Cleaning old wood floors can be a difficult task and one that requires some thought. The purpose and goal of this article is to advise our residential homeowner readers of special considerations and helpful tips when it comes to cleaning old wood floors.


Old wood floors as with all old floors require certain precautions on how to clean them. This is even truer for wood floors because of the special care of this type of flooring even when they are newer. But old wood floors can have some issues that need some testing before selecting and then cleaning a large area.


We will cover these ideas, suggestions and considerations below. Following these hints and tips will improve your performance when cleaning old wood floors and prevent possible damage to the old wood floor.


For additional information on the do’s and don’ts when cleaning wood floors please refer to a prior article written and published by clicking on the following link, (Cleaning Hardwood Floors Do’s and Don’ts).  


Cleaning Old Wood Floors – Helpful Tips and Suggestions


  • Check on the history of how the old wood floor was previously cleaned and maintained. How it was previously cleaned and maintained can eliminate problems that otherwise could have been avoided. The main consideration is to determine if the old wood floor was maintained using a paste wax. If so, other top or penetrating seals will not work and actually create a larger problem. If the old wood floor was maintained using a paste wax, then the decision is simple, it will need to be continued to be cleaned and maintained with a paste wax such as from Johnson Wax.
  • Is there any damage to the old wood floor is another consideration because any damaged areas will need to be repaired prior to any cleaning or maintenance of them. This will help eliminate further or additional damage to the old wood floor.
  • If the old wood floors have not been maintained with a paste wax or oil based penetrating treatment, then a top coating method of protecting the old wood floor can be used such as a water based or oil based sealer. This will protect the floor  from water damage in the future.
  • When it comes to cleaning old wood floors we highly recommend you call in a specialist to do the initial cleaning and sealing. They have the equipment, tools, supplies and most of all the expertise of handling the initial cleaning of old wood floors. This one recommendation and consideration can save a homeowner a huge about of money, time and headaches.



Cleaning Old Wood Floors – Reference Websites

The Maple Floor Manufacturer’s Association

National Wood Flooring Association


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