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So if you are wondering what is the best way to clean dark hardwood floors, I will share with you the best method that I have found.  (ps- This is not a sponsored post – I am just sharing the product that works best for my floors.)  I actually was told about this product from my parents.  I think that they now use another cleaner, but this one has been the best one for me, using the method that I am going to share with you.

best way to clean dark hardwood floors

With four kids, cleaning floors is not something that I want to spend a lot of time doing, so I have found a method that is quick, easy and lasts longer. 

Before I go on, if you missed the first three days of the Clean My Kitchen Challenge, you can see them here:
Day 1- Cleaning Surfaces
Day 2- Cleaning Large Appliances
Day 3- Cleaning Small Appliances

So today we are talking about hardwood floors.  I have dark wood floors- they were here when the house was built, about eight years ago.   The floors have some scratches on them when the light hits them in the right spots.   (from toys, kids, toy cars, etc…)

What have I tried through the years?
I have tried using vinegar.  I’ve tried soapy water.  I’ve tried a LOT of floor cleaners, but this one is the only one that I have found that works and that doesn’t take forever.

It is called Holloway House.   I can only find it at Harris Teeter, but here is the website (to order directly): Holloway House Floor Cleaners. 

So- I start with this one- Halloway House cleaner- the teal container.   It is the cleaner.
Pay close attention to my “method” here, because this is a little bit hard to explain, so I am going to do the best that I can (once you understand what I am saying, you will see how much easier this is going to be):

This cleaner comes in a concentrated from.  Here is what I do to make it as easy as possible to use every time…

I dump the concentrated cleaner into a new tightly-sealed container, that I label FLOOR CLEANER (I just write on an old bottle with a permanent marker).   I now fill the regular CLEANER bottle … 3/4 filled with water and about 3 capfuls of the CLEANER.  I now have a ready-to-go Holloway House cleaner.

Ok- stay with me here…

Now I get the SHINE in the green bottle (this will be the top coat).
best way to clean hardwood floors 1

I take the LID from the shine container and put it onto the CLEANER bottle to make it easy to use.     You are supposed to just fill up a bucket of water with the cleaner/water, but that would take me too long, so I have made it easy to just squirt on the floor.

(Look at the lids of both containers here to see what I mean)
best way to clean hardwood floors

SO- I now have the squirt lid on my cleaner and the regular lid on the SHINE (just switching lids).   I clean the floors by wetting my regular sponge mop.

I then squirt the CLEANER in an S shape on the floor (pretty big area).    I clean it with my damp sponge mop.    I do this until the whole floor is cleaned.   (You will have to re-wet & wring it out (not soaking wet) your mop every few minutes, so save the area by the kitchen sink for last, to avoid making footprints.)

Now I take my lids and switch them again.  Now the squirt lid is back on the SHINE and the regular cap is back on the CLEANER.

Are you following?

I do the same thing again with the shine.  I squirt the S shape on the floors and clean it with my damp sponge mop.   (Keep rinsing & re-wetting your mop, wringing it out every few minutes, when it gets dry).   DO NOT walk on it for 15 minutes!)   If I am expecting company or hosting a party, I will do the SHINE part twice.

Every other month I will do this with a washcloth, on my hands and knees, because it works better, but for a weekly or bi-weekly basis, this method is fast, easy and works.

Last thing, but without the SHINE, the floors DO NOT stay nearly as clean!  It has made the biggest difference!

Stop by tomorrow to see the best way to clean carpets.


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Please leave your own best hardwood-cleaning tips below!  I would love to hear them & share them!

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Does this work on polyurethane covered wood floors? They were recently refinished and I was told not to use anything but damp cloth.

    1. I’m not sure. Sorry! You could probably call the company & ask. HOpe that helped!

    2. I was told the same thing and used the quick shine omg that was the biggest mistake in my life! It looks pretty at first but shortly after It starts to peel and leaves white flakes everywhere, you then have to purchase their remover and it literally took 3weeks. Just when you think it’s all gone it’ll dry and the sun will hit a spot or the light will hit another spot and you have to do it all again. Please save yourself the hassle and find something else, I’ve gone back to distilled vinegar and hot water . I wish you the best

  2. Thanks so much for the information on hardwood floors. I have never seen this in the Hardware store and we don’t have the one you mentioned here in So CA. I use Bona cleaner and shine works the same way. Thanks so much for sharing this post.

    1. I tried Bona, but I just couldn’t get it to work as well as I wanted. My parents like it though. 🙂

      1. I have waxed floors. Need to know an easier way than paste wax and buffering.

    1. I”m not sure (we have hardwoods, but I”m not sure what kind). It might say on the bottle or even on their website. Sorry I wasn’t more help.

  3. My wooden floors and also my Mexican tile floors have never looked so great. I wanted shiny and I love the shine on the floors. I found that I don’t have to do my floors as often as before too. Thanks so much.

  4. Thanks for the information on how to clean my wood flooring. I will definitely be sure to dilute my floor cleaner with water. How long does the entire process take? I’ve never used 2 products on my floors before.

  5. Thank you for the tips on how to clean my hardwood floor! I have always struggled finding the best way to keep my hardwood floors clean and shiny. I am so excited to try these and to share them with all my family and friends! Thanks for the information.

  6. I have Laminate Floors, installed less than 2 years ago…3 dogs. I use a product called Rejuvenate madeby I squirt it in front of the mop as I go and it is amazing! 1 Passover and the job is done!

  7. Does anyone know how to or what is the best way to just “dust” the hardwoods sweeping doesn’t work. Advertised sweepers don’t work. HELP

  8. I loved your post so much I ordered the floor cleaner and shine!
    It worked great except in a certain area of my floor it looked blotchy and then it looked like a waxy film, (possibly the finish)?
    Have you had this happen to you?
    If so, what did you do?
    An 6′ area of my floor looks like it’s ruined 🙁

    1. Hmm… no I haven’t. My best advice would be to give it a week & it will fade away. Mine lasts a few weeks, but after a week it could use a new coating.
      One time I ironed a shirt on our floor (b/c I am only 4’11 and it was easier) not thinking that it would melt the wax on the floor under the shirt… that took me about two hours to fix!! lol!!

  9. I was frustrated with my old hardwood floor upstairs. I was using Zep on it, but when dries it doesn’t really shine (much). I searched for ‘shiny hardwood floors’ and got your page. Thanks so much! I’m going to order the products. I found them on Amazon (my favorite shopping site). The cleaner is $7.99 and the shine is $10.48 for a 64-oz bottle. I’m a happy girl!

  10. Hi Becky,
    My name is Joni with Holloway House. A customer of ours recently came across your blog and reached out to us with a wonderful compliment.
    We appreciate you highlighting our Quick Shine products in your blog, however there is an easier method to clean and shine your floors. Please feel free to contact me at 800-255-1891. ext 3105

    1. Curious to know if you called them to find out what the easier way was? Please post the update.
      Thank you!

  11. I never knew that without shine floors doing stay as clean. I have hardwood floors and want to know how to keep them cleaner. I appreciate the tips for cleaning your floor.

  12. Wow, You guys just saved my life. It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again

  13. Thank you.
    We just moved into a home with dark hardwood floors. We have five children ages 9and under. Three weeks into the new house and the foot prints are driving me crazy. I am looking forward to trying your method. The hard Wood is in the living and dining room. Do I need to move the rugs for a biweekly cleaning? Will the shine create a build up line if I do not do the entire floor every time?