How to Clean Unfinished Wood Floors – Easy Steps That You Can Follow!

Do you want to know how to clean unfinished wood floors? Well, you are in luck. In this post today, I am going to show you how to clean unsealed wood floors and also how to protect unfinished wood floors.

I will include all the vital tips that you may need and ensure that you finally understand the most important aspects of unfinished wooden floors. To understand how to clean an unfinished wood floor, we will start with the following.

What is an Unfinished Floor?

There is no question about this. The first thing anyone should do if they want to learn how to clean unfinished wood floor is to determine is their floor is unfinished.

How do you make sure that your floor is actually unfinished? To understand if your floor is unfinished is easy. Simply take some water and leave a few droplets on the boards.

If the water droplets bead up on your boards, then the chances are that you are looking at a finished wood flooring. The finish on the wooden floors can often be done with the matte or even dull coating.

NOTE: The simple test that I have given you here is not quite the exhaustive option. However, it is the simplest test that anyone can carry out in case they want to determine whether their floor is finished or not. So, there isn’t any harm going with it too. Just ensure that you stick to the droplets.

Video Explanation

Unfinished Floor: What Next

Now that you have determined that you are looking at an unfinished floor, the best thing is to clean your floor in the right way. To do so, you must understand the best cleaning method for the unfinished or unsealed floor.

Contrary to what many people may have told you, the cleaning process is not that hard once you know how to go about it. In fact, you won’t have to look further than the food pantry. Here is how to clean unsealed wood floors.

Use Vinegar

The best cleaning option for unfinished wooden floors is the use of vinegar. This is the most recommended for all professional cleaners that want to give the best touch on any unfinished wood flooring.

First, the ingredient is easy to use; secondly, it gets the job done, and thirdly, it is cost-effective. More importantly, vinegar is also an all-natural ingredient that won’t have any forms of bad effects when used at home.

So to use vinegar for your cleaning solution on an unfinished floor, follow the 1 gallon of water for ½ cup of the vinegar that most professional soft wood flooring experts call for. This will give you an ideal cleaning touch on your wooden floor.


To get the best cleaning touch on your unfinished wooden floor using vinegar, make sure to follow the next steps:

  • First remove the dust, pollen, and dirt by sweeping or vacuuming the floor
  • Next, remove any portable objects that will hinder smooth cleaning from the floor
  • If your furniture can be easily moved out of the cleaning path, I suggest that you do so
  • Now block your entrances to the house to prevent both kids and pets from going in
  • Prepare your vinegar solution by using the measurements that I have given you above
  • You can use the one cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water for intense cleaning
  • Make sure that the water is also warm so that the mixture forms in well
  • Add a little essential oil in your mixture to do away with the strong vinegar smell
  • Get a soft rag or microfiber rag and use it to mop the unfinished wooden floor
  • Dip the soft clean mop in your vinegar solution and use it as your wooden floor cleaner
  • Wring the mop to dry it and then start mopping your floor
  • Remember to change the cleaning water regularly and to rinse your rag often to prevent the transfer of dirt.
  • Mop along the wooden planks
  • Allow the floor to dry up once you finish mopping before you resume its use

The one important thing that you should keep in mind when using vinegar to clean your unfinished wooden floor is to cut down on the streaks by moping in the main direction of your floorboards and also using long strokes. This will leave you with the best results after the floor finally dries up.

Blocking entrances will ensure that nothing steps on the wet floor before it dries up. This can be bad since any footprints may easily destroy your flooring aesthetics and leave you with unwanted patches on the clean floor


Note, the one drawback that using vinegar as your wood floor cleaner has is this. Vinegar has a strong smell that you might find to be quite irritating when used over wooden floors. Even so, the smell is not harmful and will dissipate as time goes by.

Just remember that the fumes can be quite overpowering. As such, the floor cleaning experts suggest going with the odorless vinegar or simply adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the cleaning solution. Personally, I also suggest opening windows for better air circulation.

