How to Clean Hardwood Floors Before Adding Polyurethane

Clean wood floors with vinegar before applying the polyurethane.
Clean wood floors with vinegar before applying the polyurethane. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Hardwood floors are costly and should be maintained properly. To protect the flooring, a clear polyurethane coating is often added to seal the flooring. This reduces wear and tear and also adds a protective barrier that prevents water and moisture from seeping into the wood. Before applying the coat of polyurethane, clean the floors with a safe cleaning solution that cleans thoroughly without leaving behind residue.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Mop

Sweep the floors with a broom to remove all loose buildup and debris.

Mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 gallon warm water in a bucket.

Dip the mop into the bucket, wring the mop out and wipe across the wood floors. Follow the natural direction if the hardwood grain while you clean.

Let the hardwood air dry entirely before applying the polyurethane.


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