Can You Vacuum Hardwood Floors? [Avoid These Mistakes!]

Hardwood floors are an excellent choice for those looking to add a touch of elegance and warmth to their home, but they can be a bit trickier to clean than other flooring options!

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In fact, my friends often ask me “can you vacuum hardwood floors”?

The short answer is “yes”, but there are things to keep in mind when doing so.

In this post, you will learn:

  • What kind of vacuums you should use on hardwood floors
  • What you should avoid when vacuuming hardwood floors
  • How to clean hardwood floors
  • And more!

Can You Vacuum Hardwood Floors?

Yes, you can vacuum hardwood floors, but you will need to use the right tools and techniques to avoid damaging them. These types of floors are prone to scratching and scuffing, so make sure you choose a vacuum with a soft-bristled brush or a bare floor setting. Canister vacuums or stick vacuums with a hard floor setting are also good options.

What Kind Of Vacuum Should You Use On Hardwood Floors?

As mentioned above, it is important to use a vacuum that features a soft-bristled brush or a bare floor setting. 

These types of vacuums are designed to gently lift dirt and debris without scratching or scuffing the wood. 

Avoid beater bars

Using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar on hardwood floors can cause dulling of the finish, which, in turn, will make your floor less attractive and more prone to damage. 

If your vacuum does have a beater bar, adjust its settings so that you use the ones appropriate for hardwood floors and not for carpets.

Avoid using high-power settings

Some vacuums come with adjustable power settings that allow you to change the suction force based on your cleaning needs.

A high suction power can be helpful for picking up larger debris or deep cleaning carpets, but it can cause damage to hardwood floors, such as scratches and denting.

If you do own such type of vacuum cleaner, make sure you select a low suction setting.

How to Safely Vacuum Hardwood Floors

Follow the steps below to vacuum your hardwood floors correctly:

  1. Start by removing any large debris or dirt from the floor using a dust mop or broom.
  2. Vacuum the floor using a soft-bristled brush vacuum or one that features the bare floor setting to avoid scratching or scuffing the wood. Make sure you use low-power settings.
  3. Start at one end of the room and move across it in straight lines, never backtracking or overlapping your previous path. Use slow, deliberate strokes when vacuuming, avoiding any quick movements that could cause damage to the floorboards or furniture legs resting on them.
  4. Pay extra attention to corners, crevices, and other hard-to-reach areas. You may need to use a crevice tool or other specialized attachment to effectively clean these areas.
  5. When you are finished vacuuming, use a dry cloth or towel to wipe up any excess dirt or debris that may have been missed. 
  6. Fill a bucket with warm water mixed with liquid Castile soap and add a few drops of vinegar for added cleaning power.
  7. Let your hardwood floor air dry

How Often Should You Vacuum Hardwood Floors?

It is important that you vacuum your hardwood floors at least once a week to keep them looking their best. 

This will allow you to get rid of debris and grime that can accumulate over time and make your flooring appear dull. 

If you have a high traffic area or pets, you may need to vacuum more often to keep your floors looking clean and fresh.


Regular vacuuming is an important part of maintaining the beauty and longevity of your hardwood floors, but it is important to be careful and avoid damaging the wood. 

By following the above tips and using a combination of vacuuming and other cleaning methods, you can keep your hardwood floors looking clean and beautiful for years to come.