How to clean stubborn dirt on wooden floors

Guest Post From Lockdown house

When we first viewed our house, we fell in love with the wooden floors but it wasn’t until we moved in that we realised how ground in the dirt was from the previous owner, especially in the doorway and how much more TLC they need than carpets.

So, I set myself a challenge over lockdown to see how to clean stubborn dirt on wooden floors and tried the most popular results that came up on Google and reviewed them below. I reviewed the time it took because even though we’re home a lot, we don’t really want to spend lots of time cleaning, and elbow grease required as in effort scrubbing and cleaning (not the product).

I’ve included photos of the before and afters so you can see for yourself the results although the bicarbonate soda and apple cider vinegar was on less stubborn floors. I also declare my winner and hopefully save you some time and possibly money on expensive products.

Astonish Floor Cleaner

Time: 5 minutes

Elbow grease (effort): 💪💪💪

This smells beautiful and I have recently been converted to natural cleaning products as they are just as effective! However, I don’t think this floor cleaner is strong enough for really stubborn marks. I used a Vileda spray mop and sprayed the floor cleaner directly to the floor as instructed. As you can see it took away the darkness a little bit but still really noticeable.

Fairy Liquid

Time: 15 minutes

Elbow grease: 💪💪💪💪💪

I read that fairy liquid and tepid water is the best solution to get rid of the dirt so I got to work. This required a lot of scrubbing! I used the soft side of a washing up sponge to not scratch the wooden floors. When it was still damp you couldn’t see any difference but once it had dried it really took away the blackness and looks so much brighter. I noticed it was taking the dirt off quite quickly so I spent more time scrubbing. So much dirt came out in the water even though I mop this regularly!

Apple cider vinegar solution

Time: 5 mins

Elbow grease: 💪💪

 Pour about 50ml of apple cider vinegar into a mop bucket and fill the rest of the bucket with warm water. Use a clean cloth to wipe the area and another cloth to dry it. Google also recommends going over the area after the clean with your normal mop cleaner. Similar to the Astonish floor Cleaner it took away some of the darkness.

Disclaimer: Different angles of the floor to see if the dirt had been lifted.

Bicarbonate soda and water

Time: 10 mins

Elbow grease: 💪💪

 Final product to test, I’ve seen that bicarbonate soda is a bit of a star household product (especially good on pans). After several google searches to make sure it is safe to use on wooden floors, I used the soft side of a washing up sponge and a cloth to wipe away any residue. However, I didn’t really notice too much of a difference when using bicarbonate soda.

Winning solution

 In my opinion, the fairy liquid made such an impact on the floor, the pictures don’t actually do it justice. It’s completely changed the appearance of the floor and looks so much cleaner. I’m going to use the fairy liquid solution a couple of times a week and then look into how I can get the shine back (stay posted for my blog on that!)

I understand that most people do not have stubborn stains like this but thought for people in a similar situation moving into a new home or even after several muddy lockdown walks, this could be useful. I have now got a new doormat down with a rug underneath to further protect the floors too.

Check out Lockdown House for more blogs all on the home, including DIY, improvements, interiors, inspiration, and wellbeing.

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