How to Clean an Oiled Hardwood Floor

How to Clean an Oiled Hardwood Floor. Some older hardwood floors have oiled surfaces. To keep them in top shape, periodic cleaning and re-application of oil is necessary. It's a lot like polishing a large tabletop. Let's run through the process.

Clean an Oiled Hardwood Floor
  1. Sweep or use a good vacuum to pick up any dirt and debris.

  2. Use clean rags to apply oil soap or any cleaning oil designed for wood floors.

  3. Apply the oil to the rag, not the floor, and wipe the floor with the wet rag.

  4. Use firm, straight strokes going with the grain of the wood.

  5. Spread the oil as evenly as possible to ensure that color is affected equally over the entire surface.

  6. Change to a new, clean rag as often as needed. An average-size room will require several rags.

  7. Let oil seep into the wood for 1 to 2 hours.

  8. Make a second, lighter pass with the oil as needed to even up any light spots.

  9. Continuing to buff the floor with clean, dry rags will heighten the shine and bring out the patina of the wood.

  10. Tip

    Sweeping any hardwood floor on a regular basis will prolong the life of the finish by years. Oil cleaners or polishes are best used on older, unwaxed and bare-wood floors only. Wax- or polyurethane-finished floors generally need only to be mopped with regular soap and water, or with water and vinegar. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water to keep your vinyl no wax floors clean and shining.


    Pouring oil on the floor and wiping it with a dry rag may cause the oil to spread unevenly and may stain the floor.