January 17, 2022 2 min read

If you own a top-notch brand of hardwood like Paramount flooring or Urbanfloor hardwood flooring, you no doubt want to keep it in the best shape possible. It’s quite the investment, after all, and with those classical good looks you’d love to enjoy your hardwood for decades to come.

But don’t break out the mop and bleach! Any longtime solid hardwood flooring owner knows that water-based products on standard or engineered hardwood flooring is a big no-no. While you might come out scotch-free if you’re careful, the risk of accidentally damaging—or worse, completely ruining—your flooring is substantial.

So what exactly happens when you use water-based cleaning products on hardwood, and what should you use instead? E Hardwoods & Flooring has the answers below.

Water and Hardwood Flooring Don’t Mix

If you’ve read our prefinished hardwood flooring blog “What to Do When a Pipe Bursts on Your Wood Floor,” you’re well aware of this. But certainly, you must reason, there’s no harm in a little misting—especially when you wipe it up right away.

Not quite! While hardwood flooring is coated with a finish that protects it from water damage. If your floor’s finish is wearing thin in places, even a little water can damage the wood beneath, causing staining and splotching.

Too, hardwood flooring expands and contracts thanks to changing humidity levels around it, potentially opening up naturally occurring areas that are now vulnerable.

Couple those risks with the potential of your hardwood to permanently warp when exposed to excess moisture and it’s safe to say that you should stay far away from water-based cleaning products!

What Should I Use Instead?

Lots of cleaning products contain water, so if you have hardwood flooring, you probably won’t be able to use the same stuff that you’d use for, say, all-purpose cleaning. Our number-one recommendation for keeping hardwood flooring clean: a floor cleaner specifically designed for hardwoods.

How Should I Use it?

Luckily, keeping your hardwood flooring clean with these special products is pretty straightforward. Most provide directions right on the packaging. Use a fine mist of product; a little goes a long way. Always vacuum beforehand, too. Not only will you avoid a mucky mess once you add cleaner to the equation, but you’ll also prevent yourself from grinding fine particles of debris into the finish and damaging it.

For more info on keeping engineered hardwood floors and their solid counterparts looking great, check out our blog “Three Ways to Make Your Hardwood Look Like New Again.”

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