood floor settings on them.

Wrapping Up On Cleaning Unfinished wood floor

If you have very little experience with this floor, knowing how to clean unfinished wood floor surfaces can take time and effort. Mistakes can be made but you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself as not all is lost when that happens. 

The good thing about this floor is you can always sand it down to its original form. You don’t need a variety of tools to clean this floor and if you are working with chemicals like mineral spirits, always read the label or consult a professional.

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