Can You Use Vacuum Cleaners on Hardwood Floors?

The short answer is yes, provided you are careful and use the right vacuum and attachments. If you have hardwood flooring in your San Antonio home, you know how beautiful and easy to maintain it is.

While not difficult or time consuming, maintenance of your hardwood floors should not be taken lightly. Experts don’t recommend cleaning hardwood floors with ordinary bulky vacuum cleaners, and here’s why.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Standard Vacuums

The first reason why ordinary vacuums shouldn’t be used on your hardwood floors is because they are made specifically to clean carpets. They feature plastic wheels that can scratch and dent your floors, and the bristles of the roller are thick, which can also dent and scratch.

In addition, the beater brush in such vacuum cleaners will scatter dust and debris, which makes the cleaning process difficult and time consuming.

What Kind of Vacuum is Best?

When doing your research on vacuum cleaners that are safe for your hardwood floors, look for models that allow you to switch off the spinning brush roll or models that feature a special soft-fabric brush roll (better yet — no brush roll at all).

To make your life easier, you may even want to consider a robot vacuum, which does a good job of cleaning bare floors. They are more effective than human-powered vacuums, as they work longer hours consistently and can find dust and debris in hard-to-find places that humans would miss.

Canister vacuums feature a duster container and a motor that can be detached from the power head and handle. However, the canister portion can be quite heavy and must be wheeled around, which could damage your floors. Look for models that have portable canisters that can be carried on your shoulder via a strap. Then simply use the attachments or the long vacuum portion to clean your hardwood (this is gentler on your floors).


While in general, lighter is better, you still want a vacuum with good suction quality, rubber wheels, and portability. Here are the factors you want to keep an eye out for:

  • Suction quality: This is one of the top qualities of a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner that doesn’t suck well will lead to longer cleaning times and repeated passes over each area.
  • Rubber wheels and extra padding: Wheels should be made of rubber and not plastic. Look for vacuums with extra rubber padding to prevent scratches.
  • Portability and compactness: The more compact and lightweight the vacuum cleaner is, the easier it will be to bring it around the house with you. The less work you have to do, the more energy you’ll have to do a thorough job. Plus, the less pressure you apply to your hardwood floors, the less chance of damage.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

We can give you more tips for preserving the beauty and durability of your hardwood floors. Just contact us today for a free quote and consultation on hardwood installation and maintenance.



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