Cleaning Hardwood Floors


How do I clean hardwood floors?

Tori from Kalamazoo., MI

Answers:

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hi. I had a professional cleaning service for several years and the best I came up with was hot water with vinegar every week. Once a month lemon oil. This keeps the floors looking shiny, but it also keeps it from drying out, and cracking. (01/16/2008)

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By denise w

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Use equal parts of Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol, and warm water
Apply with a soft cloth. It will dry streak free.
(01/16/2008)

By Sandy

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I was happy using the 'spray' bottle of Orange Glo, never had a dull film, but then the Walmart where I usually buy it was out and they had a bottle of Orange Glo which wasn't a spray but the directions showed that the application to the floor was the same as the spray. Well now my floors have a horrible film. After reading many of these posts I tried a non-Ammonia based window cleaner "Holy Cow" on a small area of floor and it seemed to work. It appears to have removed the film and brought back the shine. Does any one know what type of chemicals are in the "Holy Cow" glass cleaner so I can buy it in a larger volume so I can apply it by mop rather than on my hand and knees with a spray bottle? (01/28/2008)

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By Seabrook

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I tried everything even the Harris-taekett same brand as my hardwood floor. Nothing works as well as vinegar mixed with water. Wring out a terry rag wrap around mop and Go. It's AWESOME. (01/31/2008)

By corcione

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

DO NOT USE ORANGE GLO---it will definitely ruin your floor and the "researcher" that posted a comment above stating to use orange glo obviously must work for orange glo because orange glo should be taken off the market!

I have new sealed shiny floors. I used orange glo and the ONLY thing that removed the grimy build up was vinegar and water and some ammonia! HOT water and vinegar. It cannot ruin your floor so I don't understand why some are against it. First off, you must not be mixing the proper solution. Too much of anything is no good and thinking that, a once over will fix your problem.

I do use Murphy's Oil. I am very picky and I find that if I dilute it, the floors come out extremely clean. NO buildup just very clean and won't show footprints. Periodically I love to use a diluted mixture of Mop N Glo Hardwood Cleaner. It smells great and it does it without residue. Remember, dilute every commercial product. I will try Bruce's One Step out of curiosity but I would only use it every 3-4 months. I stick with Murphy's for safe weekly cleanings and vinegar solution once a year. If Murphy's doesn't work for you then you are using too much of it. It does work and cleans perfectly and we walk barefoot year round and never a footprint to be seen. Mop N Glo for hardwoods is hard to find but it's the only thing that shines without leaving a residue or footmarks. Remember to keep refilling your bucket with HOT water and dilute commercial products no matter what the instructions are. I am also a fan of the lemon oil. (02/06/2008)

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By Miranda

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

You can use nail polish remover to get out a permanent marker or other scuffs without ruining the Laminate Hardwood floors (02/12/2008)

By Carrie

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I feel like people may be giving feedback for polyurethaned floors and other finishes like penetrating waxed floors. From what I understand Poly finishes need to be cared for totally different from other finishes. I see many who respond that do have Poly floors but then I see someone respond that a certain approach does not work for them but it sounds like they also may have a different type of finish. It has made it confusing for me too.


I am not a chemist or scientist so I can't speak to acidity concerns but I do know that many products we use to do everyday cleaning and cooking have properties that could be deemed counterproductive but they seem to work. I am going to try all the more homemade versions mentioned here but including dish soap and Windex.


There are only two important things to me.
1. That something WORKS to remove the smears (Orange Glow, Murphy Soap or whatever the cleaning crew put on my nice polyurethaned floors) and restore the natural shine that poly gives.

2. And...That whatever I use will not prevent me from being able to eventually put another coat of poly on my floors when they get worn a few years from now. Too many of the products I hear mentioned put a shine on the floor (Mop and Glo etc.) In order for that to happen it seems like it has to leave something on the Poly that I don't want. Silicone is death to coatings adhering to anything and yet many so called polishes for wood have it.


It seems a crime that these so called helps can create such a mess. So for me it's anything water based and diluted. NO oil or coating that shines.


That's what I am going to try in small spaces. I am going to try them all but no commercial shine product for me. I don't trust them and I will never let anyone clean my home with anything but a diluted water based cleaner again. I know certain things like Polycare are just that, a water based cleaner to clean the floor and let the shine come through. That's why we use Poly on floors. It comes with its own shine. For me if that shine is gone on a poly floor that is clean and not smudged, it is time to put a new coat of Poly on.


