Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have never had hardwood floors before. Ours have a polyurethane coating, high gloss. It appeared that the floor was smudged with footprints. Using a Bona product. Another similar product was recommended but it still has dull smudges. I tried an Orange Glo product but it was streaky. Then tried a Swiffer product for hardwood floors, now it's really streaky! Can anybody tell me how to get back to the high gloss, smudge free, shine we first had?

R.P from Purcellville, VA


Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Try warm water and a little ammonia, wash with a rag then buff with a dry rag.

By patg

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We have a "Shark" steamer. It cleans our hardwood floors great! Read the instructions first and if it safe for your type of floor, the hot water is a plus because it disinfects as well.

By Joanna

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I use the vinegar and water solution to clean. Then after it dries, I spray a little Endust with a soft dry cloth to make the floor shine.


Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I use Orange Glo and every so often wipe the mop with water. Than when it dries, I use Future. It's not too bad. But I am still searching for something to make it glow!

By Sylvia

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

If water and vinegar left any sort of film, it just means your floors were that saturated with dirt/other products. The water should be HOT or very warm and sometimes you need to mop 2 - 3 times. As far as wearing off any finishes, not so - vinegar is not very acidic, it's made from natural products so it's nearly impossible for that to happen. I promise after 2-3 moppings with the vinegar/water solution, your floors will be gorgeous! If streaking still occurs, you may want to contact the person who refinished your floors and find out what product he put on there.


By Stephanie

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Stephanie, I don't know where you got your info but VINEGAR IS ACID DILUTED TO A 5% SOLUTION! Just look at the back of any bottle of vinegar and you'll see the words right there. Or do a simple web search for the definition of vinegar. And just because something is "pure and natural" doesn't mean it can't ever do harm. Our stomach acid is Hydrocloric Acid diluted to a 3% percent solution, pure because there is no other chemical mixed in, found in nature, but NOT harmless. Chlorine gas is pure since it is an element with no other elemental atom or molecule attached, found in nature, but NOT harmless.

I'm a researcher and I've done much research on this subject. First, you must know the finish on your floor. If it is oil-based stain, then cleaners for polyurethane finished floors will cause problems. You will need to wax instead and buff regularly. If floors smear, it is usually because either they were WAXED at some point in the past or there is still fatty substances (meat fat, cheese, salad oil, the list is endless) left on the floor that were not adequately cut and removed with the cleaner.


Vinegar can leave a nice shine at the end of a good cleaning job but it will not cut grease adequately. Only detergent can do that. Have you ever tried cleaning greasy clothes with vinegar? The key is a light touch. Use a small amount of any neutral detergent in water and do not soak the floor. If the mess is still there or streaking occurs, then you need to do it again and again until the substance is completely removed. Also, it is worth noting that for modern finished floors, vinegar is no longer endorsed by the National Wood Flooring Association.

To restore shine, you either need to buff the area or use a polish such as Orange Glo cleaner and polish. If your floor finish is not in good condition to begin with, then the shine may never return and the acid in vinegar, although very weak, will only hasten its demise. But you can use a product like Quick Shine to put a durable shiny coat on top. Or try Orange Glo Refinisher, as long as you have a polyurethane finish and NO WAX left behind.

If wax was ever used in the past it must be stripped using a good wax stripper before applying any other type of floor product. Or you must rewax. You can't use both. Wax is tenacious, will sink into wood, and will always interfere with any other type of product you try until it is completely stripped. Also, as wax breaks down from wear it will mix with water and smear. It is a soft substance and can create indentations such as paw and foot prints if not maintained properly.

Hope this clears up the confusion!

By finch

Cleaning Hardwood Floors- Thinner

My mother-in-law uses paint thinner to clean the floors about 3-4 times a year. It's a horrible smell for the first week, but it takes off any stains and gives a nice shine. Since it dries quickly it won't damage the wood like water.

By crystal

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I used Orange Glo for years and eventually had a mess of a build-up. Today I tried Sam's Club floor stripper and it worked beautifully.

By mrh

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. You just spray it on and use a swiffer-like Bona mop with a microfiber cloth to clean the floors. It is environmentally friendly too.


Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I own a house cleaning business and have tried A LOT of different cleaners, most of them either leave a dull finish, streaks, or once you step on the floor leave foot prints. Whet I love to use it's the Floor-mate, it's a machine to safety clean your floors and it dried them too, you are supposed to use the provided solution but I just use REALLY hot water and it leaves the floors really clean and no residue behind. If you don't want to buy the machine, you can also just use HOT water and a mop, and work on a small area and then dry it with a terry cloth mop, and some elbow grease the first time, and it'll leave your floors looking really good. You can also use some water to lightly spray in the stains and by the time you get to them, they'll come right off, I finish off the floors either with a swiffer cloth to pick up any hairs or a dry terry cloth mop. I know hey say that water damages your floors but I've used this for years and I've never had a single problem. Of course it just depends the amount of water you use, don't go and dump the whole bucket.

By Polly's Cleaning

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We built our home two years ago with hardwood floors, pre-treated wood. We've always used Eureka's Deluxe Enviro Steamer for hardfloor surfaces. I LOVE IT! It used NO chemicals, NO floor cleaner, just water....which it heats...very very hot. And actually steams cleans everything off the floor. In fact, it sanitizes the floor. It never dulled my floor. So, much to my dismay, it broke. I substituted with Orange Glo, and what a disappointment! My floors are horrible! There is a terrible hazy film that just wont come off! Today I am trying the vinegar and water to see if it will help....luckily my steamer is back to work, and I will never use any thing else again! I'll let you know how the vinegar and water turns out. Wish me luck!

By Melanie

Cleaning Hardwood Floors


By John

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hello everyone, I am so happy to see that I'm not the only person who has wrecked my new hardwood floors with commercial cleaners. Mine have had paw prints and kid prints on them since a week after we moved into our new dream home. I have used EVERYTHING including vinegar and hot water as well as the steam cleaner. After visiting this site, I figured I would combine advice that was posted, and the results are BEAUTIFUL!! I have the hardwood floors that I had installed 6 months ago!! I was scared to death to use a stripper, and know that ammonia works to do that job. So I used Windex. I sprayed it on the floor and used a swiffer max to spread it. After which I got on my hands and knees with a towel and hand dried it. I could feel a sticky substance on the floors as I did this. Afterward, the floor looked VERY DULL, but the streaks and paw prints were GONE. I did this a second time and felt little flakes coming off. I was in a panic thinking I was going to have to refinish my floors, but after drying it with the towel a second time, my original floor was beginning to gleam underneath! I guess I had to remove the layers of crap that have made my floor look soooooo bad. I finished it off with my Shark steam pocket, and whoa, put your sunglasses on. It's my gleaming wood floors again!! I have learned one thing. My master bedroom has hardwood floors that I have only swiffered all this time, and they still look brand new. I guess when it comes to wood, Less is Best! No more commercial cleanings for me. Hope this helps someone. Good Luck!

By cleanqueen

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have also ruined (I hope temporarily) my polyurethaned hardwood floors with Orange Glo. I bought an Orange Glo kit that included both a cleaner and the refinisher, but when I just now read the labels, one of them says, in small print, to never use it with the other. In short, they make two hardwood floor products that should never be used on the same floor, and they package them with their mop in a starter kit. Nice. My kitchen, living room, dining area, and dining room are a streaky mess. It's going to take forever to fix this by myself. I'd like to sue Orange Glo. I tried a vinegar solution, and I tried hot water. If I scrub and scrub with a cloth, the waxy stuff comes up and the floor is OK underneath, but it took me 15 minutes (and hurt my fingers) to do a teeny spot. If someone finds a machine or cleaner that will take this goo all off at once, please let me know!

By Cathy

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I was so glad to find this website. I have new hardwood floors & ruined the with OrangeGlo. I tried the cleaner the manufacturer suggested but it hasn't helped. The floor is cloudy, spotted and awful. I tried cleaning a small area with the vinegar solution and it seems to work.

By Joan Stewart

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

My entire house is wood or tile floors. I sponge damp mop or swiffer damp mop the tile first and when the mop is almost dry, then I run it over the hardwoods - picks up all remaining dust and shoe prints, scuff marks etc. For final shine, I use paint thinner! (it's what was used when floors were installed and cleaned) I put cut up old t-shirts around the swiffer head - keep the paint thinner in a spray bottle and lightly spray the t-shirt - your wood floors will shine. It also removes anything sticky and leaves the most incredible shine!! Then just toss the t-shirt ! The odor does not linger. DO NOT use ORANGE GLO or Murphy's Oil on your wood.

By kjreynolds


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