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Everyday Cheapskate: How To Clean Hardwood Floors With Hydrogen Peroxide

Mary Hunt on

The finish on hardwood flooring is neither fragile nor indestructible. Hardwood floors must be cleaned properly using the correct solvent level to protect their beauty and fine finish. Some of us (ahem) have had to learn this truth the hard way.

Even though you can't damage hardwood floors by walking on them, all wood is susceptible to stains. And you can dull a beautiful hardwood floor by cleaning it with the wrong solvent. Used properly, hydrogen peroxide is not one of the damaging solvents. It is, in fact, a very effective stain remover and a reliable cleaner for hardwood flooring.

There are three ways to achieve a safe hydrogen peroxide solution for cleaning wood floors:

No. 1: Use 12% hydrogen peroxide straight up out of the bottle.

No. 2: Mix 1 cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide (should you be able to find it), which is the "cleaning grade" strength, with 3 cups water.

No. 3: Mix 2 tablespoons of sodium percarbonate powder with 1 gallon hot water to achieve 12% hydrogen peroxide. When mixed with water, sodium percarbonate releases hydrogen peroxide.

 

The hydrogen peroxide you find in your supermarket or drug store is 3% hydrogen peroxide. While that's great for most household tasks using hydrogen peroxide, it is not strong enough to thoroughly deep clean wood floors.

HARDWOOD FLOOR CLEANING PROCEDURE

Generally, you can clean hardwood flooring with a hydrogen peroxide solution and a mop or towel. Be sure to wring out the mop or towel so that it is lightly damp; too much water is bad for hardwood (bad for laminate wood-like flooring, too). It's best to use a nonabrasive cloth or a microfiber mop, not a natural fiber mop because it spreads too much water.

First, vacuum or sweep the floor well to remove all dust, hair, crumbs and other debris.

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