Like my cleaning crew, many try to falsely make the floor shine and now I like many, are in the mess we are in. Don't let anyone tell you what to put on a Poly floor unless they know what works in total for Poly floors. It still amazes me that I specifically told the cleaning crew no oily anything, just slightly damp mop with water or highly diluted solution, and yet they still thought they knew how to make a floor shine. Not a poly floor though, not my floor, and obviously not many of you and your floors (Sorry, it still aggravates me). Anyway, headed to try these solutions. (02/18/2008)

By Larry

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

ORANGE GLO ruined my beautiful hardwood floors. I put Orange Glo on my floors at Christmas since I was having company for the holidays and ever since my floors have been a mess. My floors have lots of dull streaks of Orange Glo build up. I have cleaned and re cleaned, scrubbed with hands, fingernails, scrubbing pads, vinegar etc etc etc. Yes - I think with a lot of hard work I will be able to get the dull Orange Glo (contradiction in terms - no?) finish off my floors out with a product called Zep Hardwood Floor cleaner from Home Depot, but it's going to take a day of focused effort and probably at least two gallons of the stuff. Lesson learned: don't use Orange Glo. Orange Glo should be taken off the market, just as so many others have said. (02/24/2008)


By Susi

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Guys, you really need to invest in an iRobot. Life is so much easier, and my wood floors look like they were just installed. Thank goodness I was starting to give up hope. If you want to ask me questions, email: chazee1 AT hotmail.com (03/01/2008)

By Trisha

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Holloway House products are great. I have used them for 5 years and have been very happy with the results. (03/08/2008)

By Sue

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Hi. I can also attest to the fact that Orange Glo is horrible for your floor. We just installed beautiful hardwood cherry in a huge room only to look at the dull film left by orange glo. I am so disgusted. I am going to try the vinegar water rubbing alcohol mixture and see how that works. Remember no Orange Glo! (03/20/2008)

By Toni

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Do not use Orange Glo! I've been using swiffer wet jet hardwood floor solution for two years and it always left my floors beautiful. My husband used Orange Glo with the wet jet and ruined them. I'm going to try all of your suggestions and will let you know! (03/27/2008)

By jp

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

4/12/08. I have just tried the 1/2 cup of vinegar and a gallon of hot water. I damped a mop with this, then towel dried. I then used Endust. So far, so good. My question is: Will the vinegar eventually eat away the flooring's finish? We are so frustrated with virtually every product. They all seem to streak, etc. (04/12/2008)

By flash343

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Use hot water, vinegar, and a little dish soap. (04/18/2008)

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have Brazilian hardwood floors in the house we purchased two years ago. I bought the Orange Glo Hardwood floor kit and now have a filmy, streaky mess on my hands. Since some of the above information is for laminate floors, I need help from people who specifically have hardwood floors. Please tell me how to remove the buildup from the awful Orange Glo hardwood floor products and how to get the shine back. The former owner used vinegar and water, but the floors were dull when we moved in. I tried vinegar and water to remove the buildup and only got a sticky mess and more milky film...Thanks in advance for any help. (05/01/2008)

By Gloria

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

The Orange-Glo Hardwood Cleaner & Polisher should be taken off the market. What the bottle describes as a one step cleaner, shiner, and polisher turns out to be a multi step mopping process to eliminate the film and cloudiness it leaves behind. I used this product and was distraught with how my beautiful hardwood floors appeared afterward. I just mopped again with hot water/vinegar mixture and it looks like that has cleaned up the mess the Orange Glo made. I have thrown the Orange Glo away and I hope others learn from the mistakes I and so many others have made. (05/03/2008)

By cillaw

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Our hardwood floor in the dining room has been covered by carpet with pad since the house was built in the 1950's. We're in the process of tearing out the carpet now to expose the wood. The carpet pad has "fused" with the wood in certain spots. Based on everyone's helpful comments, I decided to use 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and 1/2 part citrus alcohol to clean...and yes, the floor is VERY DIRTY! So far, it seems to really be doing the trick (I tested in on a 3ft square section of the floor). Additionally, I used that solution with brillo steel wool soap cleansing pads (10 for $1.00) to get up the goo'ed on carpet pad residue, going only in the direction of the wood. So far, so good. I don't think that I'd recommend the brillo portion to all, but for someone in our situation, it's an option that seems to work. After, I oiled the wood with Murphy's oil - being concerned with the drying effect of the alcohol. All in all - a very inexpensive option that seems to be working well. (05/15/2008)

