Can You Use Dawn On Hardwood Floors? [Wood Cleaning Tips & Tricks]

Dawn, by all means, is an incredible grease-dissolver. Nowadays, it’s a must-have product in the cleaning aisle of every household for its cost-effectiveness and versatility. Other than the usual dirty bowls and glasses, people have been using Dawn to clean up pretty much everything in and around the house, including stovetops and tiles even. 

But, can you use Dawn on hardwood floors?

Although Dawn isn’t primarily meant for high-maintenance hardwood floors, you can use it to clean up dirt and grime if you follow some specific rules and regulations during usage. Dawn can be applied just like any other dish soap to keep hardwood floors clean and tidy. But you do need to keep an eye on the concentration level and application duration because prolonged exposure can damage the floors.

In today’s article, we’ll focus on the safe usage of Dawn on hardwood floors alongside tips and tricks to prevent damage. So, without any further delay, let’s get started!

Can You Use Dawn On Hardwood Floors?

It’s important to clean hardwood floors every two weeks or so to prevent dirt and grime build-up. And Dawn is really good for such clean-ups as the concoction is super potent & reactive against fatty and greasy components. 

But you can’t use Dawn on all sorts of hardwood floors and not under all circumstances. To use Dawn on wood floors, you must first fulfill the following conditions –

  • Ensure that the floor has been sealed with water-based or oil-curated sealant layers properly
  • Do a thorough dusting of the floor surfaces to get rid of all the loose dust particles to prevent mudding
  • Refrain from diluting Dawn with hot/boiling water since high-temperature solvents react badly with sealants
  • Use microfiber mops, sponges, etc. for cleaning, and refrain from using anything with harsh bristles or chemicals
  • Make sure to use a 50-75% diluted mixture of Dawn with water for cleaning hardwood floor surfaces

How To Clean Hardwood Floors With Dawn?

cleaning wood floor with dawn

It’s not hard at all to clean hardwood floors with Dawn, especially if you’re following the right guidelines. So, to help you keep your floors squeaky clean here’s a step-by-step overview of cleaning hardwood floors with Dawn guidelines –

Step 1: Thorough Sweeping

The first step is to do a thorough sweeping of the area that you’re about to clean. Every day, dust particles gather around the house and settle down in every nook and cranny.

The rate of accumulation can even quadruple if you live near a busy road or have lots of people and pets in the house. Even rug pads can’t always prevent the floor underneath from getting dusty everywhere.

If you start cleaning without getting rid of all the loose dust first, the floor will get super muddy instantly. So, to keep that from happening, you should sweep the area with a broom with soft bristles and dust off the rug pads as well.

Step 2: Preparing The Solution

The next step is to prepare the cleaning solution. Many people prefer to use vinegar, ammonia, etc. with the liquid dish soaps to ensure effective cleaning. But Dawn, being a super active cleaning reagent, doesn’t need all that.

Plus, corrosive chemicals like ammonia shouldn’t be used on hardwood floors either as they damage the sealants. The solution should consist only of Dawn and water.

It’s best to use three parts water and one part Dawn. The ratio of water to Dawn should be 3:1 for proper dilution. That way, the mixture will not be too slippery and will pack just enough punch to clean the hardwood floors in one go.

Step 3: Wiping & Gentle Scrubbing

As specified above, you should use soft sponges or microfiber mops to wipe the floors with the Dawn solution. Brushes with harsh bristles can leave tiny scuff marks all over and you don’t want that for the lavish hardwood floors.

And even if you’re using soft sponges, you shouldn’t scrub too hard right off the bat. Treated floors, especially the oil-curated ones come with strongly polished surfaces.

You can risk damaging the protective layers over the hardwood floors by scrubbing too aggressively. Use gentle strokes to scrub and wipe away the dirt. Vigorous scrubbing is never the solution when it comes to hardwood floors, neither solid nor engineered.

So, if you’re having a tough time getting rid of a filthy spot, you can let that area soak for just a while. Once the dirt softens up enough, you can scrub it off easily. 

Step 4: Drying & Polishing The Surface

Your mop or sponge should never be soaking wet since the excess water is anything but good for hardwood floors. Alongside the usual cleaning sponge, you can keep another completely dry and clean cotton or microfiber cloth.

After you’ve cleaned the hardwood floors with the Dawn-absorbed sponges, use the other cloth/mop to wipe off the excess water from the surfaces. Gently pat down the surface and take your time with the drying process.

Additionally, after a deep cleaning, lots of people tend to polish the surfaces. For instance – if your floors have been treated with oil-based polyurethane, you can apply a coat of linseed oil to gain back some of the glossiness of the floor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use Dawn on rugs for hardwood floors?

Dawn is actually great for rugs, especially if you’re looking for a low-cost option for deep cleaning. 
You can clean up months’ worth of grime from deep within the rugs by using the right amount of Dawn and warm water. Furthermore, Dawn decreases your scrubbing period by almost 50% via quick reactivity, so that’s another plus point!

Is it better to use dish soap rather than Dawn?

Well, Dawn itself is an all-purpose dish soap of sorts. However, regular dish soap can sometimes not have much of an effect on solid and engineered floors, while Dawn does.
So, between your run-of-the-mill dish soap and Dawn, theoretically, it’s better to use Dawn out of the two.

Can Dawn clean layers of grime without abusing the protective sealants over the hardwood floors?

Yes, Dawn is quite famous for getting rid of layers and layers of grime in a single cleaning and wiping session.
It does an incredible job at dissolving fatty elements and compounds in a record amount of time. But the dissolving chemicals in Dawn do not affect the sealants as quickly. Hence, if you’re not leaving the caustic liquid over the surface for a really long time, no corrosion should take place.

Should I leave Dawn for hours to ‘soften the dirt or grime’ if the floor appears extremely dirty?

There are both pros and cons to leaving caustic agents like Dawn dish soap on hardwood floors for a long time. Generally, it’s not recommended to leave corrosive chemicals on hardwood floors as they can damage the sealants like polyurethane, linseed oil, etc.
However, if the floor is extra dirty and a regular swipe doesn’t seem to do the trick, you can try softening the grime. But not without constant supervision and not for hours. You can try softening the area for a few minutes to loosen up the dirty layers & then scrub off the rest with microfiber sponges.

Final Verdict

So, can you use Dawn on hardwood floors? The short answer is yes, you can use it since it’s great for quick clean-ups.

But like most other liquid cleaners, Dawn can also have severe negative effects on hardwood floors. Hence, it’s important to exercise precautions while using it. Refrain from using Dawn or any other liquid cleaners on untreated wood floors or if you find cracks in the sealants. And wear gloves to keep your hands safe during the cleaning.

2 thoughts on “Can You Use Dawn On Hardwood Floors? [Wood Cleaning Tips & Tricks]”

  1. Can I use a diluted solution of Dawn in a Roomba mopping Robot? If so, what is the correct ratio to dilute the Dawn?

    1. The waterhog mat with a gripper or non-smooth backing may potentially harm a hardwood floor if the mat is not used correctly. It is important to ensure that the mat is clean and free of debris before placing it on the floor, and that it is not left in one place for an extended period of time, as this can cause discoloration or damage to the hardwood. It’s always best to use a mat with a smooth backing, or to place a protective barrier, such as a rug pad, between the mat and the hardwood floor to prevent any potential damage.

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