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Polishing parquet: this should be taken care of

Who doesn't know that from the past. First the typical sound, then the unmistakable smell and finally the sign: Attention, freshly polished. Those who want to freshen up their parquet these days can do so with much more user-friendly methods. Polishing parquet is no longer an expert task. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Why does it have to be polished?

Anyone who has a parquet floor in their own home knows that it needs care so that the valuable floor shines in full splendor. Polishing the parquet is one of them. It mainly serves the visual effect, but also makes the floor covering more resistant to moisture and dirt. As a result, the owner can enjoy his parquet floor longer. Polishing is also often necessary when renovation work has been going on nearby. But even small scratches can be removed so easily by polishing and the owner does not have to sand down the entire parquet. The scratch removal works on both oiled and sealed parquet floors.

How often should the parquet be polished?

Polishing is not the same as cleaning. The latter should be done regularly to prevent dirt and marks from settling on the floor. But the parquet should also be polished about twice a year. This measure is recommended, especially before the cold season arrives. Because then the floor is particularly stressed by dirty and wet shoes. Treatment with polish prevents this. It is also necessary when scratches and small dents spoil the floor. Then these blemishes can be removed with a little polishing, without the entire parquet having to be sanded and sealed again. Most types of parquet are either sealed with varnish or protected with oil. Which type was used on the floor is also decisive for the polishing. If you have worked with oil, the pores of the wood are open. Here the wood exhales over time - the gloss decreases as the oil and wax disappear from the pores. Therefore, polishing is necessary more often. In the case of varnish-sealed floors, the wear layer that was applied to the parquet decreases over time. Under certain circumstances, it may only be necessary to polish the walkways.

There are also home remedies that can be used in the maintenance of hardwood floors. Some swear by commercially available black tea, which brings back the shine. Others remove pet paw prints with glass cleaner, and candle residue can be removed with a rag and cooking oil.

Polishing like in the old days and the polishing of today

A few years ago, parquet flooring was complex and time-consuming. Who doesn't know them anymore, the big polishing machines? Floor wax was heated in them, which was evenly distributed on the floor by the polishing machine. Some of the devices were heavy and bulky. Today this technology is no longer up-to-date and would even be harmful on varnish-sealed parquet. Today's floor wax is so-called "Polish". These parquet polishes are equipped with synthetic resins and are therefore particularly tear-resistant and adhere well. They give the parquet resilience and durability. The liquid form also enables easier processing compared to the once bulky floor wax. The trade has different varieties in stock. The parquet owner can choose between ready-made mixtures and "polishes", which still have to be mixed with water. The gloss also differs: depending on your taste, the parquet can be glossy or matt after polishing.

The necessary utensils

If you want to polish your parquet floor, you therefore need polishing agents, but also parquet cleaner and, if necessary, wood putty and a repair kit. The tool list includes:

  • Soft cotton rags
  • Mop
  • Wool or polishing cloths
  • if necessary polishing machine
  • vacuum cleaner
  • soft broom

When choosing a polish, care should be taken to ensure that it does not contain any silicone oils or mineral oil derivatives. Because these can irreversibly damage the parquet.

The instructions: step by step

Polishing begins with the first step: clearing the entire parquet. Furniture and carpets should first be removed from the room. After that, the floor needs a thorough cleaning. Any dirt that could rub on the parquet must be removed with the broom. The vacuum cleaner can also be of great use here if it has a soft brush and does not scratch the parquet. Then the floor should be wiped with a damp cloth. Repair kits are used after cleaning. Are there any small scratches or cracks in the parquet? Then it should be repaired now. It is important that these areas dry before starting the polishing process.

The application of the polishing agent depends on the respective product. There are sprays that are ready to be distributed over the surface, others have to be mixed with water first and then applied with a mop. A rag can also serve as a distributor here. The actual polishing then begins: either by hand with woolen or polishing cloths or with the machine. This does not have to be bought at a high price, hardware stores also offer it for hire. It is important that the movements on the parquet are circular. This is how the polish is distributed and the desired gloss is created. A second polishing step is recommended for some parquet - unsealed floors in particular can shine even more.

Sometimes polishing is no longer enough to make the parquet shine again. But it doesn't have to be completely sanded down either. Here the parquet can be "sanded" in order to then seal it again.


Every floor wears out after a certain time. Parquet not only needs maintenance, it also needs polishing once or twice a year. What used to be cumbersome to apply with a floor polisher can now easily be done with simple products.

Article image: © Stokkete / Shutterstock

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