By Phyllis

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I wished I had read this blog before I bought and used Orange Glo. I spent half of Memorial Day weekend cleaning up the mess that Orange Glo left of my hardwood floors. I agree that this stuff needs to be taken off the market. Luckily a friend told me about Bruce Hardwood Cleaner and it does a wonderful job. (05/25/2008)

By Becky

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have Ebony Polyurethaned hardwood floors that I've always cleaned with Home Depot ZEP hardwood cleaner. It always left the floor shiny, streak-free and beautiful. My housekeeper, for some reason, used Orange Mop & Glo. It left a horrible film over my floors. I'm going to try the water/vinegar combo and see how that works. If that works, I'll make sure she goes back to using the ZEP. Never had a problem with any of their products. If you have stainless steel appliances, try their stainless steel cleaner. Best thing on the market. I just spray it on a dry paper towel or cloth and wipe the surface with it. Wish me luck with my floors.
(05/28/2008)

By UURRRR

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Someone suggested toothpaste to wipe away the white smears.
Well, I just tried some Colgate on my dark chocolate hardwood and it eliminated wonders for the white streaks I have on my floor. Recommended for spot treatment as it is time consuming to rub in the toothpaste, wipe with a damp cloth, then dry with soft cloth. But it works! (06/01/2008)

By Darkwood

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

2 tea bags per gallon of warm water. The tannins in the tea (I use Tetly) clean the floor and bring them out lovely. :)

Or Murphy's Oil Soap - use about a shot (an ounce) per small bucket of warm water. Or warm water and vinegar, it's simple, easy, cheap and safer for the environment.

(b)Editor's Note:(/b) Don't use Murphy's on sealed wood floors, it will cloud them. (06/12/2008)

By Laura

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

My installer of my hardwood told me to use Windex. Put one to two capfuls of Windex into a bucket of warm water and make sure the mop head is rung out real well (only damp) and you don't need to rinse or anything. Works awesome, costs little and I always have Windex on hand. It attracts dust well. Windex is also good for spraying on roses to get rid of aphids. (06/25/2008)

By Brandi O.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Orange Glo is the worst product ever. I bought it since it says it is specifically for cleaning and polishing hardwood floors. I was cleaning my whole house the other day, including my ceramic tile in my bathrooms. After the floors dried, I had a gummy, chalky looking, grimy feeling film all over my beautiful one-year old oak floors. I was afraid that I had picked up the wrong mop and used Tilex on my wood floors. Well, lo and behold, I find this blog and find out that Orange Glo is the culprit. I mixed up 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 gallon of hot water and I am now in the process of stripping that stuff off my floors. I am having to do this on my hands and knees with a 4 year old and a 6 month old here. It is, needless to say, not fun. NEVER BUY ORANGE GLO! They should be sued. (07/09/2008)

By Renea

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Found good advice on this blog. After using Orange Glo hardwood cleaner several times and being thoroughly disgusted with the results, I read this blog and tried the vinegar and water solution. It removed the oily film left behind by Orange Glo and cleaned my floors great. After mopping with the v/w solution, I used the hardwood cleaner by Bona. It was suggested to me by my local flooring supplier and mentioned on this blog. The results were great. Finally, no footprints or oily buildup to deal with. I may just use the v/w solution routinely and the Bona cleaner periodically. Either way, they both worked great. (07/13/2008)

By Tracy

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Add me to the list who have ruined their nice shiny finish with Orange Glo. I tried the vinegar and water method this morning and it helped, but the floors still didn't look great. I then tried the Windex this afternoon, and they look a bit better. I guess it will take a few scrubbings to clean off that film (I only used the orange glo once). I wonder after reading all of these negative reports about orange glo, why it is still on the market? (07/21/2008)

