Can You Use Bleach On Hardwood Floors? Pat’s Guide

Cleaning is an important aspect of maintaining the appearance of a room. Unfortunately, some cleaning agents can cause more harm than good. We’ve all heard about using bleach on clothes, but can you use bleach on hardwood floors? 

The short answer is yes, you can. However, using floor bleach is not as straightforward as it seems. It would help to consider some factors before using one because the bleach can ruin your hardwood floor. In this article, we will give you a detailed guide on how to use floor bleach without causing any permanent damage. 

Can You Use Bleach On Hardwood Floors
Photo from Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Factors To Consider Before Using A Floor Bleach

1. Type of Hardwood Floor

There are several hardwood floors, including laminate, vinyl, engineered, solid hardwood, etc. Determining the type of hardwood floor you have plays a huge role in answering the question, ‘can you use bleach on hardwood floors? Wood is a porous material meaning it’s easy for liquid to flow through them. Most wood without a lasting finish will have a problem preventing the bleach from seeping into its layers, and when that happens, the wood begins to break down. 

Some types of hardwood can handle the bleach treatment, while others will be damaged. Exotic hardwood floors are more susceptible to damage when you use bleach on them, so it’s best to avoid it. On the other hand, you can bleach woods like red oak or beech. If you’re unsure about what type of wood you have and whether you can use bleach on them, you can consult a professional. 

types of hardwood floors
Photo from KWON JUNHO on Unsplash

2. Type of Bleach

Another element you need to consider is the bleach you’re using. If you’re trying to get rid of a stain indoors, it’s best to use a bleach that doesn’t have a harsh scent. Also, there is some bleach that’s not suitable for hardwood floors, while some are. Some bleach might work best outdoors, while others are unsuitable for indoor use. 

Check the label on the bleach to confirm before buying. Knowing the type of bleach you’re using will let you know the steps to take before cleaning your floor.

3. The Stain

If the stain on your floor can be removed through other cleaning methods, you shouldn’t use bleach. Using floor bleach should be your last option and not your first. If the stain is too much, it might be best to call a professional instead. Considering the area of the stain will help you determine which bleach to use. Also, the type of stain, i.e., ink, blood, pet stain, etc., will help you choose the amount of bleach to use. The aim is not to use more than necessary.

4. Equipment

Once you’ve determined the floor type, you must also pay attention to the equipment you’ll use to clean the floor. If you’re going for a brush, make sure it has soft bristles that will not damage your floor but still remove the stain. Also, ensure you invest in a good spin mop that wouldn’t leave streaks on your floor. Some bleach will require you to wear gloves, goggles, or face masks, so considering these factors are essential.

Can You Use Bleach On Hardwood Floors? Here's a how to guide...

How To Use Bleach On Hardwood Floor​
Photo from Canva.com

Step One

Get all your materials ready. The first step to cleaning is making sure all the materials you need are readily available nearby. So what will you need to use bleach on hardwood floors?

Please note that the bleach you use should fit the stain you have. For example, if you have a small beverage stain on your floor, there’s no need to use a two-part bleach that’s reserved for tougher stains. Also, if you wish to disinfect the area as you clean, Oxalic acid is the way to go. Before using chlorine bleach, ensure you know how it’s done. 

Step Two

The next step is to prepare your floor. You’ll need to put on your face mask and grab the sandpaper. You can also wear a pair of goggles. Use the sandpaper to sand down the area of the stain. You can use a chemical stripping agent instead, but we find the sandpaper method less toxic, and there’s a good chance you’d get some of those stains off during this step.

Step Three

The third step is to apply the bleach. Wear your waterproof gloves. Most people dislike the smell of bleach, so it’s good to have a facemask on hand. We recommend you wear goggles to avoid any eye irritation. When using the bleach on your hardwood floor, follow the instructions on the product. Most brands recommend mixing the bleach with water, while others don’t. 

When using floor bleach, ensure you’re gentle and only focus on the affected area. Use a brush to scrub the place to let the bleach get through the stain. Leave for 5-10 minutes. If the stain is not coming off, you can add more bleach and scrub again but be careful not to overdo it. 

Step Four

The next step is equally as important as the others. It’s neutralizing the bleach. When you use bleach to clean, it’s important to neutralize the area, so the bleach doesn’t keep working. If you skip this step, the bleach can cause your wood to break down or lighten. Two-part bleach often comes with a neutralizer.  If you use oxalic acid, you can use white vinegar or baking soda as a neutralizing agent. You can do the same for chlorine, although it mostly requires you to clean it off with distilled water. Clean the area you worked on thoroughly and leave the wood to dry.

Step Five

After the floor has dried for about a day, reapply your finishing if required. 

Still asking Can You Use Bleach On Hardwood Floors?....

Can You Use Bleach On Hardwood Floors? Yes, you can, but it’s a tricky subject because there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind before any action. Remember that if you’re not up for using floor bleach, it’s best to leave it to a professional, so you don’t cause worse damage to your hardwood floors.

Thanks for reading along! 

In some articles, In some of our articles, especially product-based stories you may see that they contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link. The goal with my beloved Vacuum Base website has always been to educate and assist people using the in depth knowledge I have amassed through my career.  If you do purchase through an affiliate link, I appreciate and thank you for your support!

Vacuum Cleaner reviewer

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Such a handy natural agent to have on hand for spills + cleaning.