How to Shine a Hardwood Floor

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The finish on hardwood floors can get dull over time, sending you in search of a product that will clean and polish your floor. The large number of cleaning products available can be confusing. However, if your hardwood floor has a nonwaxed finish, such as polyurethane, you can simplify things by cleaning the floor with a basic item from your pantry.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge mop or clean cloth
  • Dry cloth
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Step 1

Fill a bucket with 4 cups of warm water. Mix in 1/2 cup of white vinegar.

How to Shine a Hardwood Floor
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Step 2

Dip your sponge mop or clean cloth into the solution. Wring out nearly all of the water, leaving the mop or cloth slightly damp.

How to Shine a Hardwood Floor
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Step 3

Work in a small section at a time so the wood floor doesn't get too wet. Mop or wipe the cleaning solution on the hardwood, then wipe immediately with a dry cloth.

How to Shine a Hardwood Floor
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Step 4

Move on to the next small section and repeat the process of mopping and wiping. Continue until the whole floor is cleaned.

How to Shine a Hardwood Floor
How to Shine a Hardwood Floor (Image: Demand Media Studios)

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't saturate your hardwood floor with water, or let the water sit on it for too long.
  • Before beginning, test your floor to make sure it doesn't have wax finish. Rub your thumb across a board; if it leaves a smudge, the finish is most likely wax and should not be cleaned with water. Use a solvent-based cleaner/wax product instead.

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