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

My contractor's "clean up" person somehow caused the same cloudy, dirty looking, film on our brand sparking new Brazilian Cherry Engineered floors (1400 sq ft worth). Although she used only water and a damp mop, I think the old mop bucket she used had residuals from other chemicals in it. Anyway, I have researched this a lot and have contacted several local flooring people in the area. They all have said DO NOT use ANYTHING except floor cleaners specifically made for your type of floor. Especially do not use Orange Glo (as we all know by now), Vinegar, Murphy's, or Windex. Most recommended BonaKemi or just Bona as the fix to these cloudy floors. I was told it will take some elbow grease but the film can be removed. Most engineered floors have Aluminum Oxide mixed in the poly and I was told that this finish is very difficult to ruin. Believe me folks, I am as sick as anybody about my floors. I will let you know how the Bona works. Good luck to us all! (07/22/2008)

By D.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

After using an oil soap on my hardwood floors, it left an oily residue. Do I need to clean it with something else BEFORE using the swiffer wet jet solution for hard wood floors? Will just using the swiffer remove the residue? Thanks. (07/22/2008)

By regina

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have come to the conclusion, as we all should, that there is no one "recipe" for cleaning your dirty, cloudy, filmy floors. I have read every post and what works for one, doesn't for another. I am also amazed at how many flooring experts gave contradicting opinions. Just try a little of everything and what finally works for you, then you continue to use it. (07/23/2008)

By D.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We have birch floors in our new home (2 yrs.) with a "penetrating seal" finish as opposed to the shiny, glossy poly finish. They have a beautiful sheen finish, a sort of soft lustre, not a really shiny finish. It doesn't show footprints and marks to any great extent. We have 3 dogs to add to the mix. I vacuum weekly with the floor attachment and then use the dry Swiffer. I also use the dry Swiffer in between vacuuming. Every 2-3 months I use a mild vinegar and water solution (hands and knees, unfortunately) with a damp rag and then dry and buff with a microfiber cloth. I trusted the installer of the product to know what is best for the type of finish he put on and my floors look great with relatively little effort or expense. There are so many different types of wood floors and finishes it seems to me the "finishing" person would know best what to use. I have been a little confused by people who chose to ignore those suggestions, assuming, of course, the floor person was a real professional.

All the feedback on this site has just made me so grateful to not have tried any of the commercial products for my floor. This is a great site and I want to say thank you to all who have posted your experiences. (08/09/2008)

By Peggy B

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We just moved into a new home with beautiful hardwood floors. I used orange glow to clean the floor and it made such a mess, I was beside myself. I had family coming home for dinner that very evening. My brother in law checked this web site and told me to try Windex and water. That worked fine, but I had to mop it about ten times. I am still looking for a way to get footprints off and keep them off. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. (08/13/2008)

By ak

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have had my hardwood floors for about 3 years and the best thing I ever bought was the Starfiber dust mop and microfiber pads. I use the dust mop and I will never use a regular broom on my floor again. It picks up hair, dust and I just sweep all of the other stuff into a corner and pick it up with a broom and dust pan. I have been using the Bona hardwood floor cleaner and it does a good job and leaves my floors shiny. Before I do that I just wet one of the microfiber pads and just pick up any dirt left behind. I have 3 kids and you would never know. Hope this helps. (08/15/2008)

By Veronica

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I used the Orange Glo Hardwood Cleaner & Polish, and my floors are cloudy, showing foot/paw prints too. I tried the vinegar & water to no avail and wanted to try the Bona X, but what scares me is that if you look on the bottom right of the Orange Glo bottle, it says (in small letters) from Bona X?! Anyone used Bona X to remedy the film from Orange Glo? I have a Bruce floor that is called Mocha, so it is very dark. I'm wishing that we would've chosen a lighter floor! Thanks, Lynda (08/16/2008)

By Lynda

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I too am living the Orange Glo nightmare but after reading all the posts here I have decided try a few of the suggestions you have posted and have come up with something that I think is working quite well. I am seeing some results this way.

I have a bucket of soapy water, my regular dish detergent and an O-Cel-o no scratch scrub sponge. I am soaking the sponge and wringing it out. With the scrubber side of sponge I am scrubbing the floor, up and down and circular as well. I then take a wet towel and mop up the soap, finally spraying with the vinegar and water solution and towel drying. I can see a difference and I hope it works for you. (08/16/2008)

By Michele

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I just tried an old method my grandma used after the orange glo disaster I have and it seems to look better after one time! I made a pot of BLACK tea, added some lemon juice and ice. Let it cool and used a microfiber cloth to clean with the tea. I think it is working! (08/19/2008)

By cmb

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We have Brazilian cherry solid wood floors upstairs and I have used diluted MR Clean for the last two years to clean my floor, as recommended by my installer. Always a fresh scent, clean and shiny with no streaks. Spray it on and mop off with a terry cloth mop. My floors have no residue or cloudiness at all.

