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How to Clean Swedish Finish Hardwood Floors

F.R.R. Mallory

Swedish hardwood floor finish is particularly long wearing and is designed to remain shiny over many years without the need for waxes or polishes. Keeping this type of finish clean is easy, as long as the floor has never been waxed or oiled.

To achieve this result the floor needs to be cleaned properly using products designed to work with the finish.

  1. Clean the Swedish hardwood floor thoroughly using a non-beater bar vacuum cleaner. Dirt and grit are the most common cause of scratches to the finishes of hard surface floors. Homeowners with this type of floor should use furniture leg pads as well so that furniture does not scratch the floor.

  2. Spray a 50/50 mixture of undiluted 5% white vinegar and water on the floor and use a soft rag to wash the floor. Dry the floor immediately with a clean dry towel so the mixture will not streak.

  3. Deep clean a very dirty floor with a pH neutral Swedish hardwood floor cleanser and a lightly damp mop. Do not soak the floor or wet mop the floor. Pick up all water immediately and dry the floor with a dry towel. Because hardwood floors expand and contract, small gaps open between the boards and water can penetrate the floor and cause damage and warpage.


Some floor cleansing products that are used with this type of floor include: Swedish Floor Cleaner, Bona Hardwood Floor cleaner, and Poly Care. Other brands are also available; look for the key words Swedish floor cleanser and pH neutral when shopping for these products. The Swedish hardwood floor finish can be reapplied without stripping the floor if the floor becomes dull.


Do not wax, oil, or apply any polish to your floor.