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How to Make Wood Floors Look New Again

Close up of hardwood floors on the diagonal.

You have moved into your new house and right away your mother-in-law announces she is coming for a visit. An inspection is more like it. When you hear the news, your eyes turn to those wonderful hardwood floors that convinced you to buy the house.

The previous owners did not take care of them very well and now it is up to you to make them look new again. You only hope you have enough time. It is a little bit of work to get those floors looking great again.

To do it in record time, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about in order to do a good job fast.

How to Get My Dull Hardwood Floors to Shine Again

Person buffing hard wood floors with an electric floor buffer

The good news is that you do not have to strip off the old finish, sand, and then refinish those floors. You can make them look good again by doing a simple cleaning chore.

All you will need to do is sweep and vacuum the loose dirt off the floor. You can do both as vacuum attachments might not reach the corners very well. Then run a damp rag over the floor to pick up any dirt that was left behind.

After doing this, mix about 1/2 cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water and get a nice rectangle sponge mop. Dip the mop into the mixture and wring it out well. You do not want to put too much liquid onto these floors.

A slightly damp mop will do the trick and protect your floor from any possible damage. Once your mop is ready apply the vinegar and water mixture to the floor. Go with the grain and clean the floor. You can go over the same spot several times in order to extract all the beauty those floors have.

After you have finished mopping use a clean dry towel to get any of the moisture off the wood. Then return the furniture, rugs, and lamps, etc., to the room or hallway and wait for your mother-in-law to arrive.

Alternatives to Vinegar and Water

Clear glass bottle with a pouring spout with a label that says Vinegar.

Vinegar is acidic and if too much of it touches your floor without being wiped up, it can strip the finish off your nice, beautiful floor. Many people recommend not using vinegar to clean your floors and restore their shine.

That is a legitimate recommendation. Here are some alternatives you can use to make sure your hardwood floors look great again:

1. Wax and Oil

The steps are similar to the above method. Make sure to clean the floor before you start and then you can use a machine or apply the wax or oil by hand. Once the wax has dried, you can buff it using the same two methods.

2. Water Based Silicone Rinse Aid

You do have to be careful if you choose this option. Water and wood are bitter enemies so make sure to not overdo it. Apply a light coat so that it will dry quickly and make sure to not spill any on the floor. It can get into the joints and cracks and weaken the wood.

3. Paste Wax

The application will be the same however, the paste wax may require a little more elbow grease to get into the wood and make it shine. Make sure to let the wax dry before you buff it.

4. Beeswax and Olive Oil

Decorative blocks of bees wax and small tins of bees wax on a wooden surface.

Combine these two ingredients together and you do not need a lot of either. Then follow the previous application steps to get the mixture onto your wood floor. Usually, a cup of each will do the trick. If you want the room to smell nicer, add some essential oil fragrances.

Also, you will have to melt the beeswax first, then add the oils.

5. Coconut and Lemon Oil

The juice of one lemon needs to be mixed with a cup of coconut oil. If the latter is solid, then you will need to reduce it to a liquid before adding the lemon juice. Wipe on with a clean cloth and let it absorb into the wood without rinsing.

6. White Vinegar and Olive Oil

Like the lemon juice and coconut oil mixture, this combination also sanitizes your floor killing germs. A cup of each will handle any floor for you. Place the mixture into a spray bottle and spray lightly over your floor. Then mop or rub lightly.

7. Jojoba Oil & Vinegar

See immediately above except you should only use 1/4 cup of Jojoba oil.

8. Almond Oil

The moisturizing fats in this ingredient help bring out the natural beauty on your floor. Just mix 1/4 cup of the oil with 1 cup of water and spray it on before rubbing it in gently. Do not use hot water or bring the water to a boil.

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