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How to Clean Bamboo Floors: Light and Deep Cleaning Tips

Keep those bamboo floors gorgeous.

There’s no doubt that bamboo floors are a chic, contemporary addition to your home. They’re also an eco-friendly flooring choice. Unfortunately, if you don’t maintain them properly, they’ll deteriorate.

So how do you make sure your bamboo floors are a sight for sore eyes rather than an eyesore?

We’ve found the most affordable, effective, and easiest methods for how to clean bamboo floors. This flooring is different from other hardwoods, so keep reading for the best care tips possible.

Key Takeaways

  • Bamboo floors are eco-friendly and easy to maintain, but require proper cleaning to avoid damage.
  • Use microfiber mops or soft-bristled vacuum attachments to clean bamboo floors without scratching them.
  • Stick to pH-neutral, non-abrasive cleaning solutions specifically designed for bamboo or hardwood floors.
  • Avoid soaking bamboo floors with water and never use steam mops, as they can cause staining, warping, or weakening.

Solid Bamboo vs. Engineered Bamboo

There are two main types of bamboo flooring: solid and engineered. It’s challenging to tell them apart once they’re installed. But they are produced differently.

Solid bamboo is viewed as pure. Strips of bamboo are cut, dried, and glued together to form planks that are then lined up and installed. These planks are universally set at 5.59 inches by 72.83 inches (1).

Engineered bamboo is similar to the solid variation, but the bamboo strips are fixed to a plywood base first. This foundation adds extra stability and means that the bamboo planks can be set on any subfloor. There’s also more variation, with a greater allowance for the dimensions of the planks.

Engineered bamboo is a bit more expensive since the manufacturing process is longer and slightly more complex. The plywood used as the base adds to the cost of the planks as well.

Other than that, there are no differences in how to treat your floor. They’re used the same way and have the same lifespan. Both types will look the same (with the exception of design) and require the same maintenance.

The Benefits of Bamboo Floors

Technically speaking, although bamboo is seen as wood, it’s actually a type of grass. It serves as an excellent alternative to genuine hardwood flooring and has many advantages over others. Here’s why you should choose it.

1. It’s Eco-Friendly

Hardwood is beautiful, but conservation is a concern that comes with the package. Wood is a renewable resource, but its industry is one of the driving forces of deforestation (2). Trees can be regrown, but it’s a lengthy process that can’t keep up with the rate at which forests are torn down.

On the other hand, Bamboo is the world’s number one renewable resource. It grows at an almost uncontrollable rate of up to four inches a day. Cutting it improves the structure of the plant as a whole and so is encouraged.

2. Multi-Purpose

Bamboo isn’t waterproof but compared to other hardwoods, it does have a higher water-resistance. This makes it a versatile option that you can install in almost any area of your house.

It even works well in the kitchen. Spills won’t affect it as significantly or quickly as they will true hardwoods. The rule of thumb is that puddles or messes won’t damage your bamboo floor if they’re cleaned within 24 hours. Smaller drops of water will evaporate without leaving unsightly watermarks in their wake.

Quick Tip

Though bamboo is water-resistant, it has its limits. We don’t recommend installing it in areas prone to excessive exposure to moisture, such as bathrooms, saunas, or outdoors.

3. Easy Maintenance

Maintaining a bamboo floor is easy and affordable. You don’t need special equipment, and it’s easy to grasp the cleaning techniques. In fact, you probably already have every cleaning tool you will need.

If all else fails, there are homemade solutions you can try using items in your kitchen and good old tap water.

4. Budget-Friendly

The initial costs of bamboo are lower than genuine hardwood (3). So if you dream of wood floors but aren’t looking forward to investing in them, bamboo is the best alternative. You’ll have the same sophisticated look and feel of wood at a fraction of the price.

If you take good care of your bamboo floor, it will last decades. Installation — or reinstallation — is also easy. If you’re handy, you might not even have to hire professionals, saving you a good amount of money.

5. It’s Stronger

Bamboo is sturdier and, therefore, more durable than hardwood. One study even notes that it trumps oak in stability (4). If you have a busy home and need that extra sense of solidity, bamboo is a wise choice.

This ties back into the costs of bamboo. Its strength spells out fewer repairs and replacements for you, lowering its overall costs.

Be Gentle

Although bamboo is sturdier than hardwood, it is still vulnerable to nicks, scrapes, and scratches. So just as with wood, don’t be rough with it. Use appropriate vacuum cleaner heads, and don’t drag furniture over it.

The Best Cleaning Tools for Bamboo Floors

Although maintaining your bamboo floor isn’t difficult to do, if you don’t do it correctly, you could accidentally damage it. So what’s safe to use on your floors in your quest to keep them pristine?

Can You Mop Bamboo Floors?