NOW... We just installed an Ecotimber Tigerwood floor in the basement and they recommend Bona X. Because the basement floor is an engineered hardwood (generic wood base with a solid wood wear layer), I tried it and was not super impressed. Seemed to be very streaky and hard to wipe out the smudges/footprints. For Bona users: do you "rinse" the floor with a wet mop after spraying on the cleaner? The bottle says "rinse mop pad often", but no other instruction other than "clean". Website not much more informative. I don't want to wreck my obnoxiously expensive floor but I want it to look and feel clean. (08/22/2008)

By chris

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

After reading many of these posts to see if there was a recommended hardwood cleaner, it is apparent that many people do not realize that the "finish" on your floor makes the biggest difference in what you should clean it with. For those of you who have used Orange Glo or similar products...the reason that it left such a mess is that it has petroleum or oils in it and you are cleaning polyurethane which is plastic (It does not penetrate and just lays on top in a big oily mess). I imagine that you would have a different result on an oil finished floor.

My floors are 3 year old solid american cherry wood polyurethane finished, and I have used nothing but water on them, applied with a damp (not wet) "StarFiber Mop". Today I am going to try a little mild dish soap and vinegar in my mop water because I have a few extra dirty spots. We will see how this works, if I have any filming or streaking I am back to plain water. If you use plain water it also helps to eliminate streaking if you work in small sections and dry the floor with a soft towel as you go. Good Luck to all of you. (08/23/2008)

By Debbie

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I'm so glad I read the posts about OrangeGlo. Fortunately I used it just once, and it left a sticky mess. Today I cleaned with hot water and vinegar and the floor is clean again. Not as shiny as when it was new, but not sticky and streaky. I noticed that my supermarket has quit selling the OrangeGlo products. Maybe they had a lot of complaints. (09/05/2008)

By Jeanne

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

(submitted via email)

I too put orange glo on my pre finished hardwood floors and they looked great until I tried to damp mop them and then I had a big white mess. It took me days with water and vinegar to get rid of it. Now I just lightly spray my floors with vinegar and use a soft cotton mop to wipe off. They look amazing.
B. Antal (09/05/2008)

By jess_admin

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Get a 1/2 cup of white vinegar and mix it with 1 gallon of Hot water. I used a string type mop that could be easily rung out. Doing small areas at a time, mop floor with vinegar/water mix being sure to cover all surfaces. Next get the biggest lint free beach towel you have and dry excess water from floor. What is left is a very clean floor. Continue doing small areas, drying as you go to prevent water spotting. (09/08/2008)

By Tim H.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

(submitted via email)
Try using a magic eraser. Get down on your hands and knees and scrub with the grain.
Artie (09/12/2008)

By jess_admin

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I used orange glo and it left my floors sticky and cloudy, showing foot paw prints too. Orange glo ruined my beautiful chocolate floor. I HATE it. At the end of the day I tried hot water, and Windex with vinegar. Let me tell you, I am so happy. My floor looks amazing! (10/17/2008)

By America#1

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I read though all the posts and am also a victim of Orange Glo. I have engineered Brazilian Cherry Floors that went from beautiful to this milky cloudy hazy mess. After much reading, I decided to try the Windex. I sprayed original full strength Windex on a small section (2 feet by 3 feet) and waited a full minute. I could see the film lifting! I used one shop paper towel per "swipe" and it works. My floor is streak free, film free and cloudy free. Some areas I had to spray twice but it was worth it. It took me a few hours to do each room and I found the shop paper towels work best (vice the cheap paper towels I use in the kitchen) - but I threw out the orange glo and am using hot water and vinegar from now on. (10/19/2008)

By Sam

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I actually had a "cleaning" lady use Mop & Glo on my hardwood floors. Then I blindly believed a screaming man on TV sell me on OrangeGlo. What a disaster. My new cleaning lady is trying vinegar and hot water, but I'm sure it will take several cleanings to remove all the mess. I will try to come back after I see results and let you all know how my floors turn out. I am also going to try the Windex w/vinegar on my hands and knees this weekend...UGH I agree OrangeGlo should be removed from the market. (10/22/2008)

