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How To Disinfect Hardwood Floors

Wooden floors are a thing of beauty or elegance in any home. Therefore the charm has to be preserved. Like any other flooring surface, hardwood wood floors need to be disinfected regularly to kill bacteria and germs built upon the surface.

Floor disinfection is one way of ensuring the safety of occupants. Disinfection kills bacteria that would cause infection when it otherwise comes in contact with your body. It is vital to use an appropriate disinfectant but avoid standard disinfectants like bleach and Lysol due to their corrosive nature. 

There are two methods commonly used for the natural disinfection of sealed wood floors. Clean with steam or a white vinegar solution. These methods use natural ingredients, so they don’t involve harsh chemicals. 

Since the techniques are water-based, you need to be very careful. Water and wood floors should not mix or interact over a long period.

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Disinfectant

The best disinfectant for cleaning and disinfecting wooden floors are products that can remove dirt and grime from wooden floors. These hardwood floor cleaners can dry quickly without leaving any residue, tarnishing the shine or damaging the surface. Many antibacterial wood cleaners have been specially developed for this.

Note, however, that many wood floor cleaners and disinfectants are not suitable for floors that have been treated with wax or other penetrative coatings. Whatever detergent you choose, it’s always a good idea to test an inconspicuous spot before using it to clean the entire floor.

The paragraphs below provide some of the best commercial cleaners for hardwood floor. They are as follows:

1). Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray: This is a popular antibacterial floor cleaner used to disinfect hardwood. It is a premixed water-based cleaner that comes in a spray bottle. Besides, it requires no rinsing and is safe for use around kids and pets.

2). Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner: This product is another ready-to-use antibacterial floor cleaner specifically designed to clean your hardwood floors without streaks or residue. Because it comes in a squeeze bottle, it is easier to use in larger areas of woods than in sprays.

3). Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner: This cleaner is not only a biodegradable antibacterial agent but equally environmentally friendly. This detergent is available in a spray bottle and is designed for use on hardwood and laminate or parquet floors.

Researching the Right Floor Cleaner

Some experts believe that bottled antibacterial wood floor cleaners are the best choice for cleaning hardwood floors. They argue that these kinds of cleaners are specifically designed for the job and can usually be used without mixing. 

For example, Murphy’s soap is an oil-based cleaner marketed as a biodegradable wood floor cleaner. However, many manufacturers advise wood floor owners not to use it or similar products as it can leave residue on polyurethane and cause scratches. Thus it tarnishes the brilliance of the floor. Additionally, always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for floor cleaning products before choosing one.

DIY Solutions

The following best describes how to disinfect wooden floors by yourself at home:

Disinfect using White Vinegar and Water Mixture

Distilled white vinegar is a natural preparation that’s non-toxic. It is suitable for disinfecting wooden floors. Its acidic nature makes it useful in killing pathogens. How to use vinegar on hardwood floors:

  • Make use of microfiber cloth or a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and loose debris from the floor. The microfiber cloth is excellent for catching and collecting fine dust and debris that can act like sandpaper on your floor.
  • Mix half a glass of distilled white vinegar with one gallon of water in a bucket. Do not apply vinegar directly without diluting it with water.
  • It’s important to dip the mop in the solution and wring it out thoroughly. This avoids the risk of water puddles forming on the surface.
  • Wipe every part of your floor with a damp cloth, including the corners. Rinse and frequently squeeze to remove accumulated bacteria and dirt.
  • Dry the parquet wood surface with a soft, dry cloth to remove films from moisture or standing water.
  • The white distilled vinegar solution is the best means of cleaning your hardwood floor, removing dirt and killing bacteria and fungi. It is cheap and easily accessible. Because it is non-toxic, it is safe for pets and humans, unlike most chemical cleaners, which contain raw, toxic ingredients harmful to the environment.

Caution: The improper use of vinegar and water on wooden floors concerns most flooring professionals. This is the primary reason why they advise against using it. To avoid floor damage, use the proper concentration, only half a glass per gallon of water. Squeeze your mop as much as you can to prevent standing water on the hardwood floor.

Wood Floor Disinfection Using A Steam Cleaner

Using a steam cleaner is the fastest, most modern, and best way to sanitize a hardwood floor over a large area of ​​the floor. It is convenient with its high working speed. Hence, to successfully use a steam mop on your floor, you need to follow the steps below:

  • First, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to clean loose debris and dust from the floor.
  • Attach the mop pad and fill the water tank according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Then you should plug the machine into a power source and allow it to heat up until the ready button lights up to indicate that the steam is ready. Never rush to steam the wooden floor until the water is hot enough to sterilize the soil surface effectively.
  • Carefully move the steam mop over the area to be sterilized as the machine produce steam for the hardwood floors.
  • Always check the manufacturer’s instructions on how long to leave the steam mop on the floor before moving to a new surface. However, some manufacturers recommend around 20 seconds for effective sterilization. Rinse and repeat until the whole hardwood floor is covered.
  • Turn off the steam engine and let it cool down thoroughly after cleaning. Then carefully remove the steam mop pad and drain the water. Clean the machine and keep it in a safe place if it is yours. With a rented device, you can return it after use. You can also machine wash the cleaning pads and keep them dry for multiple uses.

Disinfecting Hardwood Floors(Best practices)

Sanitize hardwood floors daily or weekly after a quick clean to ensure your unwanted guests in the house (bacteria, germs, and fungi) are fired. You can also help keep germs and bacteria out of your home by placing rugs in front of doors and removing your shoes as soon as you enter the house.

Thus when disinfecting hardwood floors, try to work in small areas to make sure you can rinse quickly and efficiently. Ensure you make the room well ventilated while you work.

However, if you are unsure whether the disinfectant is safe for your hardwood floors, test a small, less visible part of the floor before cleaning the entire area. Always read the label of the cleaning product before use to learn how to disinfect correctly and follow the instructions for use.

Moreover, endeavor, you take precautions to avoid slipping and falling on damp floors. Also, clean floors when there is less traffic in your home to avoid injury. Ensure floors have enough time to dry after cleaning and sanitizing.

In addition to disinfecting hardwood floors, find out how to get rid of allergens in your home and why cleaning your floors helps.

Protecting Wood Floor from Bacteria and Germs

Bacteria and germs can enter our homes through the soil under the shoes or paws of pets. So shoes should be taken off before entering the house. This also would prevent sand and earth from causing traces of surface wear.

Putting carpets in high-traffic areas like the front door, play areas for children and pets will help protect your precious hardwood floors. Always put a mat on both sides of the entrance.

Cleaning the pawn of the pet on the mat at your door entrance also lower the risk of bacteria on the floor. You should also clean up your pet by bathing them regularly. Also, ensure to remove pet mess such as urine from the floor and clean the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does bleach destroy wood?

Chlorine bleach is corrosive and dangerous. It can cause extreme damages to wood and many other surfaces. Bleach can weaken and break down wood fibers and eventually cause other structural problems. 

  • Can you use Clorox wipes on hardwood floors?

This kind of wipe is specifically designed to be safe on common wood surfaces such as cabinets, tables, and floors. Clorox disinfectant wipes are not suitable for unpainted, untreated, or porous wooden surfaces.


Finally, there are many disinfectants on the market, so ensure to purchase the proper disinfectant that is safe for your type of flooring. You should also keep away most commercially available disinfectants with a high concentration of chemicals. Instead, buy eco-friendly brands to prevent such chemicals from entering your home. 

Also, avoid bleach or bleach-based cleaners, as their effects on hardwood floors are apparent. The bleach will eat the bottom and be done. This can stain the entire floor and any other wood surfaces in contact.