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How to Disinfect Hardwood Floors

Learn how to clean and sanitize hardwood floors. With the right floor cleaner and our floor disinfectant process you'll have your wood floors looking brand new.

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Disinfecting floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful and easy to maintain through regular cleaning. However, it’s also important to know how to disinfect wood floors in addition to cleaning alone.

Messes get tracked into our homes on the bottoms of our shoes and by kids and pets all the time. It’s important to remember that these messes we track in may contain germs — viruses and bacteria — that can linger on our floors. Cleaning alone won’t get rid of these potentially dangerous microorganisms; germs call for disinfection.

Disinfect hardwood floors as part of your regular routine to keep your floors looking great and to maintain a clean and safe environment for you and your loved ones. Read on to learn how to disinfect hardwood floors for a deeper cleaning and see how easy it can be to make disinfecting wood floors part of your regular cleaning routine.

Keep reading to learn how to disinfect hardwood floors, including the products and steps involved. For a quick and convenient solution, try Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths1, a mopping cloth that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.2

Tools for disinfecting hardwood floors

The job of disinfecting hardwood floors is easier when you get all your cleaning supplies together first.

For a convenient way to clean and disinfect hardwood floors, you’ll need:

  • Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths in your favorite scent
  • Swiffer® Sweeper3 or another standard mopping tool

Another option is to use a wet mop and hardwood floor cleaner. For this option, you’ll need:

  • Disinfecting cleaner safe for use on hardwood floors
  • Hands-free wringing mop or another mop of your preference
  • Bucket
  • Clean towel
  • Gloves (if your hands are sensitive to cleaners or if required by use instructions)

For a quick and convenient solution, use Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths to disinfect hardwood floors. They kill 99.9% of germs4 and are bleach-free and safe to use on sealed or finished hardwood floors. They are pre-saturated with cleaning solution and fit Swiffer® Sweeper3 and other standard mop heads. These mopping cloths can disinfect your floors and make mopping a floor easier.

Mopping cloths are simple to use and make killing the germs hiding out on floors throughout your home quick and easy. Clorox Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths eliminate 99.9% of viruses and bacteria — we’re talking the serious stuff: staph, strep, salmonella, E. coli and more.

These floor wipes will also freshen your room with uplifting long-lasting scents without harsh chemical smells. Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths come in three elevated scents:

  • Tuscan Lavender & Jasmine: Lavish yet delicate balance of lavender and blossomed jasmine petals
  • Pacific Breeze & Coconut: Vibrant, enticing scent of freshly shaved coconut carried on a warm ocean breeze
  • Fresh Brazilian Blossoms: Elegant blend of florals with layers of lush fruity notes

For information on indulging your home beyond your floors, check out additional Clorox® Scentiva® products.

You can also use Clorox® Bleach to disinfect hardwood floors. However, bleach should never be used full-strength. Always dilute it in water and follow the instructions on the bottle. Learn more about using bleach on hardwood floors.

Read on for the step-by-step breakdown on how to disinfect hardwood floors using any of these options.

Steps for disinfecting hardwood floors

Before disinfecting hardwood floors, use a soft broom, dry mop or microfiber cloth to pick up dust, pet hair and loose debris such as dirt and gravel. You can also use a vacuum to clean hardwood floors before you disinfect them — just make sure it’s on the hardwood floor setting.

Now, it’s disinfection time! To disinfect hardwood floors easily and conveniently, use Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths. They can be used with a Swiffer® Sweeper3 tool or similar mop head tool. Next, follow these three easy (and we do mean easy!) steps to disinfect hardwood floors:

wet mopping cloth to sweeper head.
Mop floor.
Use enough cloths to ensure the floor remains visibly wet for 10 seconds to sanitize and 4 minutes to disinfect.
Let floors air dry.
There is no rinsing required.

If you want to disinfect your hardwood floors with Clorox® Bleach, follow our EPA-registered protocol to kill germs and bacteria on hard, nonporous surfaces:

a disinfecting solution of 1/2 cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach and 1 gallon water.
the area, then mop or wipe with the disinfecting solution.
Let stand
for 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
Air dry.

Learn about more ways to disinfect and sanitize in your home and how to use bleach.

Disinfecting hardwood floors: Best practices

Disinfect hardwood floors daily or weekly after a quick sweep to make sure your unwanted house guests — bacteria, germs and fungus — take their leave. You can also help keep germs and messes from being tracked into your home by placing mats in front of doors and removing shoes as soon as you come into the house.

When disinfecting hardwood floors, try working in small sections to be sure you can rinse quickly and efficiently. And be sure the room is well-ventilated while you work.

If you’re unsure if a disinfecting product is safe for your hardwood floors, test a small, less visible section of the floor before mopping the entire area. And always read the cleaning product’s label before using to know how to disinfect properly and follow the usage directions.

Take steps to avoid slips and falls on wet floors, and clean floors when there is less traffic in your home to prevent injuries. Make sure you allow plenty of time for floors to dry after you clean and disinfect them.

In addition to disinfecting hardwood floors, discover floor cleaning tips for your home and why deep cleaning your floors can help.

Natural ways to clean hardwood floors

If you’re set on taking a natural approach to cleaning your hardwood floors, a vinegar and warm water mixture is often used. However, vinegar is not a registered disinfectant and doesn’t effectively remove common household germs, including S. auerus, and is not recommended for disinfection. But vinegar is effective against S. typhi and E. coli.5

To clean hardwood floors with vinegar, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water. You can also use this solution to clean many other surfaces throughout your home.

Make disinfecting your hardwood floors part of your cleaning routine

The more you are in the habit of doing something, the easier it is, so start integrating disinfecting hardwood floors into your regular cleaning routine today.

1. Clorox® Scentiva® Disinfecting Wet Mopping Cloths are not for use on unpainted wood and unfinished, unsealed, unpainted, waxed, oiled or worn surfaces. Test a small area first.
2. Use as directed on hard, nonporous surfaces.
3. Swiffer® is a registered trademark of The Procter & Gamble Company.
4. When used as directed on hard, nonporous surfaces.
5. Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008 (Update: May 2019); Chapter Disinfection in Ambulatory Care, Home Care, and the Home

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