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Why Can't I Use Water-based Cleaners on My Hardwood Floors?

Apr. 11, 2022

If you have first-class hardwood floors, you will undoubtedly want to keep them in tip-top shape. After all, it's quite an investment, and with all that classic beauty, you'll love to enjoy your hardwood for decades to come.

But don't mess up the mop and bleach! Anyone who has used solid hardwood floors for any length of time knows that water-based products on standard or engineered hardwood floors are a big no-no. While you may be scotch-free if you're careful, the risk of accidental damage - or worse, total ruin - to your floor is huge.

So what exactly happens when you use a water-based cleaning product on your hardwoods and what you should use instead? Trioflor's answer is as follows.

Why Can't I Use Water-based Cleaners on My Hardwood Floors?


Don't mix water and hardwood floors

Although hardwood floors are coated with a finish that protects them from water damage. If some areas of your floor surface are worn thin, even a little water can damage the wood underneath, causing staining and stains.

Likewise, due to changes in surrounding humidity levels, hardwood floors can expand and contract, which can open up now-fragile natural areas.

Combine these risks with the potential for permanent warping of hardwood when exposed to excess moisture, and it's safe to say you should stay away from water-based cleaning products!


What should I use instead?

Many cleaning products contain water, so if you have hardwood floors, you may not be able to use the same thing as universal cleaning. Our #1 tip for keeping your hardwood floors clean: a floor cleaner designed for hardwood.


How should I use it?

Fortunately, keeping your hardwood floors clean with these special products is very simple. Most provide instructions on the package. Use a fine mist of the product; there's a little bit of a long way to go. Always vacuum beforehand, too. Once the cleaner is added to the equation, you will not only avoid a mess, but you will prevent yourself from grinding fine debris particles into the finish and damaging it.


For more information on keeping your hardwood floors and their solids looking great, please feel free to contact us.