By Sabrina

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We have beautiful hardwood floors with a natural hewn finish. I use a dry microfiber cloth mop and I sweep with it often, every other day. If you don't have a built in vac I would highly recommend getting one because it will never scratch your floors since there are no wheels and no casters. I wash my floors weekly and use a little vinegar with water with my microfiber cloth and it works great. I love my floors and they are always shiny and beautiful. (11/02/2008)

By Jennifer

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I used the swiffer wood cleaner and it left a horrible dull film. So then I tried cold black tea on a soft cloth and it brought the shine back really well. It's hard work, but the result is worth it. (11/13/2008)

By Gill

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

What about the steam mops on hardwood floors? Are they safe? Do they work? I normally use vinegar and water. (11/15/2008)

By Amy

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

That steamer thing is horrible. I bought it at Sam's Club because I saw the infomercial and thought it would work. It was horrible. I used that orange glow which is really crappy, and now I have heard of this Bruce Duraluster. I hope that works, next option is carpet! (11/25/2008)

By Kim

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I use the orangle glo hardwood cleaner, the kit w/ the applicator and it worked great. My floors are oak in a Ca. 1950 house. The big difference as others have pointed out is the pre finished and or sealed floors. It leaves no film and really brightens up the floors. Good stuff. (12/18/2008)

By Ian

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I used Orange Glo on the original wood floors of my 1950's house and at first they look great, but now they are ruined! They are completely dull and feel gritty like all of the finish is gone. There isn't a visible film like others have reported, but they look stripped. What happened? I don't know if they were poly or waxed before. We were too dumb to find out--or know that there was a difference. Ahh... I am freaking out. The floors were gorgeous a couple weeks ago. Any ideas on bringing the shine back? (12/30/2008)

By Sarah

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I am so happy and thankful to the person that put the post up about using the Windex. I was freaking out and my boss as well. We had just used another chemical on the floor the day prior and then we used the orange glo. It started to look fine on the test area but after we did the entire office this filmy coating started to form and I tried everything including a Brillo pad to get it up. We had no idea that the orange glo was doing this until I googled it. I ran out and got the Windex and now it is coming up. Thank God because my boss was very upset and he tried to fix it himself with no success. Thank God for Windex and Vinegar and water. (01/02/2009)

By Danica J

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I spent over two hours reading every response and then researched the products myself. And, now I realize that cleaning hardwood flooring depends on the brand and what type of hardwood flooring you have.

The product that cleans Armstrong might not clean Pergo or Wilsonart. The product that cleans a hardwood laminate might damage an engineered hardwood or a solid hardwood. I strongly encourage everyone to find out what brand hardwood flooring and what type you have BEFORE you clean it.

I have Armstrong solid hardwood with a urethane finish. Like many others, I was a victim of Orange Glo, Mop 'n Glow, and Murphy's Oil Soap. I ended up with the cloudy residue on my hardwood floors. Even after I started using Armstrong Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner---specifically for un waxed urethane---the oily film remained. So I knew I had to do something to get rid of it. I reviewed all the recommended remedies and spent all day trying them out (except the black tea). Here's what worked for me:

I mixed 50/50 distilled vinegar and hot water, then sprayed it on the hardwood floor. I waited 2-3 minutes and then mopped it up with a terry cloth swivel head mop (I took about an hour break for lunch). Next I sprayed Windex (original formula) on the hardwood floor. I waited 2-3 minutes and then mopped it up with a terry cloth swivel head mop. This worked great! My hardwood flooring looks brand new---just like the day I moved in! Nice and clean, with a fantastic shine.

I probably could have mixed the hot water, vinegar and ammonia (Windex) together and done just one mop (like someone else recommended), but I didn't. I was just so happy that I didn't have to scrub on my hands and knees like so many others did. While I believed that would work, I just didn't have the time and energy.

I consider this a lesson learned. From now on I will only use Armstrong Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. If I need to touch up the shine, I'll use Armstrong Restore Hardwood Floor Finish.

I'll probably never understand why Orange Glo, Mop 'n Glow, and Murphy's Oil Soap caused the cloudy residue. I'm no hardwood flooring expert, nor am I a chemist. However, I can read and all the labels specifically stated that these products are not for hardwood flooring that is unfinished, unsealed or waxed. I wrongfully assumed that use with urethane-coated hardwood was okay. NOT!

