How to Clean Build-up on Wooden Floors

21 February 2023
Est. Reading: 2 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Pro 35 Brush Machine
Bucket of water
Microfibre flat mop
Spray Bottle


In this tutorial, we are going to teach you how to clean and maintain a filthy wooden floor using a microfibre flat mop system.

We demonstrate this on an oak wooden floor (in our video at the bottom of the article) that is both tacky and has visible lines ingrained with dirt and grease. These lines are caused by detergent build-up and grime. A thick layer of residue has accumulated over the years and turned into a tacky emulsification of detergent, dirt, and oil.

Top Tip!
The mistake people make is using detergents to clean a wooden floor, when only water and a flat mop are necessary. Soap increases the build-up on the floor and makes the floor look dirtier.

Firstly, Perform a Full Detergent Removal

Before you clean your wooden floor, it is important that we first remove the detergent residue from previously, incorrect cleaning methods.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step One:
Pour some water over the floor and sweep over it with the brush machine. We use a Pro 35 Brush machine which is used for cleaning both carpets and hard floors. It works by agitating the dirt and detergent slurry out of the grooves.

Step Two:
Next, use the microfibre flat mop system to mop up the emulsion.

Step Three:
The floor at this stage should be clean. The aim is to remove the layer of sticky residue and implement a protocol to clean the floor using just water and a flat mop.

Top Tip!
Compared to regular wet mops, microfiber mops have more cleaning power and are more successful in removing germs. A wet mop used for removing the slurry is counter-productive and will not work for this technique. With an increased risk of cross-contamination, the bucket of water gets progressively dirtier each time the mop is used on the floor and returned to the bucket. As the cleaning process proceeds, dirt water is reintroduced back to the floor.

Post Detergent Removal, Cleaning Properly With a Flat Mop

To maintain a clean wooden floor, we recommend using the flat mop system. If done regularly, you will only need to use water to clean it.

We do not recommend steam mops because they will leach the natural oils from the floor.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step One:
Liberally spray about 10ml of water onto the floor with the spray bottle.

Step Two:
Start at the furthest point and mop the floor in a sweeping motion from side to side.

Step Three:
Mop about 10 sq. feet (3 sq. m.), remove the mop head, and replace it with a clean one.

Step Four:
You can use your clean head to dry the floor. Ordinarily, it will take 2 to 3 minutes to dry. Alternatively, spray the next section of the floor with water and repeat mopping. Continue, until you have completed the entire area.

Final Thoughts

This is basically how you clean and maintain a wooden floor after a full detergent removal and floor reset.

Although microfiber mop heads are more effective at removing dirt from floors, you must keep in mind that they must be properly washed after each use to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.

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