How to Clean Grooves in Wood Floors

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Things You'll Need

  • Wet/dry vacuum

  • Buckets, two

  • Water

  • Floor-cleaning detergent

  • Sponge

  • Rags

  • Wood cleaner

  • White vinegar

  • Steel wool

  • Putty knife

  • Nail file

  • Sandpaper


Use as few chemical cleaning products as possible because they can damage your floor.


Don't scrape the surface of the floor with the putty knife. Always towel or vacuum up any water when you are finished. Water will damage a wood floor.

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Although wood floors are beautiful and durable, dirt, dust and debris does collect in the grooves between the planks. Paint will also seep into the grooves if you accidentally spill some on the floor. Cleaning hardwood floors is generally easy, but cleaning in the grooves is a little more complicated because of the small spaces involved. Cleaning grooves in wood floors is not difficult, but it requires time and patience.

Step 1

Vacuum the grooves with a powerful wet/dry vacuum cleaner.

Step 2

Create a solution of water and detergent in one bucket. Add detergent until the water becomes soapy. Dip a rag into the solution. Wipe along the grooves with the rag. Rinse the groove with a sponge dipped in clear water from another bucket.

Step 3

Wipe the grooves with a sponge dipped in a commercial wood cleaner or a solution containing white vinegar, if dirt remains in the grooves. Rinse the grooves with a sponge dipped in clear water to remove any residue.

Step 4

Rub as far down into the grooves as you can with a steel wool pad to remove any debris that remains.

Step 5

Scrape in the grooves with a putty knife or nail file to remove any paint in the grooves. You can also use a piece of sandpaper folded in half. Swipe along the groove with the sandpaper.

Step 6

Vacuum the grooves when you are finished.

references & resources

John Smith

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.