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Cleaning Unsealed Wooden Floors

Category Floors
Unsealed wood flooring can be kept looking good by using an oil or wax finish. Then just use the best cleaning method for the finish you choose. This is a page about cleaning unsealed wooden floors.


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December 9, 2013

I have 105 year old heartpine floors. I use WOCA natural soap to clean them. They have also come out with a refresher that has more oil in it. If your floors aren't horrible, clean them well and try the refresher on a small section. We sanded and oiled our floors six years ago after removing about five layers of linoleum. I used WOCA oil. Haven't had to re-oil yet.


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December 8, 2011

My house has unsealed wooden floors that were sanded and oiled around 15 years ago. They need a spruce up. Does anyone know of a surface application of something that won't damage the timber or does it look like another sand and oil?

By Rebecca B.


December 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My floors are unsealed hardwood too, but I keep mine looking nice by applying wax which cleans and shines at same time. It is specially made for unsealed floors. You couild try that as it is easier than sanding and oiling. It seems like the oiling would attract dirt and dust to it.

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August 19, 20132 found this helpful
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I have had old hardwood floors for years. I do several things depending on how dry it is inside and out. I have tried an assortment of products and they all depend on the amount of time I have and the time of year. Winter time, the house is dryer and it is harder to keep the wood well oiled. I am including the brand names of products I use because others I have tried (a lot of others) just did not work for multiply reasons.


I clean them often using a Swiffer handle and cotton rags. You can use a dust mop. I can put a little spray Pledge on the rag to make for a quick pickup. I can do this every day. With 3 dogs, I do it more than once a day sometimes. I use Windex to clean them using the same manner.

The ammonia is safe for the wood and the spray bottle makes it easy to target areas that need extra work. I can use this every month without an issue. I also do it in between big cleaning in heavy traffic areas to keep some to the dirt out of the house.

At least once a month, try to do it every 2 weeks, I use Pledge brand orange oil after I have quickly dust mopped. The oil soaks in quickly, does a good job of cleaning and is relatively cheap.

In the past, I used Scotts liquid gold. That did an outstanding job of cleaning and lasted a long time but it was more difficult to have on hand since it is harder to find. Which ever oil you use, allow it to soak in well. If the oil is gone from the surface in less than 30 minutes do another coat. Your wood needs to be well oiled to make cleaning easier. You want to keep the edges and corners slick.


When it is very dry in the house such as in the winter when the furnace is on, I have done up to 3 coats of oil. As long as it soaks in well, you won't be slipping and sliding on it. If I have over oiled the floors, I just use a dry rag on a Swiffer handle to even out the oil. It happens very seldom though as old wood will soak up a ton of oil! Especially those rooms that get a lot of sun or have fans going. The movement of air drys the wood out fast.

If you have kids around, put old white socks on them to buff the floor. I use my husbands old socks for this. Turn the music up and let them slip and slid all they want.

Twice a year I use Johnsons paste wax to protect it. This is the only part that requires me getting on my hands and knees to put it on and than to buff it. Kids and white socks work wonders for this as well but in my 1000 square feet of hardwood, I can get it done in a day. Part of spring cleaning and fall cleaning.


Of all the products, the Scotts liquid gold was the best for beauty but it was more work and cost more. It provided a very deep clean that required changing rags often! I actually loved it enough to have it shipped to me for a few years but I like just going to the market and picking up what I need.

I have also used "Mop & Glo" if having people over and the floors are a bit dingy. Another fast shine product is "Future". They both require you to clean the floor well, let the floor dry than apply the product and let it dry well. Neither last through a lot of heavy traffic but for a quick touch up about an hour before company comes, they do a nice job. Mop & Glo seemed to be faster. Never go over an area twice when using these products or they will dull. And neither lasted very long but they do look especially nice for a short time. The 'Future' seemed to last longer.


I have used both of these products at times before particularly before important functions, the ministers wife coming over or book club. With dogs and family members in and out, it is hard to give the floors that much drying time however.

It might sound like I work on my floor a lot but I have a lot of pet traffic. 3 dogs and we foster up to 7 cats. Hair is everyplace! So, I dust mop often! and, I have an assortment of cleaning products available because they last a long time.

I have use tea and coffee to clean the floor with, both work ok especially for fast cleaning. I have also tried to make my own orange oils but, we have a small house, I have a short amount of time and storage space and I am tired!

So, if you find my way particularly harmful to the environment, I apologize but please don't yell at me for it. If you had my life, you would choose some shortcuts also.

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