10 Things to Never Do To A Wood Floor

Wood floors are made from an organic material that continues to be affected by its environment and the maintenance materials you choose to apply to it.  We believe that a well maintained wood floor is an investment and can add to the aesthetic of your home in significant ways. 

In order to keep your wood floor looking its best, we suggest you order from Arboritec’s line of wood floor care products and our Complete Wood Floor Care Kit is a great place to start. 

Aside from what you should do for your wood floor, here are ten things you should avoid doing to your floor.

Ten Things to Never Do To A Wood Floor

  1. Do not use abrasives or harsh chemicals to clean your floor. We do not recommend the use of ammonia, vinegar, dish washing detergent, powdered all-purpose cleaner, Endust, Pledge, oil soap, or any type of wax or silicone base products on your floor.
  2. Do not use hard casters on any furniture directly on your hardwood floor. Casters can cause isolated wear areas on your floor and increase the frequency of recoat and refinish projects.
  3. Do not use steam mops on your hardwood floor.  The use of water in all its forms, including steam, on wood floor should be limited to the degree possible. The high heat from some steam mops can also serve to thermally break down your floor’s protective layer over time. 
  4. Do not pour cleaning product directly on floor.  It may be tempting to create a puddle of cleaner and spread it out over your floor but this approach can have the same effect as using too much water when cleaning. Cleaning products that are applied too liberally in spots can absorb into wood, cause swelling and an uneven look over time. 
  5. Do not wait too long between refinish projects.   Any wood floor finish will eventually show wear patterns and surface scratches.  When you begin to see dull traffic areas, it is time to consider re-coating your floors. Re-coating is a one day process, and cost much less than sanding/refinishing.  You should plan on re-coating hardwood floors every 3 to 5 years depending on traffic patterns and wear.  Do not wait until you wear through the finish to the bare wood or sanding may be required.
  6. Do not wear high heel shoes on wood floors. High heel shoes can cause denting in hardwood. It is wise to leave high heels at the door and make sure that they are always in good shape. Damaged high heels can quickly become a chisel on your wood floor.
  7. Do not leave the legs of your furniture unprotected. Protective pads should be added under the legs of every piece of furniture that comes in contact with your hardwood floor.  The weight of furniture left unprotected can damage the finish and the wood over time.
  8. Do not drag furniture or heavy appliances over your hardwood floors. Heavy furniture should be lifted carefully off of the floor and placed back on the floor once in their new position. Felt pads, furniture straps, and additional assistance are all good ideas when moving heavy objects over wood floors.  
  9. Do not let your dog’s nails remain untrimmed. The sound of a dog nails as they skitter across a wood floor is not just annoying, but those nails will ruin your finish and eventually ruin your floors is they remain untrimmed. Both you and your pet will be happier if you trim their nails when required. 
  10. Do not allow pet stains remain untreated.  If Fido or Kitty have an accident on your wood floor, be sure and address the issue immediately.  The longer urine sits on a wood floor, the worse it is for the floor. If the accident happens on an area rug or throw rug, make sure to clean and dry both the rug and the wood floor underneath the accident.


  • Carol – Our latest blog post should help answer your question. Watch this short video depicting “How to Clean Wood Floors in 60 Seconds” http://shop.arboritec.com/blogs/news/6918148-video-how-to-clean-wood-floors-in-60-seconds

    Chris Sparks
  • I need to know how to clean my hard wood floors.what to use.I don’t won’t any wax on them thanks for your help.

    carol thorne
  • Pat – Sorry to hear about the trouble you experienced with using Bona’s cleaner and then Pledge hardwood wax. We have heard many complaints about the haze you describe. Rest assured, you will not experience this with our cleaner if you give us a chance. Wax buildup can also be a tough problem to address. As per the article above, Arboritec does not recommend the use of vinegar on hardwood floors. In your specific case however, it does seem like the best approach may be to have them scrub one area until the shine is gone compared to the field and then move on. This is a non-toxic approach where one scrubbing shouldn’t hurt your finish. Have your service try this in a smaller inconspicuous area (like a closet) and assess your results before tackling the rest of the floor. Vinegar can give off a bit of an odor itself so, especially given your stated health concerns, having a service do this for you is probably a good idea.

    Chris Sparks
  • moving into a house with hardwood floor ?How do I make sure the are clean and germ free when the people move out?

    Darlene Welch
  • I have expensive dark Bruce engineered hardwood and have always used Bona cleaner, but several years ago, the floors became cloudy like a film was on them. At a friend’s recommendation, I did a no-no and applied Pledge hardwood wax, which looked good at first but has now made the matter worse. After reading online, I tried Windex, which does seem to remove the wax, but due to my health, I am unable to finish the job due to problems breathing the ammonia in the Windex. I have talked to the installer who referred me to a janitorial service who helped another customer years ago, but they no longer clean hardwood and have not yet agreed to try to help me. I have been afraid to hire someone thinking that one would need to be very careful to just remove the wax without removing the finish. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Pat Thomason

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