The Best Way To Disinfect Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are the epitome of beauty and elegance to any home; thus, the charm needs to be maintained. Just like for any other flooring material, wood floor requires regular disinfection to kill bacteria and germs that accumulate on the surface. Floor disinfection is one of the ways of ensuring the safety of the occupants. Disinfection kills the bacteria that would have otherwise come into contact with your body, thus causing infection. It is essential to use an appropriate disinfectant but avoid standard disinfectants such as Bleach and Lysol due to their corrosive nature. Below is the process of how to disinfect wood floors.

Preparation of the floor surface

Preparation of the floor surface is always the first step before undertaking any further activity. The cleaning makes the floor surface clear and easy to work. Also, it clears the debris and dust that could harbor germs on the floor surface. You can achieve a clean floor by vacuuming the wood floors using a soft brush-like vacuum attachment to remove loose dust and dirt. Moreover, ensure you clean the dust and dirt that might hide in the corners.

wood floor disinfection with vinegar

Vinegar is the best natural disinfectant for wood floors that has been in use for years. The following procedure will help you to disinfect your wood floor using vinegar solution and a mop.

  • Mix a half-cup of white vinegar with one gallon of water in the bucket.
  • Dip a mop into the cleaning solution in the bucket and wring it well to ensure that you don’t apply the solution in excess onto the floor.
  • Wipe out the wood floor gently in a circular motion. Remember to frequently rinse and ring the mop to avoid spreading the bacteria across the wood floor from the point of infection.
  • Discard your cleaning solution when it turns dirty. Make a new batch of the solution and continue cleaning until you cover the entire floor surface.
  • Using a clean absorbent cloth, dry the wood floor as soon as you finish cleaning.

For large floors, you can rent a steam cleaner to do the exercise real quick. When using the steam cleaners, do not mix the water with anything as the heat from the steam is enough to disinfect the floor. Vinegar is the most used cleaner as it requires no machine for the application.

wood floor disinfection using a steam cleaner

Use of a steam cleaner is the fastest, modern, and the best way of disinfecting wood floor over a large flooring surface. It is convenient due to its high rate of work. Therefore, you will have to follow the procedure below to use a steam cleaner over your floor successfully.

  • Clean up the loose debris and dust over your floor using a broom or a vacuum.
  • Fix the mop pad and fill the water tank according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
  • Plug the machine into a power source and allow it to preheat until the ready button lights indicating your steam is ready for use. Never be in a hurry to start steaming the floor before the water gets enough heat to sterilize the floor surface effectively.
  • While controlling the trigger, gently move the steam mop over an area to be sterilized while the machine emits the steam to the wood floor.
  • Always check on the manufacturer’s instructions on how long the steam mop should stay over the floor surface before moving to a new surface. However, some manufacturers recommend about 20 seconds for effective sterilization. Repeat the process until the whole floor is covered.
  • Switch off the steam machine and allow it to completely cool when you are through with the cleaning work. After that, carefully detach the steam mop pad and empty the water. Clean the machine and store it safely if it was your own. In the case of the rented device, you can return it after use. Besides, you can wash the mop pads using a machine and keep them dry for repeated use.


As much as there are many disinfectants in the market,  ensure you have bought the right disinfectant that is safe for your flooring type. Also, you should keep off most of the commercial disinfectant with a high concentration of chemicals. Instead, purchase the eco-friendly brands to avoid such chemicals finding their way into your house. In addition,  avoid bleach or any bleach-based floor cleaner for their effects on wood floors are apparent. The bleach-based will eat up the floor stain and finish. This can discolor your entire floor and any other wooden surface in contact.