Will Hydrogen Peroxide Damage Hardwood Floors?

March 7, 2018

Posted in macwoods

When searching for safe, environmentally friendly, DIY cleaning solutions for your hardwood floors, you may come across hydrogen peroxide. Consisting of water with an extra oxygen molecule, it’s often used as a cleaning and bleaching agent. Unless you’ve used in the past, though, you might be skeptical of applying it to your floors. You need to know the effects of hydrogen peroxide on hardwood floors. Here’s your answer.

How Effective is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleaning solution that is safe for humans and pets and won’t damage hardwood floors when used properly. With its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, it goes beyond eliminating dirt and debris to sanitize your home. However, the real beauty of hydrogen peroxide lies in powerful cleaning abilities. In many cases, applying hydrogen peroxide on wood floors can leave them looking like new.

The Effects of Hydrogen Peroxide on Wood

Hydrogen peroxide works to clean and sanitize wood. When used on wood floors, it removes surface dirt as well as stubborn stains. Whether your hardwood floors have pet stains, dirt, mud or just about anything else, hydrogen peroxide can restore their appearance.

Hardwood floors have a porous surface consisting of many micro-sized holes that absorb and release moisture. Buckling, for instance, often occurs in humid climates due to the presence of moisture vapor in hardwood floors. The floors absorb moisture into their pores, at which point they begin to buckle. This is why liquid stains on hardwood floors are so difficult to clean. Hydrogen peroxide, however, pulls out the staining compounds from the wood while drying it in the process.

Bleaching is another effect of hydrogen peroxide on wood. Many people actually rinse their mouth with hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth. Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about it turning your floors white. Unless you have particularly dark floors or use an unnecessarily strong hydrogen peroxide formula, it shouldn’t affect the color. And if you’re worried about it bleaching your floors, test it in a discreet area like the corner of your room.

This is How to Properly Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Hardwood Floors

If you want to do it right, you’ll need to pick up a few items to clean your floors with peroxide:

  • Bottle of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Lint-free microfiber cleaning cloths
  • Rubber cleaning gloves

Once you’ve gathered these items, fill the spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and apply it directly to your floors. After allowing it to sit for a few minutes, wipe off the excess liquid using a microfiber cleaning cloth. To clean stubborn stains, apply a greater amount of force while scrubbing. With a little work, your hardwood floors should look like new.

CAUTION: In addition to hydrogen peroxide, vinegar is an effective, all-natural cleaning solution that many people love to use on hardwood floors. However, you should never mix the two substances together. Combining vinegar with hydrogen peroxide creates a highly corrosive substance known as peracetic acid, which you need to avoid completely, lest not to ruin your floors.

Final Thoughts

Hydrogen peroxide can be an effective stain remover for hardwood floors. Still, it needs to be used with caution in order to reap the benefits. Always test the area you plan to clean to make sure the peroxide doesn’t bleach your floors, and never clean with peroxide immediately before or after using vinegar. You can learn more about the effects of the cleaning agents you use in your home from Fantastic Cleaners. Whether you hire a cleaning professional or you do the work yourself, consider hydrogen peroxide as a safe, effective, stain-removing agent for your wood floors.