How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors? (3 Best Method)

The unique aesthetic look unfinished wood floors provide to your home or office, may get ruined by unwanted evil dirt and dust! 

As these floors are not sealed with wax or do not contain any varnish layer, it makes it a little difficult to clean all the dirt and stains. But worry not! We have all the solutions you need to bring back the fairness of your floor.

But first, you need to know what not to do while cleaning your beautiful wooden floors.

Things You Shouldn’t Do While Taking Care of Wood Floors:

  • Don’t keep your floor damp: As water gets soaked by unvarnished wood floors, it warps the woods and leaves behind stains. Also your floor may get discolored and loose its beauty. 
  • Don’t use hard-bristled brushes: Soft-bristled brushes are always recommended for your unfinished wood floor cleaning. If the brushes have hard bristle, it may cause scratches on your floor.
  • Don’t use detergent/soap: While soap or detergent is used widely for cleaning, they are notoriously inadvisable in terms of cleaning the unfinished wood floors. Detergent or soap leaves thin residues on your floor which damages the shiny aesthetic look.
  • Don’t use wrong product: There are different cleaning product for pre-finished wood floors and unfinished wood floors. Make sure to know which one is you’re using. 

As now you know what not to do, we can proceed to the easiest and cheapest cleaning techniques which will positively help you to clean your floor. 

How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors:

Method 1: Using Vinegar: Your Natural Cleaning Buddy 

Vinegar, being a natural non-toxic acidic solution, is widely used for various purposes including cleaning. Washing away dirt, dust and stains on your wooden floor might be an easy and cheaper job with vinegar.

But first, you need to dilute it with a sufficient amount of water. Following these steps may make your job easier. 

How to use vinegar solution:

  • Mix a ½ cup of vinegar with a gallon of warm water. You can increase the volume as long as you maintain the ratio. 
  • Keep the solution on a bucket but make sure not to fill it full as it may spill. 
  • Use a soft-bristled long handled mop for cleaning.
  • Dip the mop into the solution and wring it to get rid of excessive liquid. Mop the floor gently with it. Remember not to apply too much pressure while mopping.
  • Dip the mop again and do the same. Mop your entire floor with this manner. 
  • Make sure you let the floor dry and don’t walk on wet floor as it’ll leave footprints.

Bonus Tips:

  • Using vinegar might leave an odor to your room. In order to get rid of odor use odorless vinegar or mix a few drops of essential oil in the mixture to replace the odor with aroma. 
  • Use warm water for fast mixing and fast drying. 
  • Remove dust, pollen or other debris with a vacuum cleaner before using vinegar solution for better result.
  • Remove objects and portable furniture from the floor before cleaning and do not bring them back before drying up the floor. 

Vinegar solution not only cleans your unfinished wood floors but also fights off mold spores and mildew. But some stains might still be there after cleaning.

For deep cleaning and clearing all the stains, you may use Trisodium Phosphate or mineral spirits. Besides being good cleaning agents, these chemicals also do not pose any harm to your wooden floors.  

But they are toxic. So safety measure is required. 

Method 2: Using TSP:

Trisodium Phosphate or TSP is a heavy-duty cleaning solution that works great on wood. To clean your floor with this cleaning agent, you may follow these steps:

  • If you’re using powder instead of liquid, mix ½ tablespoon of TSP powder with 2 gallons of warm water to make the cleaning solution.
  • Apply this solution on stain and clean it with scrub brush. 
  • When the stain is removed, wipe the spot with warm water.
  • Dry the spot with a clean lint-free dry cloth. 
  • If you want to clean the whole floor with it, use the scrub brush to rub the floor or use the mop after applying it to the floor. But make sure you wash it with warm water and dry it off so it doesn’t get damp.

Method 3: Using Mineral Spirits:

Mineral spirit is a petroleum-based cleaning agent which is mostly used to remove paint from paintbrushes. But it is proven to work on woods very neatly. You can follow these steps to use it perfectly:

  • Sprinkle the substance a very few amount on the stained spot.
  • Rub the spot with a soft pad or a microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe off the extra liquid with a clean soft towel.

But remember, TSP or mineral spirits both are highly toxic substances and very harmful for humans. You must follow some safety measures before using them.

Safety measures while using these chemicals:

  • Proper ventilation is required. Open all the doors and windows of the room and turn on the fans for a stable air circulation.
  • Wear a respirator and thick hand-gloves. Because breathing these substances can cause damage to your respiratory system. Also coming to a touch of these may cause irritation on your skin and show painful reaction. 
  • Do not spray on open flames or sparks. These substances are highly flammable. 
  • Keep the children away from the room. 

Cleaning unfinished wood floors may raise your concern at the beginning, but if you follow the steps correctly it’ll get easier.

Some BONUS cleaning method for different cases:

Dark stain from water

As you forget to keep the floor from being damp, sometimes, water can leave a dark stain mark as well. To eradicate this unwanted dark spot, you can follow these two ways:

  • Make a paste with salt and water. Apply this paste on the stained spot and rub it with a clean wet towel. Keep rubbing until the stain is vanished. 
  • Make a thick paste with baking soda and water. Apply this paste, and keep it like this for a few hours. After that, clean it off with a soft cotton cloth. 

Spilled something on the floor

You may accidentally spill something on your beautiful floor and you want to clean it immediately. Don’t worry! You can prevent the mark from turning into a stain. 

Use a soft cloth so it soaks the liquid from the floor. Gently buff along the grain of the wood. Now, if the watermark still remains, use a blow dryer to dry it away. 

Floor lost its shine

An unvarnished wooden floor gives a more natural rustic look than the waxy look of other floors. But, it is possible to make your floor look shiny and more attractive.

For these you may need to make the following solution:

  • ¼ cup of olive oil + 1/3 cup of white vinegar + 5 cups of warm water

Water is necessary to dilute the solution and using warm water helps to evaporate quickly after applying. 

Pour this solution into a bucket and start polishing the floor with the help of a mop. You may get a shiny bright look after polishing properly. 

Stubborn stain doesn’t go away

There is a chance that some stains do not go away even after using vinegar or mentioned chemicals. At this point, you can try sanding the wood with a piece of fine-grained sandpaper. 

Try sanding the place for a while and pause to clean the dust. But do not sand too much or too deeply as it can damage your favorite wood floor.   

Besides using a deep-cleaning method or vinegar solution, you should regularly clean your floor with a mop and vacuum cleaner. It is a better choice to clear off the regular dirt and dust every day rather than allowing them to team up to create a mess! 

But using these methods is also advisable at least once in two months to keep the unique, rustic, aesthetic look alive on your unfinished wood floors.