How to Keep Dark Hardwood Floors Clean

March 4, 2022

When you chose to install dark hardwood floors in your home, you were probably keen on adding a touch of luxury and drama to the space. Afterall, dark hardwood floors are all the rage and can enhance your home’s vitality. However, they can be difficult to keep clean as they tend to show dust and scratches more than lighter hardwood floors.

With the proper know-how, keeping dark hardwood floors clean can be a simple task. If you’re new to dark hardwood floors, there are a few tips and tricks you can learn to keep them looking spotless. I use this mop for my dark wood floors and I highly recommend it.

The Best Products and Tools to Use

First, let’s start with the types of products and tools you should be using if you want pristine hardwood floors. Brooms and hardwood floors mops are ideal for cleaning up spills, dust build-up, or just daily cleaning you may need to tend to.

If you’re looking to prevent scratches, a microfiber dust mop that’s been pre-treated with a dusting agent will pick up dust and dirt quite well. The less grime that you have on the floor, the less likely you’ll have scratches and scuffs from the dirt being carried around.

But at the end of the day, canister vacuums are your best friend when it comes to dark hardwood floors. This is especially true if you have a vacuum with a “hardwood floor” setting as this raises the vacuum cleaner, deactivates the brush roll, and works only by suction. Brooms are great for the quick cleanings or daily accidents, but you should try to vacuum your floors at least once a week to keep them looking fresh. When vacuuming hardwood floors, be careful to always turn the brush roll off since it can scratch your floors. Some models offer rubber wheels, which are less likely to leave scratches than models with hard plastic wheels.

If you have extra budget, you can also invest in a 2-in-1 vacuum mop, which works to pick up dirt and dust while washing the floors. They’re pretty heavy-duty cleaners, which is perfect if you have pets or young children that are prone to messes.

Cleaning solution that’s specifically designed to clean hardwood floors is great as it won’t streak and keeps them looking polished. If you prefer to go the all-natural route, you can instead use a homemade mixture of water, vinegar, and your favourite essential oil.

The Easiest Way to Keep Hardwood Floors Clean

Maintaining hardwood floors and keeping them clean can be easy, as long as you use the correct tools and cleaning solutions.

If you already have scuffs and scratches on your floors, try using liquid scratch concealers to hide the marks. The concealers work so that when they dry, they form a permanent seal that won’t come off during cleaning. They can also prevent the mark from growing over time, as your floors get more exposed to wear and tear. Just be sure to select a concealer that best matches the colour of your floor’s finish.

Should I Use Wax or Polish?

Hardwood, particularly dark hardwood, can appear dull over time even if you do regular cleanings. You can restore this shine with wood floor polish and wax, which will protect your floor from wear, helping to fill small scratches. However, wax and polish are not the same thing, even though they tend to be used interchangeably. Both can do wonders to revitalize your hardwood floors, but one serves you better depending on the type of floors you have. If you have floors with a waterproof coating, you’ll want to use a polish. Floors without this coating or penetrating finishes will need wax.

If you’re not sure which type you have, you can either speak to the supplier who installed them, or you can conduct a quick test. To do this, you’ll need to scrape a sharp knife along a tiny and hidden part of the floor. If there’s no clear material that gets scraped off, your floor most likely has a penetrating finish. That means they should be waxed, not polished. If clear material comes off the floor, it’s most likely safe to use polish. If you still want to be safe, you could also do a spot test on a small portion of the floor to see if wax or polish works best.

Other floor protection materials include repair kits, scratch repair kits and touch-up kits.

If your floor is real hardwood, lightly sand it, then apply a new finish to restore the wood's natural beauty.

Haven’t Made a Decision Yet? Weigh the Pros and Cons

The Advantages

Dark hardwood floors are often considered more modern compared to light floors, and they have the ability to make a space appear more warm or cool depending on how they’re used. The results are always bold, dramatic and rich. You can pair dark floors with lighter paint or furniture and bright lights to avoid creating too dark of a space. For a specific example, dark floors can be visually grounding when paired with white walls and ceiling.

The Disadvantages

Dark hardwood floors can be more difficult to maintain since they show scratches and dust more easily. To combat this, you’ll just have to have a more regular cleaning schedule and invest in products that you know work for your lifestyle. Dark hardwood floors can make a room appear smaller if they’re not matched with complementary furniture or paint colours. Any easy way to offset this is to have lighter coloured walls, neutral or colourful furniture, or rugs.

Spotless Hardwood Floors

Dark hardwood floors are elegant and stylish, and with a little bit of extra work, you can have them looking pristine all the time. Cleaning them is easy if you use good quality cleaning tools and products.

If you’d like to learn more, Sarana Tile is a hardwood flooring and tile distributor with locations in Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them with all your flooring related questions.


I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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