Hardwood floors require a little different care from other types of flooring. Learn everything there is to know on how to clean hardwood floors and how to fix scratches on wood floors! Plus, we have a couple of other unforgettable hacks you’ll need for maintaining those gorgeous floors in your home.

collage of hardwood floor images

Wood floors are all the rage right now. In fact, they’ve been considered the “Cadillac of flooring” for a few years now.

It’s easy to see why; they look beautiful and add a classic, natural feel to any room in your home.

Unfortunately, they can be difficult to maintain, especially if you have pets or kids. Spills, accidents, scratches, and scuffs are guaranteed to happen at some point. There’s just no getting around that fact.

Before you go running to the hardware store to pick up all new flooring, allow me to put your mind at ease because there are a few timesaving cleaning secrets we can share that will help you keep your floors looking like new!

We’ve pulled some of our favorite tips, tricks, and hacks together just for you. You don’t have to run around in a panic because guests are coming and your three-year-old decided your beautiful, newly refinished hardwood floor was the spot he just had to use to display his new artwork. ? We’ve got your covered!

15 Essential Tips & Tricks To Keep Hardwood Floors Looking Amazing!

Every hardwood floor owner needs a few tricks up their sleeve to tackle the challenges that wood flooring can present. Check out these 15 ideas that we’ve listed below and grab the tips you need that will keep your floors looking amazing!

1. Fix Hardwood Floor Dents With Ease 

There are no words to describe how much I wish I knew this when my kids were little and throwing metal cars around. Did you know you could steam out dents with a wet cloth and an iron? I had no idea! It works on wood furniture, too!

Make sure you test this on an inconspicuous spot on your floors first. It might leave a white mark depending on the finish you have on your wood floors. You’ll need a wet paper towel and the iron set to high. Make sure you get a lot of steam. The steam is what fixes the dent.

paper towel and iron on wood floor

2. Prevent Scratches From Chairs on Your Wood Floors

How many times have you gotten up from the table and pushed your chair back, only to hear it scratch the floor? Put socks on those chair legs to prevent floor scratches when rearranging furniture.

You have a couple of options for your chair socks.

All are viable options to help keep your hardwood floors looking great.

chair with socks over the legs

3. Remove Permanent Marker from Your Hardwood Floors

Remove permanent marker from wood floors with a dab of toothpaste and a damp cloth. Who knew?

It’s super easy. Just put a small dot of toothpaste, brand does not matter, on the marker and rub the toothpaste into the floor with a damp cloth. You can use an old rag or a paper towel. Either works.

Easy peasy and like magic, your permanent marker stain is gone from your wood floors!

red permanent marker on floor

4. DIY All-Purpose Cleaner for Hardwoods

I know when I first got new floors, I wondered how to clean hardwood floors. This homemade all-purpose cleaner is great not only for the wood floors, but for tile, stainless steel appliances, and more!

You just need:

  • distilled water
  • rubbing alcohol
  • vinegar
  • liquid dish soap
  • and some essential oils for scent

You’ll mix everything together in a spray bottle and you’ll be ready to clean your hardwood floors. It’s super easy to mix and it smells good, too. You can even customize it to make your favorite scents for different times of the year.

*Do not use this mixture on granite!

wood floor with spray bottle and mop

5. Bye-Bye Wood Floor Scuffs

As I hardwood floor newbie, I had NO IDEA how to get rid of those annoying scuffs that my kids’ shoes would leave on the floors. Now I know!

A magic eraser can get rid of floor scuffs easily. Just rub it on the mark and when the eraser gets dirty, rotate it around to a clean spot if you need to keep going.

Magic erasers are the best cleaning tool EVER!

wood floor with black marks

6. Silence Creaky Hardwood Floors

Fix creaky wood floors with a generous dusting of baby powder. Work it into the cracks with a broom or brush—a paintbrush would work great—until the floor is no longer noisy and you can no longer see the baby powder. A brilliant and easy tip for your floors!

wood floor, paint brush, baby powder

7. Sayonara Scratches on Wood Floors

Fix scratches with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts canola oil. I can’t believe the difference it made! Simply wipe the solution on the floor and gently rub it into the scratches. You don’t even need to wipe it off!

If you’ve never made a recipe with “parts” before, that simply means measurements. So if you use 1tbsp (part) of vinegar, you need 3 tbsp (parts) of canola oil. If you use 1 cup (part) of vinegar, you would also need 3 cups (parts) of canola oil. 

wood floor before and after

8. DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner

The tricky part about cleaning hardwood floors is that sometimes cleaners can make them look cloudy. Eliminate that by making your own wood floor cleaner using common household ingredients. Great shine with no harsh chemicals!

You’ll need a large one-gallon container to mix hold the solution. Then you’ll need castille soap, vinegar, and essential oils for the mixture.

wood floor, mop, cleaning liquid

9. Remove Pet Urine Odors from Hardwoods

If you have pets, you need these tips from Hunker for removing urine odors from wood floors. Accidents happen, you know, and since wood floors are porous, they soak urine right up. But don’t worry, these tips give you some options that don’t involve ripping out your hardwood.

wood floor with stain

10. Black Tea Wood Floor Cleaner

Black tea, really? Yep, it contains compounds that make it anti-microbial, and the tannins in it add shine to your floor. But wait…there’s more!

Black tea is less acidic than white vinegar making it less harmful for your floor’s finish.

So, steep some black tea in hot water. The longer you brew it, the darker the color will get. When you’ve finished, you’ll have a black tea floor cleaner that will have your wood floors looking AMAZING.

tea bag on wood floor

11. Use Walnuts on Your Hardwood Floors

The oils in walnuts do an incredible job of hiding scratches in hardwood floors. Simply rub the walnut in a circular motion on the scratch and then use your finger to help the wood absorb the oil.

walnut on hardwood floor

12. Proven Tactic to Tackle Deep Scratches on Hardwood Floors

This technique shows you how to repair deep scratches using steel wool, sandpaper, wood filler, and a few more simple tools.

Handy to know when these other tricks won’t work! 

Make sure you follow the detailed directions carefully so you don’t accidentally add more scratches to your floors.

steel wool on hardwood floor

13. Watch Light Scratches Disappear from Hardwood Floors

For light scratches, try DAP Wood Blend Sticks  and S.C. Johnson Paste Wax. You’ll also need a lint-free rag, like a microfiber cloth.

This is perfect – and so needed – because I have tons of these that need a little attention! With just a few minutes and minimal effort, it will be like those scratches were never there.

before and after of hardwood floor scratches

14. The Best Way To Clean Hardwood Floors

If you’re not already using a microfiber floor duster, get one IMMEDIATELY! The base is bendable, and it picks up dust, pet hair, and everything else easily. You’ll cut your cleaning time in half.

Get one here!

dust mop on hardwood floor

15. Add Luster To Your Hardwoods With Natural Ingredients

There are several common household supplies that you can use naturally to restore a beautiful shine to your well-loved hardwood floors.

The ideas suggested include:

  • lemon juice mixed with water
  • a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and water
  • tea made with tea bags, not leaves
  • vegetable oil with white vinegar

Check them out to find what works for your floors.

clean floor and dirty hardwood floor

I hope these terrific tips for maintaining and cleaning hardwood floors help you tackle those “well-loved” spots in your floors that you probably don’t love to look at!

The key here is to not panic or become overwhelmed by your beat-up floors. Take one thing at a time and very soon, you’ll have floors that would make the home improvement stars jealous.

In the end, if after you tried everything, and you don’t see a difference in the appearance of your floors, just remember that right now, scratches and scuffs add great “character” to a home. 

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