I hope this is helpful information. Good luck to all of you! (01/02/2009)

By Kamadejo2009

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I too have had the same issues with OrangeGlo. The Windex seems to be doing the trick, but once I go back over the Windexed areas with a water/vinegar mix, the same haze returns to the wood. Any suggestions? Is it safe to use a Windex/water solution to mop wood floors weekly? Thanks. (01/03/2009)

By NW

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have hardwood floors so I wanted to try vinegar and water. That didn't work so I tried that all natural glass cleaner and that worked. (01/03/2009)

By MRZIMM

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I've been using something called Bruce, a spray in a plastic bottle, along with a cotton terry mop from Quickie. The mop that comes with the Bruce in a kit (I got mine from Lowe's) is useless. (01/05/2009)

By Anonymous

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I found a product called Thrust-out. You can get it online.
It's amazing! I use it on kitchen cabinets and it works like magic.
It says it's safe for pets and humans, but it works so well that I don't trust that. I have a cat and dog. I first use the Thrust-out, then go over it with the tea bag method just to make sure.
Good luck (01/14/2009)

By jane from S.F.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

What is the "tea bag method"? Thanks. (01/15/2009)

By Maryeileen

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I was ready to cry. My beautiful hardwood floors were, I thought, ruined for good. I used one of the squirt and mop products and it left a milky residue. My floors looked AWFUL! I tried cleaning with vinegar....first diluted with water and then STRAIGHT....to no avail. I finally got on the computer and came across this site. Next thing you know I'm on my hands and knees with the Windex and clean, soft towels. WOW! Amazing!! I can't express how ecstatic I am right now. My floors look beautiful again and I will NEVER use anything else to clean them. I'm staying away from all of those hardwood floor products...even Murphy's Oil Soap. Thanks to all who shared the Windex fix! (01/17/2009)

By Anita in Powell OH

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Windex works! I can't believe it! I have been so stressed out about my beautiful floors and their disgusting film. I can't believe the answer was so easy... or that it actually works. I googled around online before trying, and I did see some seemingly credible information from the "floor industry" that supported the use of glass cleaners like Windex and Glass Plus for polyurethane coated floors.


My understanding is that polyurethane is a plastic coating on a hardwood floor. You can think of it like glass. You are cleaning the "glass" surface, not the wood. Murphy's oil is for cleaning wood, not "glass" or glass-like plastic coatings.


Anyway, I had an Orange Glo residue. Tried Swifter Wet Jet, problem got worse. Tried Murphy's oil. Problem seemed better, for about an hour, then foot prints came back. Tried vinegar and water. No great results to report. Tried dish soap and water. Better but not great.


So you can see why I would actually even consider anything as crazy-sounding as Windex. But I had it on hand and it honestly works... really, really well. My 2.5 year old Mannington Floors look like new. What a happy ending (Yes, I am elated, this was really bothering me). You do have to get on hands-and-knees and really rub with a clean towel, just so you know. (01/17/2009)

By mgillesp

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I had the problem of dulling on my hardwood floors where it was high traffic. I found Bona, it is a hardwood floor refresher it works great and doesn't need to be done very often. I also found that sweeping the floor with a soft broom was still leaving scratches that you only see when the sunlight shines on it so I now use a swiffer mop with a soft towel and I pin it on, not letting the pin come through the bottom of the cloth. I spray the cloth with a duster spray made by fuller. I order it online. The Bona refresher I ordered by calling 1-800-949-0142 visit the web www.weloveyourfloors.com (01/25/2009)

By Faye

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I've been living with the horrible after effects of Orange Glo for 3 years now. It left a horrible murky film. I can't wait to try vinegar and Windex solutions this week. Thanks for these posts. (01/25/2009)

By tmh - dallas, tx

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I had the same "ruined" floors as a result of Orange Glo. I called the manufacturer (BR-111) and they told me to use TSP. We mixed it per the instructions on the bottle, sprayed it on the floors and used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser then wiped with a towel. Our floors now look just like they did the day they were installed. Call the manufacturer of your floors, they have heard it all. The customer service person answered so fast when I said Orange Glo, I actually laughed! (02/03/2009)

By LT

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