how to clean unfinished wood floor

If you have unfinished wood floors, you know how difficult it can be to keep them clean and tidy. Because when your wood isn’t finished, it becomes a magnet for a range of stains, marks, and other debris, right? But you can’t clean it the same way you would clean a finished wood floor because it’s far too fragile for that. So what do you do? If you want to learn how to clean unfinished wood floors, look at this process.

What You Need to Get Started

The first thing in learning to clean unfinished wood floors is figuring out the tools needed to keep that wood floor in tip-top shape. Because it’s unfinished, you need slightly different things than with a finished wood floor and similar ones.

  • Broom and Dustpan – Like any other hard surface floor in your home, you’ll occasionally need to sweep up dirt and debris. You need a broom and dustpan to help with this and ensure you have the surface of the floors clean.
  • Wood Floor Cleaner – A little wood floor cleaner can help you get up some of that last bit of dirt that gets stuck in the floor and make them look shiny at the same time. Just make sure it’s approved for unfinished floors.
  • Trisodium Phosphate – This is a liquid chemical that’s good at getting rid of stains in your wood. It’s very concentrated, so you’ll want a white rag and some clear water to go along with it so you can clean up after it’s done. This also needs a scrub brush.
  • Mineral Spirits – Another option for cleaning your floors is mineral spirits, which don’t contain chemicals and will help you quickly remove stains. This is safer for your floors, your family, and your pets. You’ll also need a rag but won’t need water to wash it off.
  • Sander – A good sander can remove absolutely anything because you remove the damaged wood entirely. However, you’ll want to be careful with this option because you could have noticeable marks.
  • Nitrile GlovesUsing a durable nitrile glove is highly recommended when cleaning unfinished wood floors, especially with trisodium phosphate or mineral spirits. It offers protection against skin irritation and absorption of harmful chemicals that may be present in cleaning products. Additionally, gloves can help prevent dirt and oils from skin transferring onto the wood floor during cleaning, ensuring a more thorough and effective cleaning.

Read more: How To Clean Your Hardwood Floors With Ease

And We’re Off to the Races: How To Clean Unfinished Wooden Floors

Step 1

First, you want to try and get any dirt or debris off the surface. You can start by simply using a broom and dustpan to sweep up whatever is sitting on top of the floors so you can see what kind of stains you’re dealing with before you jump in too quickly with chemicals or anything else that could potentially cause more damage.

Step 2

Get some wood cleaner that’s safe for use on unfinished floors and dilute it with water to the package specifications. Once you’ve done that, you can scrub your floors carefully with the mixture and ensure that all the liquid comes up at the end, as too much moisture can damage unfinished floors.

Step 3

If the stain is still there, it’s time to use a bit different method, mineral spirits are usually the best option for you because they don’t have chemicals but they do a great job in getting out stains. Just pour a little on a rag and then use it to wipe the area with a stain. In most cases, this will be all you need to get the stain out, and you won’t have to use water or anything else to get up the mineral spirits either.

Step 4

If you still can’t get the stain up, you may consider using trisodium phosphate. This is a good solution for getting stains out of just about anything, especially wood. However, you want to make sure you’re careful about this one because it’s a strong chemical. You want to put just a little bit directly onto the stain on your floor.

Step 5

Scrub the trisodium phosphate deep into the grain using a scrub brush. You need to get it as deep into the wood as possible to get everything out and not have anything left when you’re done.

Step 6

Use clean water to rinse anything left of the solution off the floor. You don’t want it to stay there and continue to soak in. You want it entirely cleaned off with water so keep flushing it out until it does its job.

Step 7

Wipe up every bit of moisture with your rag. You don’t want to leave anything behind because the liquid can damage your wood floors, especially if they don’t have a finish or any sealant, because it starts working its way deeper and deeper into the floor.

Step 8

You can consider sanding it down if you still have a mark that won’t come out. A small sandpaper may be enough for a minor mark, or you may need a large electric sander. Use it carefully because you don’t want to sand off too much, and you’ll be able to notice that it’s different. You want to get the layer that holds the stain, which should be close to the top. Make sure you don’t go too far down and that you don’t leave any rough edges while you’re sanding.

Step 9

Sweep again to get rid of the dust left behind by your sander. You’re ready to enjoy your wood floors again, and there’s no more stain. How’s that for how to clean unfinished wood floors?

Read more: How To Rehydrate Wood Floors – Make Floor & Dry & Shine Again.


All-in-all, it’s not that difficult to figure out how to clean unfinished wood floors. You need a few options around the house, which you probably already do. So please take a few minutes to check them out yourself and ensure you’re ready to go the next time you get a stain or mark on your floor. It’s pretty easy to figure out how to clean unfinished wood floors.


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