How to Clean Bamboo Flooring
The Best Cleaners to Make Bamboo Floors Shine
Among wood floors, bamboo flooring is surprisingly hard—it's just as durable as hardwoods such as oak and maple—and better yet, it's more resistant to water damage than most woods. It's relatively easy to clean all types of bamboo floors. But there are regular maintenance tasks that have to be performed periodically if you want to make your bamboo floors shine. Tiny particles of dirt and sand tracked into the room on shoes can dig into the finish of the floor, causing dents, divots, or even scratches, giving the bamboo a faded look. Spills and wet spots will need to be cleaned up immediately so they don't stain the floor or cause it to warp. Tough stains and dried dirt can be safely removed by cleaning the bamboo floor naturally with vinegar and water.
How Often to Clean Bamboo Flooring
The best way to clean bamboo flooring is to vacuum or mop it on an as-needed basis depending on the traffic in a room. Daily cleaning may be appropriate for the living areas, hallways, or a recreation room heavily used by children. Clean any spills immediately. Microfiber damp mopping should be done weekly as it will refresh bamboo flooring. To fully rejuvenate bamboo flooring, you can refinish the floor as often as two to four times, depending on whether it's solid or engineered bamboo.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Vacuum (felt head, without beater bar)
- Broom with soft bristles
- Dust bin
- Microfiber mop
- Mop bucket
- Dry towel
- Sponge or clean microfiber rag
- Hardwood floor cleaner such as Bona (non-alkaline, non-abrasive, wax-free)
- Distilled white vinegar
How To Clean Bamboo Flooring
If you note any spills, immediately sop them up with a sponge or dry microfiber cloth. Barely dampen a soft cloth or sponge with water—this is the best way to clean bamboo floors naturally. Apply it to the spill area to wipe up the remaining dirt. Dry the spill area with a soft towel.
Sweep or Vacuum
Use a soft-bristled broom, dust mop, or a vacuum that has a felt head (not a beater bar or hard head) to sweep up dirt and any particulates. Dispose of debris into a waste can.
Clean Stains or Dried Spills
After sweeping or vacuuming, note any areas where there are stains or dried spills. Lightly dampen a microfiber cloth with water and rub the area with it to see if that is enough to remove it. If that doesn't remove it, use an approved hardwood cleaning solution to dampen the cloth. Gently rub the area to remove the stain or dried-on material. Dampen a clean cloth with a little water and wipe the area to remove any cleaning solution. Dry the area with a soft towel.
Proceed With Damp Mopping
Damp mop with a hardwood-rated cleaner diluted per the instructions provided on the product. Dampen a hardwood-appropriate mop with the solution and wring it until it is just barely damp. Mop gently in a circular pattern. Wipe the floor dry with a clean, soft towel if there are any wet spots.
Do Some Heavy Cleaning
Prepare an approved hardwood cleaning solution per the instructions provided on the product. Dip a sponge or clean rag into the solution, then wring dry so that the material is only slightly damp. Apply the cleanser to all parts of the floor evenly. Do not allow it to pool or puddle. Wipe the floor dry with a dry towel to finish.
DIY Vinegar Cleaning Solution
For cleaning stains or dried-on soil, you may not need a commercial product at all—an effective all-natural bamboo floor cleaning agent might already be sitting in your home. If you mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar into a quart of water, you'll have a solution that will allow you to clean the surface of your bamboo floors safely. This cleanser should be applied in the same way as with a commercial hardwood cleaner, using a damp sponge or rag wrung dry before application. Be sure you are diluting the vinegar appropriately as the floor can be damaged by full-strength vinegar. Save this solution for when you need to remove a stain or do a deep cleaning.
Removing Scuff Marks From Bamboo Flooring
Some of the most difficult stains to clean from any floor, including bamboo, are the scuff marks that appear when the rubber heel of a shoe drags across the surface of your floor.
Apply Hardwood Floor Cleaner to Microfiber Cloth
Add a few drops of an approved hardwood floor cleaning product to a microfiber cloth.
Rub the Scuff Mark
Gently rub the bamboo planks where the scuff mark is located with the damp cleaning cloth.
Be slow and patient with this approach—eventually, the scuff mark will be erased. Avoid the urge to use steel wool or an abrasive pad on bamboo, as you can easily scratch the surface.
Can bamboo floors be mopped?
Bamboo floors can be mopped infrequently with a barely damp mop. You do not want a wet mop or liquid to seep in between floorboards and cause damage. Some of the best cleaners for bamboo floors include hardwood floor cleaners or a cleaner like Pine-Sol, but only use these products on bamboo flooring that has been sealed or finished with a protective coating.
Avoid using these products on unfinished, worn away, waxed, or oiled bamboo flooring. Also avoid using oil soaps (like Murphy Oil Soap, which might be good for hardwood but not bamboo) and citric-based liquid dish detergent or the floor can become dull, streaked, or hazed.
Can I use a Swiffer WetJet on bamboo floors?
The Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop should not be used on unfinished, oiled, or waxed hardwood floors. And while it's okay to use this product on sealed bamboo flooring, it may not be the best choice because it could leave brush marks and streaks behind.
Are bamboo floors high maintenance?
Bamboo and hardwood floors require much of the same maintenance tasks, including sweeping, vacuuming, dry mopping, and spot stain removal. You just need to be careful of scratching bamboo flooring or installing this grass-based material in damp, humid, or wet areas where it won't do nearly as well as a hardwood floor would do with extra care. If you take good care of bamboo flooring, its life expectancy can reach between 20 and 50 years.