A common misconception is that it is okay to use a wet mop on hardwood flooring. Customer’s think that since it is a pre-finished floor or a sand-and-finished wood flooring that it is watertight, and this is not true!
Everyday, we tell people that you DO NOT mop a wood floor, and many times people are surprised by that. While many people may be used to mopping a floor, water and wood do not mix! Wood is a natural material that swells when it absorbs water and shrinks when it dries out. While some finishes are resistant to water, there are always seams where strips are put together. Water goes where it wants to go! A seam is no barrier to water penetration, contrary to the misconceptions of some customers.
Homeowners should never wet mop or use excessive water to clean their hardwood floor. Large amounts of water will cause the wood to swell, crack, or splinter. Instead, routine cleaning involves sweeping, dust mopping, and vacuuming using the bare floor setting to remove dust and dirt.
Spills should be wiped up immediately with a dry or slightly damp cloth, before they soak down through the seams. Using the wrong cleaner can void the manufacturer’s warranty, in addition to damaging the floor. You should never use a ‘hardwood cleaner’ on the wood floor or a steam cleaner.