How To Clean Exotic Hardwood Flooring (Explained)

Vacuum regularly to prevent dirt buildup. Dust and mop routinely. Quickly wipe up spills with a cloth or paper towels. Use a recommended flooring cleaner from your provider monthly. Avoid wax, household detergents, or oil-based soap to prevent damage and discoloration. Be cautious with water; don’t use excessive amounts. Place mats near room entrances.

Exotic hardwoods, like teak, Brazilian cherry, and tigerwood, have made their mark in the interior décor world, adding a touch of luxury to homes and establishments.

Their stunning grains, deep hues, and unique characteristics set them apart from the usual domestic hardwoods. But with this exquisite beauty comes the need for special care.

Just as you’d care for a precious gem, maintaining exotic hardwood flooring requires a bit of knowledge and effort.

Understanding Exotic Hardwood

First, let’s delve into what makes these woods “exotic.” Unlike domestic woods, such as oak or maple, exotic hardwoods originate from locations outside North America, mainly from tropical regions.

According to the National Wood Flooring Association, some of these species are harder and denser, often making them more resistant to dents and wear. However, their unique properties also mean they might react differently to cleaning agents and moisture.

Basic Maintenance for Exotic Hardwood Flooring

A well-maintained hardwood floor can last for decades. For daily care, sweeping or using a soft-bristle broom can prevent dirt accumulation, which might cause scratches. A weekly dry mopping session can help remove the finer particles that a broom might miss.

Accidental spills? Act fast! Leaving liquids on the floor can result in stains or, worse, water damage. So, blot them immediately with a soft cloth.

Cleaning Solutions Suitable for Exotic Hardwood

While there are numerous cleaning products available, experts recommend pH-neutral cleaners for hardwood floors. You can also use a homemade solution of mild soap and water.

Some homeowners swear by a mixture of water with a few drops of white vinegar, but always ensure your mop or cloth is well-wrung. The less moisture, the better!

However, be wary of ammonia-based cleaners, wax, oil soaps, or abrasive tools. Such products can damage the floor’s finish or even the wood itself.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

The key to cleaning exotic hardwood is gentleness and minimal moisture. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Clear the area: Remove furniture and rugs to expose the entire floor.
  2. Sweep or vacuum to tackle larger debris.
  3. Dampen a soft cloth or mop with your chosen cleaning solution, ensuring it’s not too wet.
  4. Wipe the floor following the direction of the grain.
  5. Immediately dry the floor with a soft, dry cloth.

Addressing Stains and Scratches

In the event of stubborn stains, a simple paste of baking soda and water can be an effective spot treatment. As for scratches, there are specific hardwood fillers available in the market. For deeper scratches, you might want to consider professional help.

Preventive Measures

Protection is always better than cure:

  • Use protective pads under furniture.
  • Refrain from wearing high heels or sharp-edged shoes indoors.
  • Rugs can be a savior in high-traffic areas.
  • Invest in a humidifier or dehumidifier to maintain consistent indoor humidity, thus preventing warping and buckling.

Refinishing and Rejuvenating Exotic Hardwood Floors

Over time, even well-maintained floors might need a facelift. Refinishing can bring back the floor’s former glory. The process typically involves sanding, staining, and sealing. However, due to the unique nature of exotic hardwoods, it’s advisable to hire professionals for this task.


Exotic hardwood floors, with their unmatched elegance, undoubtedly enhance any space’s aesthetic appeal. Regular cleaning and preventive measures can ensure they remain a visual treat for years to come.

Additional Tips

  • To allow even aging of the wood, rotate rugs and furniture occasionally.
  • Prevent direct sunlight exposure to reduce fading.
  • Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before adopting any cleaning or refinishing method.


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