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Unsealed Wood Floors: What’s the Right Way to Clean Them?

Unsealed Wood Floors: What’s the Right Way to Clean Them?

Anyone who wants to learn how to clean unsealed wood floors must first grasp the basics of such flooring. Unsealed wood floors are hardwoods that don’t have a protective layer, making them more susceptible to damage during the cleaning process.

Cleaning unsealed wood floors can be a delicate matter and may demand professional cleaning services. However, it is possible to treat unsealed wood floors with a whole range of different liquid cleaners or natural oils.

In this article, we’ll expand on the complexity of unsealed wood floors and how you can keep them clean and shining daily!

Cleaning Unsealed Wood Floors: Why Regular Cleaning Is Important

There are several reasons why regular cleaning of unsealed wood floors is important. Firstly, you’d like your home to look comfier and more beautiful, and you can’t achieve this without cleaning your wood floors regularly. Secondly, you’d want to avoid unpleasant odors, stains, bacteria, and dirt in your immediate environment.

On the other hand, there are also some downsides to intensive and constant cleaning of your unsealed wood floors. As long as you don’t overdo it, you’ll see there are three main reasons for regular cleaning of floors and how they can benefit you:

  • To maintain a shiny and healthy wood floor. Wood floors can dry and wear out over time, causing you to dwell in a rather unpleasant and unhealthy atmosphere. So, the number one reason for regular cleaning of unsealed floors is to keep them looking healthy, shiny, and sleek.
  • To save money on repairs. If you’re asking yourself why bother cleaning unsealed wood floors, think about the money you’ll save on repairing and replacing. By cleaning your wood floors, you’ll put off all the dust and grime, saving yourself money from future replacements and repairs.
  • To increase comfort. Everybody wants to cozy up in a neat, comfortable setting. If you clean your wood floors regularly, you’ll ensure that you and your close ones live in a healthy and grime and bacteria-free environment.

How to Clean Unsealed Wood Floors?

Unsealed wood floors are delicate, and their maintenance can be seriously challenging. You can choose to clean your unsealed wood floors in many ways. For example, you can clean them by applying natural oils, wax, or vinegar.

Pro tip: Avoid using water and wet mops directly on the flooring. Unsealed wood floors don’t have a protective top coat made of polyurethane or urethane, meaning the wood can easily absorb all the liquids and start to swell. On top of that, if you use water to swipe your unsealed floors, you’ll end up with bent and twisted flooring.

This is also true for the glossy appearance of your floor. The more water the unfinished floor absorbs, the more it loses its luster.

Here are some of the best ways how to make unsealed wood floor shine:

  • Treat it with natural oils
  • Apply and clean with wax
  • Sweep and vacuum regularly
  • Apply and clean with vinegar.

Some of these cleaning techniques can be done separately, while others can be combined into a single cleaning venture. For instance, you should always sweep and vacuum the unfinished floors before applying wax, vinegar, or oils. You can also combine the oil and vinegar or the wax and oil cleaning techniques.

How to Clean Unsealed Wood Floors with Vinegar?

The process of cleaning your unsealed wood floors with vinegar is a simple one. All you need is a few tools and items to make your floors shiny as new:

  • A mop
  • A bucket
  • Vinegar
  • Cloths or rags
  • A broom
  • And a little bit of water.

You can start by adding a single cup of white vinegar to the bucket and a gallon of warm water. Next, make sure that you protect yourself against the odor and the effects of the vinegar by putting on gloves and protective eyewear.

Before you apply the vinegar cleaner, vacuuming the whole surface of the floor is a must. This way, you’ll enable the vinegar to do its job thoroughly and find its way into the tiniest nooks.

Once you’ve mixed the right combination of vinegar and water, dip the mop into the bucket and sweep the floor. Make sure that you remove as much dust and grime as possible. You can use a mop or a cleaner to swipe the wooden floor.

