How to Clean Varnished Wood Floors

The shine of a varnished wood floor is nice to behold.

Clean FloorsClean Floors
Unfortunately, keeping wood floors clean and luminous is time-consuming. However, using optimal cleaning methods, you can maximize your time and minimize your cleaning frequency.

Mix a capful of floor soap with 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket.

Soak a cotton mop in the bucket of soap and water for approximately 30 seconds. Wring out the mop before using it on your wood floor.

Mop the floor once with the soap-and-water mixture, then allow to dry.

Clean and rinse the mop, dispose of the soap and water and rinse the bucket.

Fill your bucket with equal parts white distilled vinegar and warm water.

Soak the rinsed cotton mop in the vinegar and warm water solution for approximately 30 seconds. Wring out the mop and scrub the floors. Only use the vinegar solution. The pH of vinegar is superb for breaking down grease and sugar, but overexposing your floors to it can cause the wood veneer to break down.

Allow the floors to air dry.

Apply a line of water-based wax to the length of the sponge on your sponge mop. Think of your sponge mop as a hot dog and the wax as mustard.

Sponge mop your floors. For every 10 feet you mop you probably will need to apply another line of wax to the mop.

Allow the wax to dry. Water-based floor waxes do not require buffing.

Things You Will Need

  • Floor soap
  • Bucket
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Cotton mop
  • Water-based wax
  • Sponge mop

Tip

  • Cold black tea (e.g. Lipton) can be used to clean varnished wood floors instead of vinegar.

About the Author

Analise DeCuba is an artist and writer living in Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art and her Master of Fine Arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts. DeCuba has also taught studio art and art history at the college level.