Excessive or continuous exposure to water will stain, discolor, or warp your bamboo. Not any mop will do. For best results, take the following into account:

  • Dry mops: Treat bamboo as you would any other hardwood. It may be more resistant to water, but you should still make an effort to keep it as dry as possible. Dry mops (also known as dust mops) are perfect for this.
  • Standard wet mops: You can still use water when mopping, but do your best to wring out as much of it as possible. Don’t soak your bamboo floors or use so much water that it won’t evaporate.
  • Mop buckets: These are an excellent investment if you want to use a wet mop on your bamboo floor. They come with built-in wringers that eliminate a lot of elbow grease from your cleaning. Some models are designed to keep dirt off your mop fibers and prevent accidental abrasions on your floor’s surface.
  • Spray mops: So long as the spray solution is pH neutral, a spray mop will work well. Double-check manufacturer information to see if the model you’re interested in is suitable for bamboo.

What About Steam Mops?

Never use a steam mop on a bamboo floor. It will absorb the moisture from the steam and essentially be soaked from the inside. You may not notice any damage at first, but given enough time, your floor could stain, warp, or weaken (5).

Remember that bamboo functions as hardwood and should be treated as such. Apply the same methods you’d use to clean wood. Don’t soak, steam, or use abrasive cleaners.

Choose Microfiber

For both mops and brooms, consider ones with microfiber heads. They’re soft enough to use on bamboo and effective at removing even stubborn dirt.
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Can You Vacuum Bamboo?

You absolutely can, but there are some precautions you should take to prevent damage. Most importantly, ensure that your vacuum’s brush must not have stiff bristles (6).

These will scratch — and possibly ruin — your floor’s finish. If you’re going to vacuum a bamboo floor, make sure that its brush roller is suitable for wood floors. If the vacuum itself isn’t built for wood, you’ll have to get a hard floor attachment.

Quick Tip

Never use wet vacuums on bamboo. You also want to consider the hardness of your vacuum’s wheels. Rough casters could leave tracks or scrapes.

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Which Solutions Can You Use on Bamboo?

When it comes to chemical cleaners, you can try a few things. Both store-bought and homemade options are effective, so it’s a matter of personal preference.


Ready-made cleaners may be safer as they’re often made specifically for hard floors. You have a choice in products and scents and can determine which one works best in your home. Another advantage, of course, is that they’re convenient and require no preparation on your part.

The drawbacks are that they may contain chemicals you’re not comfortable using. You’ll also have to consider how you’ll store them and if you want them in a home with children or pets. Depending on the brand, they could cost you more initially, too.

Keep these four considerations in mind when buying a bamboo floor cleaner:

  • pH balanced: As recommended, choose a pH-neutral cleaner. This will prevent streaking on your floors. Acids easily stain hardwood, and since bamboo is considered one, it’s best to stay away from them.
  • Bamboo specific: If you can, find a specialized bamboo floor cleaner. Don’t fret if you can’t find one; it’s a luxury worth trying but not a necessity.
  • Hardwood cleaners: If you can’t find or afford a bamboo cleaner, your best bet is to opt for hardwood solutions. They’re made to protect the coating of floor finishes, and some may even conserve your floor’s shine. They’re relatively inexpensive and are simple to apply.
  • Gentle products: Never use abrasive chemicals. You also don’t want to risk using other cleaners (for example, carpet cleaner) on your bamboo. These solutions are way too harsh and will tear through your floor’s finish, likely causing scratches and stains.

Read The Instructions

Have a look at your options to find a non-toxic cleaner. When it comes to pre-mixed solutions, always follow manufacturer instructions.

DIY Cleaners

Homemade cleaners, on the other hand, are safer to have in your home, as you won’t be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. They’re a cheaper alternative to buying brand-name products and require little extra effort to prepare. You might not have to go out and buy anything if you already have the ingredients.

The downsides to homemade solutions are that they’re not specialized for bamboo and that there’s a risk of mixing them incorrectly. You will need to invest a bit of time into preparation.

For each method, you need a spray bottle. Spritzing cleaner onto bamboo will reduce the floor’s contact with water. It’s also easier to target stains or dirt this way. Other ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Castile soap: One to two drops of concentrated castile soap added to two cups of warm water will do the trick. Remember not to soak your floors with this and use a cloth or mop that is as dry as possible.
  • Dishwashing liquid: You shouldn’t use acidic dish soap, so avoid ones with added lemon extract. One or two drops added to warm water should clean without leaving any residue.
  • Vinegar: This is an old favorite among floor enthusiasts. However, note that vinegar is acidic, so some experts don’t recommend it. Only use your vinegar mix on sealed, finished floors. Add a quarter cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water.
  • Add oils: If you don’t like the smell of any of these solutions, add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to your spritzer.


Undiluted essential oils are incredibly strong and could burn your floors and skin. Be careful when handling them. We recommend doing a spot test before trying any DIY method to ensure that it won’t harm your bamboo (or you!) (7).

How to Clean Bamboo Floors

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you choose to use tools or your bare hands, chemical cleaners, or DIY mixes. The technique is what makes the difference between abrasions, dents, and water damage and a pristine bamboo floor. Here’s what you should be doing to make the most of your cleaning:

Light Cleaning

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

1. Sweep

Before you do anything else, gently remove dirt and dust from your floor by sweeping it. You can opt to vacuum or dry mop instead. In each case, be sure to use the appropriate tools, like microfiber heads, soft bristles, or hard floor cleaning attachments.

