When it comes to the topic of how to clean wooden floors, perhaps the one that is most asked and feared is preparing the wooden floor for refinishing with a top cost of finish. This article will cover the steps of refinishing but also explain the why it is necessary to clean wooden floors in preparation for recoating the floors with a protective finish. Additionally we will cover the tools and the supplies needed for preparing the wooden floors for recoating with finish.

This is a feared topic when it comes to how to clean wooden floors because it is somewhat complicated with many steps. It also requires some tools and supplies normally not stocked in a commercial buildings facility for cleaning and maintenance.


The procedures below are designed for Dry Preparation of the wooden floors. This is one method to clean wooden floors. The other is a wet abrading process which will be addressed in another article.


Quality Cleaner, Equipment and Tools

  • Personal Protection Equipment – Gloves, Dust Mask, Eye Protection, Etc.
  • Wet Floor Signs And Barriers
  • Plastic Blunt Putty Knife
  • Dust Mops – Microfiber Preferred
  • Push Brooms
  • Automatic Scrubber
  •  Single Disc 175 Rpm Floor Machine With Dust Control
  • Vacuum
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Blue Pads
  • White Pad
  • 120 Grit Screen
  • Tacking Solution
  • Tacking Cloths/Towels



Procedural Steps



  • Put on Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Place “Wet Floor” signs and/or barriers.
  • Set up equipment and prepare cleaning solution.
  • Dust mop floor with untreated mop to remove surface dust, removing adhered debris using a blunt plastic putty knife.
  • Clean floor with automatic scrubber using standard blue cleaning pads and floor cleaner mixed at the proper dilution with the pressure set at 50% and flip pads over after 2,500 square feet.
  • Let floor dry completely before dry screening.


Dry Screen Disc


  • Work in small areas by laying the screen grit discs in a pattern of 10 feet by 25 feet (250 Square Feet).
  • Using a Single Disc 175 rpm floor machine equipped with dust control and a 120 grit screen on a white pad.
  • Inside these 10 foot by 25 foot sections of the floor, screen across the grain, then with the grain until all gloss is removed from the floor. Make sure you flip the grit screen disk every 250 square feet and replace with a new grit screen disk every 500 square feet.
  • Continue until the entire wood floor is completed and making sure to screen the gloss off the floor on the edges and corners.


Dust Removal


  • Using a vacuum remove dust from confined areas like edges and corners.
  • Using the automatic scrubber equipped with blue scrub pads and properly diluted cleaner to scrub the floor.
  • Allow the floor to dry completely and check floor for any glossy or shiny areas. If any of the floor areas are still glossy or shiny, screen disc the floor again until the floor is uniformly dull.
  • Once the floor is uniformly dull, tack the floor with a push broom and towels/cloth dampened with a Tacking Solution. Repeat tacking until floor is clean and dust free being sure to cover the entire floor including edges and corners.
  • Allow the floor to dry completely for 30 minutes before applying finish being sure to applying finish to the wood floor within 2 hours of tacking.


Reference Websites

The Maple Floor Manufacturer’s Association

National Wood Flooring Association




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