How to Clean Grime Off of Hardwood Floors (Quick & Easy)

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how to clean grime off of hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful. They add a natural look and feel to almost any home. They are also classic – never going out of style and almost always adding value to your home.

However, as beautiful as they are, hardwood floors can build up a lot of grime – both on top and within the boards. And if you let that grime keep accumulating, it can permanently damage your flooring.

Luckily, deep cleaning your hardwood floors isn’t hard to do. If you’re dealing with a lot of dirt build-up, here’s how to clean grime off hardwood floors.

Key Takeaways:

With a grimy build-up on hardwood, it’s best to sweep the floor, then use a damp microfiber mop. If nasty smells have started to build up, too, you may have to use professional hardwood floor cleaners. Sweep regularly to prevent build-up.

How to Clean Dirty Hardwood Floors – Quick Tips and Tricks

Cleaning hardwood floors with built-up grime isn’t difficult – it just requires a little bit of elbow grease.

Start by thoroughly vacuuming the floors, removing all loose dirt and debris. Next, mop the floors with a damp microfiber mop. Finally, using a damp microfiber rag, gently wipe any spots that still have built-up dirt.

What is the Best Method for Cleaning Hardwood Floors with Grime Build Up?

best method for cleaning hardwood floors

Sweep Your Floors

Before you get into any deep cleaning, you need to sweep your floors thoroughly. You can do this using a broom and dustpan or a vacuum.

If you want to clean your entire floor, it’s best to do this room by room.

Choose a room, clean out the furniture (or just make sure you sweep underneath it) and give the entire area a thorough sweep. If you have a pet that sheds a lot, cleaning with a vacuum will be more effective.

Use a Microfiber Mop to Remove Grime

Microfiber mops are fantastic for hardwood floors – they both sweep the floor, locking in dust and mop the floor, removing grime build-up.

Since hardwood floors can damage when in contact with large amounts of water, it’s essential to make sure that your mop is never dripping wet. You don’t want puddles on your floor.

A damp microfiber mop will effectively clean your hardwood floors without damaging them.

Spot Treat Super Gunky Areas

After your floors have been mopped and allowed to dry, use a damp microfiber cloth to spot treat any areas that still have dirt build-up on them.

Wet your cloth and lightly scrub the areas with grime. The microfiber cloth will trap and remove the gunk. 

Optional: Use a Cleaner to Remove Odors

Sometimes hardwood floors can build up an odor. This is especially true if pets are kept in the house.

If you’ve thoroughly cleaned your floors, removed all the dirt but still notice an odor, you may benefit from using a commercial cleaner specially formulated to remove odors.

Avoid using vinegar to try to remove the odor. Vinegar can penetrate and damage your hardwoods.

How to Prevent Grime Build-Up on Your Floors

Preventing grime build-up on your floors is easy to do and can save you from having to deep clean as often.

Make sure you sweep your floors regularly to prevent dirt from settling into your hardwoods. If you own a pet or have heavy foot traffic, you may need to vacuum daily.

Always clean up any spills as soon as possible and mop your floor as needed. Following these basic steps can keep your hardwoods in fantastic shape for years to come.


Removing grime from your floors is relatively easy. It may take some elbow grease and you may need to mop more than once.

However, getting your floors clean is something you can do yourself with minimal cleaning tools.

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Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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