How To Clean Unsealed Hardwood Floors – 4 Easy Methods

How to clean unsealed hardwood floors

People who care about maintaining an attractive hardwood floor must know how to clean unsealed hardwood floors. Hardwood floors have been rated by homeowners for a natural and warm look that it gives to any room.

Dirty wood floors are not only displeasing, but they can also damage the wood itself, and it is costly to refinish, repair, or at the very worst to replace.

Cleaning hardwood floors require a little work. So, all hardwood floors are required to be maintained and cleaned regularly so as to bring out their natural shine and prevent damage.

Unsealed woods, unlike sealed woods, have no protective layer; this makes this type of hardwood accommodate dust, grime, dirt, and all sort of debris you bring in from outside.

Sealed hardwood floors are easy to clean with water. On the contrary, unsealed hardwood floors can be simply destroyed by water that gets in through its beams. That said, let’s take a look at how to clean unsealed hardwood floors.

How To Clean Unsealed Hardwood Floors

Cleaning an unsealed hardwood floor requires a little more effort, and it is more difficult because water cannot be used. Let’s look at the safe tips for cleaning an unsealed hardwood floor.

Vacuuming And Sweeping

Sweeping and vacuuming should be done regularly. How frequently you vacuum or sweep your unsealed hardwood floor determines where it is located. You have to pick up dirt daily in high traffic areas.

Ensure that you vacuum the floor often with a good hardwood floor vacuum. It should be a bare flooring tool or a crevice tool for tight spaces to avoid damage to the wood.

If you prefer sweeping, you can use a sweeping mop. The sweeping mop must not be abrasive so as to avoid unsightly marks or scratches on the wood surface.

Read: Best vacuum Cleaner Review

Treat Your Unsealed Hardwood Floors With Oil

Although you sweep and vacuum your floor often, residue may build up on the surface of an unsealed wood floor. You can treat your floor with natural oil like linseed or jojoba once in a month.

This can help to remove residue from the surface and maintain the hardwood floor; liquid floor cleaners or water should not be used.

A soft rag should be used to apply the oil on the unsealed hardwood floor and allow it to sit for some minutes. Then, use a dry mop to make the oil polish the wood and to remove any residue and dirt.

Read: Pine Sol on Hardwood Floor

Waxing Your Unsealed Hardwood Floor

This process can only be done if you do not plan to seal your floors. Wax is hard to get off and it has to be removed in order to seal the floor. If you still want to seal your floor, just condition it with oil.

It is very important to use the right type of wax or you may end up damaging your flooring. Buy petroleum-based, waterless wax to avoid twisting.

Put the wax in a thin, even coat with a clean rag and apply it on your floor, then allow it to dry for thirty minutes.

Immediately the wax dries, buff it in with a clean cloth. This process is time-consuming depending on how large your floor is. You can consider renting a buffing machine to make the work faster and easier.

Read: Best Floor Wax Review

Natural Cleaning

This process is not to be done daily. Since your floors are unsealed, it is not the best to wet them daily.

An unsealed hardwood floor will suck in any excess water that gets on it, and this will damage the wood. This is why natural cleaning is meant for dirty floors.

Types Of Natural Solution

You just need a natural mixture for cleaning as it will work perfectly on unsealed hardwood floor. You can make a natural mixture by getting any of these:

  • A gallon of water and two spoons of white vinegar
  • A gallon of water and half a lemon mixed together
  • Mixture of a gallon of water and a spoon of baking soda
  • You can also try using mineral spirits. Paraffin or cyclo-propane can be used, but you should opt for odorless mineral spirits. They will not just clean the sealed wood; they will also remove scuff marks.

Now, dip a mop into the mixture you have chosen. It is very important that you dry the mop well before placing it on the floor.

If the unsealed wood gets soaked with water, you will not get the desired look, and you will get the floor damaged.

If the floor gets too wet, use a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture. You will get the best outcome with a good cleaning solution and a good mop.

Read: Homemade floor cleaner

Protecting Unsealed Hardwood Floors

  • Vacuuming your unsealed hardwood floor regularly makes sure that there is no dirt, small rocks, or other things that can scratch and damage the floor.
  • Protect your unsealed hardwood floor by using rugs, carpets, and runners. They help to prevent any scuff marks left behind when moving furniture. Furniture legs can damage unsealed hardwood floors. So, be mindful when you move furniture.
  • A pair of muddy shoes, a spill, or a dirty pet coming in can turn your floor in a mess. To prevent this, you can make your home a shoe-free zone. If you are not convenient with this, get a doormat. Always wipe your feet before you go in and ask your guests to do the same.


Now that you know how to clean unsealed hardwood floors, you shouldn’t find it difficult when next you clean. Fortunately, you’ve got a variety of options to choose from.

Your unsealed hardwood floor will last longer and look amazing in as much you take care of it, maintain it and keep water far away from it.

Have you cleaned your unsealed hardwood floors with the methods mentioned above? How was your experience?

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