However, beforehand, you should thoroughly wring out the mop or the cleaner to avoid dampening and damaging the floor. If the floor gets too wet, find a dry cloth as soon as possible, and absorb and remove all the remaining water.

Vinegar solutions are quite effective and can cut through different types of oils and grimes. White vinegar, for example, has a lightly acidic Ph, which can help you get rid of all the bacteria and insects nested in your floor. What’s more, the benefits of using vinegar-based cleaning solutions can be seen in eliminated mold spores and mildew.

How to Clean Unsealed Wood Floors with Oil?

Another way to clean your unsealed wood floor is by using natural oils. This is quite an efficient way to remove all the grime and dirt while making the floor shiny and clean. For this purpose, you can use jojoba or linseed oil. They’re affordable and easy to find, and you can purchase them from your local or online shop.

The jojoba and linseed oils will help you maintain a dry floor while removing the surface residue. Additionally, you shouldn’t frequently apply jojoba or linseed oil on your unsealed wood, meaning you’ll save money and time cleaning the floor.

Nonetheless, as with vinegar cleaning solutions, you should vacuum and swipe the floor before applying an oil cleaner. This will help the oil do its job in-depth and provide the desired moisture and brightness.

Following are the steps on how to clean an unsealed wood floor with natural oils:

  • Step 1: Apply the oil on a microfiber cloth or a rag. You can use many oil types, including jojoba, linseed tung, or coconut oil.
  • Step 2: Swipe the unsealed floor with the damp cloth or rag, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Remove the oil with a dry mop or cloth.

There are a few things you should keep in mind before applying linseed or jojoba oils to your unsealed wood floors. Firstly, clean the floor thoroughly and get rid of all the dust and smut. Next, be sure that the rag or cloth you use is exceptionally clean and dry.

Lastly, don’t leave the applied oil to sit for more than 15 minutes on the floor to avoid sticky surfaces and stains. Also, when you clean your unsealed floor with oils, don’t return the furniture until the oil has dried up.

How to Make Unsealed Floors Shine?

DIY flooring should be both fun and practical. That’s why you can combine numerous cleaning methods and instruments to clean your unsealed wood floors and make them shine as new. For instance, you can use floor wax to achieve that glossy feel and polished look. What’s more, the floor wax will keep your unsealed wood protected and sealed.

Another way to make your floors shiny is by applying natural oils. Experienced cleaners use all kinds of oils to make floors shine. In particular, you can use jojoba, linseed, or some vegetable oils for this purpose. However, it’s important to vacuum or sweep the floor – removing all the dirt and dust – before applying wax or oil.

Mind that you can’t use polishing products and liquids on your unsealed wood floor. These products can damage the surface and get you something quite opposite of a shiny and clean look.

How to clean unsealed wood floors can be a very tricky question overburdened with different solutions, risks, and potential losses. This is the main reason why many homeowners decide to ask for professional services to make their unsealed floors clean and shiny. They provide flexible working hours, quick and healthy solutions, and guaranteed satisfaction.

If you want to make your floor glossy, lustrous, and in good shape – our team at Certified Clean Care is here for you.


What can I use to clean unfinished wood floors?

You can use natural oils, floor wax, or vinegar to clean your unfinished wood floors. You can also use a whole set of cleaning and polishing products, such as mineral spirits, tri-sodium phosphate, oil soaps, chemical cleaners, etc. However, before you use any of these cleaning methods, confirm the wood’s characteristics and reaction to different chemicals and products.

Can you steam mop unsealed wood floors?

No, you must avoid using a steam mop on unfinished wood floors. Unfinished wood floors can’t withstand the heat and moisture produced by the steam mop. You easily damage the surface and make the wood warp, bend, and lose its color. You can use a damp or spray mop instead.

Is it OK to leave hardwood floors unfinished?

Yes, you can feel free to leave hardwood floors unfinished. After you finish the flooring, it’s not necessary to apply different finishing products like protective lacquer or oil layers and wood stains.