How to Disinfect Wood Floors

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how to disinfect wood floors

Are you afraid your wood floors have germs and bacteria all over them?

It’s not necessary to disinfect wood floors on a daily or even weekly basis. In most cases, cleaning with your regular mopping solution keeps your floors clean and in excellent shape.

However, if there’s an illness in your home and you want to limit its spread, you’re probably ready to disinfect everything. And then you probably notice that most hardwood floor cleaners do little to disinfect – which is a bummer, no doubt.

Luckily, there are still some good options. 

What’s the Best Way to Disinfect Hardwood Floors?

To thoroughly disinfect hardwood floors, you need to use a product specifically marked as a disinfectant. For example, you can use Clorox Disinfecting mopping cloths, full-strength Pine-Sol, or undiluted Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner. Unfortunately, mopping with vinegar will not disinfect your hardwood floors.

What Products will Disinfect Wood Floors?

If you want to disinfect your floors against viruses and common household germs, you can’t use just any cleaner. Instead, you need to use one proven to kill germs. And for wood floors, unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of options.

The good news is that it’s not necessary to disinfect your floors very often – a regular cleaning with your choice of mopping solution works just fine.

However, if you’ve recently dealt with an illness and are trying to disinfect your home, you can clean your floors with one of the following cleaners:

Clorox Disinfecting Mopping Cloths

Clorox has a line of disinfecting mopping cloths that are compatible with Swiffer sweepers and similar mops. These are safe for many types of floors, including hardwoods.

Here’s how to disinfect wood floors with Clorox mopping pads:

  • Thoroughly sweep your floors
  • Attach a disinfecting mop cloth to your mop and clean the floor
  • Allow to air dry

You don’t need to rinse your floor after using these.

Undiluted Pine-Sol

Pine-Sol has officially been approved as a disinfectant against Covid-19 and other viruses but only when used at full strength and allowed to sit for ten minutes before being rinsed off.

Pine-Sol only recommends using their cleaner undiluted on hard, non-porous surfaces. So, if you haven’t sealed your hardwood floors, you won’t want to use this on them. And even then, you need to do a spot check before cleaning your entire floor with this solution.

If you do a spot check and there are no adverse reactions, here’s how to disinfect your hardwoods with Pine-Sol:

  • Thoroughly sweep the floors
  • Dampen a mop head with undiluted Pine-Sol and mop the floors
  • Allow the Pine-Sol to sit for ten minutes
  • Rinse your floors by mopping them with a clean mop head, dampened in water
Important note: Only Pine-Sol original is a disinfectant – other scents like lemon or lavender do not disinfect.

Full Strength Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner

If you have any Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner laying around, you can use it to disinfect your floors. Like Pine-Sol, Lysol needs to be left on the floor for a few minutes to thoroughly disinfect.

Here’s what to do:

  • Thoroughly sweep the floors
  • Dampen a mop head with undiluted Lysol Clean and Fresh Multisurface cleaner and mop the floors
  • Allow the Lysol to sit for six minutes
  • Rinse your floors by mopping them with a clean mop head, dampened in water

Frequently Asked Questions

faq how to disinfect wood floorings

Will mopping my hardwood floors with vinegar disinfect them?

While white distilled vinegar has some disinfecting qualities, they are not enough to fully fight most household germs and viruses. If you need to disinfect your floors, you should look for a product labeled as a disinfectant.

Can I disinfect wood floors with bleach?

You should never use bleach on hardwood floors. Bleach is very harsh and can eat through the topcoat of the floor and cause discoloration. However, Clorox does make a disinfecting mopping cloth product safe for wood floors.

How to disinfect laminate wood floors?

You can disinfect laminate wood floors the same as hardwood floors – use a product labeled as a disinfectant. Some of these include Pine-Sol original, Clorox mopping clothes, and Lysol Multi-Surface cleaner.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering how to disinfect wood floors, it’s crucial to find a product labeled as a disinfectant. This label means the EPA has approved the product to kill viruses and bacteria.

Also, it’s important to know that you don’t have to use a disinfectant on your floors regularly – cleaning with your regular mopping solution is enough to keep your floors clean and in good shape. However, if someone is sick in the family and you’re trying to stop the spread of germs, you can use one of these cleaners to disinfect your wood floors.

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AUTHOR

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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