How to Clean Grime on Hardwood Floors

Tough grime on hardwood floors can become difficult to remove. In order to avoid damaging hardwoods, certain precautions are necessary. Hardwood floors can easily scratch, and they require frequent cleaning to prevent grim buildup. Removing grime from hardwoods requires effort, but cleaning them will make the wood last longer and help it retain its natural beauty.

Remove grime from hardwood floors carefully to prevent damage
  1. Sweep the floor to remove any loose debris.

  2. Mop the floor with warm water and mild soap. This will remove any grime that does not require additional chemicals. Mop one area at a time.

  3. Combine ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. This works best on hardwood floors finished with urethane. Mop the floor with this solution, and use a little "elbow grease" on the areas that have a thick grime buildup.

  4. Wipe the mopped area dry to prevent soaking the floors too much, or water spots may occur. Use soft cloths or a dry mop to soak up the excess water.

  5. Apply oil soap to remove tough grime. Follow the directions on the soap to avoid damaging the floors. Do not use oil soaps on unfinished wood.


  • Do not put oil or furniture polish on a hardwood floor. It will not only make the floor slippery, but it will become difficult to remove.

About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.