2. Spritz

Choose your favorite cleaner and spritz some onto your floor as you go. Don’t try to cover as much ground as possible. You want to spritz and then wipe immediately in gentle circular motions with a dry or slightly damp cloth or mop.

Leaving chemical cleaners to stand, even homemade ones, could cause streaking or, even worse: moisture damage.

3. Pat Dry

If you notice excess moisture, whether from water or a cleaning solution, dry it as quickly as possible. The best way to do this (if you’re not using a mop) would be to take a soft, preferably microfiber cloth and pat it dry. You can use this method for spills too.

Deep Cleaning

Don’t think of bamboo floors as you would a carpet or tiles. They don’t need deep cleaning in the usual sense — doing so may damage their finish. The method is much the same for tough stains, scuff marks, or disinfecting your floors.

Once you have swept, vacuumed, or mopped, the only extra step you have to take is to spot clean.

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate

1. Target Stains

Using your chosen solution, spritz some of it directly onto the stain. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s directions when using chemical cleaners. Some can be left to work for a few minutes, while others cannot.

When using a homemade remedy, it’s best to treat it as you would water, wiping it up as soon as possible.

Check that your store-bought cleaner has sanitizing properties. If not, the recommended vinegar solution will do the trick.

2. Rub Gently

Once you’ve applied your cleaner, take your cloth and gently rub the mark or stain. Use the same circular motions for the best effect. Don’t use harsh brushes, scrubbers, or abrasive tools for stain removal.

If your stains are deep-set, multiple treatments might be necessary before you notice a difference. In some cases, stains could be too embedded and so, unfortunately, impossible to get rid of without replacing the bamboo.

Quick Tip

It’s recommended that you sweep or dry mop your bamboo floors daily. Chemical treatments should be applied weekly (8).

Reviving Bamboo Floors

Sometimes a broom or cloth won’t fix the damage on your bamboo floor. If that’s the case, you’ll have to buy specialized products to restore its sheen:

  • Use cleaners: There is a multitude of products available that will shine your floors. Be cautious when choosing them, though, as polishes and waxes will leave a residue and may make your floors slippery. Stick to the hardwood cleaners that are pH balanced, but look out for those with restoring properties.
  • Stop using vinegar: Many happy cleaners speak for vinegar, but the truth is that it may be the problem. Stop applying vinegar immediately if you notice that your floors have dulled over time. Prevention is better than remedy, so take precautions to preserve your bamboo.
  • Rescreen: Bamboo lasts a while when treated with care, but inevitably, you will have to replace it. Rescreening means that only the top layer of the finish is removed and replaced. It’s easier, saves time, and will cost less if you call in the professionals.
  • Refinish: If you want to restore your bamboo floor fully, a little more effort will be required. Refinishing means removing all layers of your finish, and your bamboo is sanded down before adding a new finish.
  • Replacement: If your bamboo is damaged beyond repair, you will have to replace it entirely. On the upside, remember that bamboo is one of the most affordable wood floors you can buy, so that revamping won’t cost a fortune.


Why is Bamboo Flooring So Cheap?

Bamboo flooring is so cheap because it grows abundantly, is less expensive to produce, and regrowth takes a fraction of the time compared to other wooden products.

Why Do My Bamboo Floors Look Dull?

Your bamboo floor looks so dull because it has dirt on the surface. It might also look dull because it has faded and scratched with wear and tear. Another reason could be you’ve used the wrong detergent, and it has left a white residue.

How Long Do Bamboo Floors Last?

Bamboo flooring lasts between 20 and 25 years, although it could stay looking good for up to 50 years if it is properly maintained. If you have pets or the flooring is in a high footfall area, it could significantly reduce its useful life.

Can You Buff Bamboo Floors?

You can buff bamboo floors as long as you use an orbital buffer and nylon pads. Buffing is less damaging than other forms of cleaning and is ideal for thinner bamboo veneers.

What Should You Not Put on a Bamboo Floor?

You should not put products that have an oily or waxy finish on your bamboo floor. Also, avoid furniture polish and abrasive cleaners that damage the surface of the flooring. Finally, look for pH-balanced cleaners that protect the floor.

Don’t Be Bamboozled

See? There’s little effort involved in maintaining bamboo floors. Unlike others of its kind, cleaning and preservation are almost effortless. The best thing you can do is treat it with care from the start.

This way, you’ll ensure that no unsightly or irreparable damage is done. You’ll also save time and effort in your daily and weekly runs. Simply sweep dirt daily and mop with your favorite cleaner weekly, and your floors should stay pristine.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy Anthony is a cleaning expert, author, and contributing writer for Oh So Spotless, a leading online resource for all things related to cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a spotless home. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry, Amy has gained extensive knowledge and expertise that have made her a trusted authority on best practices, efficient techniques, and innovative cleaning solutions.