How to Clean Really Dirty Hardwood Floors

The durability and natural colors of hardwood makes it a popular home flooring. These floors can be coated with surface finishes containing oil, wax, varnish or polyurethane to add shine. Frequent foot traffic produces dirt and grime accumulation on hardwood, causing the floors to appear dingy. Hardwood floors require frequent cleaning and maintenance to prevent grime and debris from scratching and denting the wood. When the floors become extremely dirty, certain solutions are effective at cleaning the wood.

Learn how to clean really dirty hardwood floors.

Step 1

Sweep the floor thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner. Remove all loose dirt and grime from the floor's surface.

Step 2

Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a clean mop bucket. Add 1 gallon of warm water to the mop bucket.

Step 3

Dip a cotton cleaning cloth in the vinegar solution. Wring out any excess liquid from the cloth.

Step 4

Wipe the cloth over a 3-by-3-foot section of the wood floor to remove dirt and grime buildup. Frequently rinse the cloth with warm water.

Step 5

Dry the 3-by-3-foot section of the floor immediately with a clean terry cloth. Repeat the cleaning process on each 3-by-3-foot section of the wood floor.

Step 6

Inspect the wood floor for remaining residue or grime buildup. Use a commercial wood floor cleaner to remove difficult grime and discolored finishes, according to the cleaner manufacturer's directions.