How to Deep Clean Your Unfinished Wooden Floor

Apart from the normal cleaning using vinegar, when looking for how to clean an unfinished wood floor, you can also learn how to clean the floor deep.

This is because, when you have a stubborn stain on your wooden surface, you may have to clean it more to get the perfect touch. For deep cleaning purposes, there are two main chemicals that will be quite effective, especially when removing the stains from your unfinished wood.

How to Deep Clean Your Unfinished Wooden Floor

These two substances are the use of mineral spirits and Trisodium Phosphate. Being a petroleum-based substance, the mineral spirit will evaporate fast and never soak into the unfinished wooden floor.

This means that when you use it as your cleaning agent, the substance will easily eradicate the stains on your unfinished wooden floor without causing any damage to your floors.

Eventually, it will leave you with a smooth and natural shine on the floor. You can rub the spirit into the wooden board with a soft pad or even lint-free cloth. Since it is hard to spread, the mineral spirit is best used for spot cleaning.

Trisodium Phosphate, on the other hand, is some type of crystallized powder which you can find in your local hardware store.

The chemical is worked into your stain using a scrub brush before following it with some warm water for the perfect rinsing touch.

You should find a natural bright touch once the rinsing is done, and the floor dries up. However, if you find out that there is so much water after cleaning, you can use a soft rag to absorb the excess liquid and to prevent any permanent water damages.


If you are looking at how to clean unfinished hardwood floors and intend to do a little bit of deep cleaning with either of these substances, make sure that you give your floor the best preparation.

This will include cleaning your floor properly before applying any of these cleaning substances. You should sweep or vacuum to remove any dust and debris.

How to Protect Unfinished Wood Floors

Apart from learning how to clean unsealed wood floors, it is also important that you learn how to protect unfinished wood floors. Proper protection will ensure that you have a long-lasting floor that guarantees the best experience.

To protect your unsealed or unfinished wooden floor properly, here are some of the tricks that you should work with.

Work Gently

Unsealed wooden floors, whether hardwood or softwood, require so much keenness and gentleness. This is because they don’t have any type of sealant that would warrant a certain level of protection. So if you are hard on them, they may sustain scratches and lose their natural shine very easily too.

Use Damp Soft Rag

Do not use a wet rag to clean the unsealed wooden floor. Unsealed wood and water do not mix. If it absorbs water, it will easily rot or get damaged. The best thing to do is to use a damp cloth that will allow the wooden surface to dry easily.

Soft rag

Some people often prefer waxing unfinished wood floors, so as to protect them from any damages and also to maintain the natural shine.

Right Care Products

Abrasive care products are not the best for unfinished wooden surfaces. They don’t apply on how to clean unfinished wood walls, and they won’t work for such floors too. Always make sure that you look for the ideal cleansers that are designed for untreated wooden surfaces.

Using the right model will help you to get the best results and also to give your floor the right level of protection.

Frequent Vacuuming

Dust, dirt, pebbles, and small stones, if uncleaned, will scratch the natural surfaces of any unfinished wooden floor. As such, they should be removed or cleaned frequently. For the best wooden floor cleaning experience, you should vacuum them regularly or sweep your floor often too.

Sand for Light Stains

There is oil for unfinished wood floors that you can use to give it the best cleaning touch. However, sanding the floor is also integral in case you want to remove light stains. You can gently sand the area instead of using a tough wood floors cleaner.

Avoid Any Spillage

Learning how to clean soft wood floors is not bad. However, avoiding any damages is even better. This can be done by preventing any spillage. If there are any accidental spills, do not let them sit. Instead, clean them immediately to prevent the wooden surface from soaking up and getting damaged.


Many people who are looking for how to clean unfinished wood floors will find it easy if they have the right knowledge. In this post, we have covered all the necessary tips that’ll allow you to have the best experience with your unfinished soft wooden floors.

Make sure that when cleaning hardwood flooring, you also understand how to protect your floor. Combining these two tips will guarantee a long-lasting touch to your wooden floors for a long time.

Leave a Comment