Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Some hardwood floors can easily get water damaged and the finishes can be stripped by harsh cleaners. It is important to know how to clean your hardwood floors to insure that they will continue to look beautiful for years to come. This is a guide about cleaning hardwood floors.

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Tip: Streak Free Hardwood Floors

By Justjenn 1

I moved into a house where I have real hardwood floors. My old house had laminate and I've tried everything a steam mop, a steam vacuum mop, the regular mop by hand method, and I always had streaky laminate floors. With the new house and hardwood, which is about 11 years old, I was determined to find a way to have streak free floors. I have tried many combinations of natural solutions different mops and always end up non-streak free but today I realize there's only one solution to the problem no matter what cleaning products you want to use.

The first step is to vacuum or sweep. Then fill a bucket 1/4 full, with;

  • warm water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3 drops "drops" of dish soap, drop the soap into still water to avoid suds

Next, using a mop start with a small section. Here's the trick, immediately throw an absorbent clean towel down and using the mop wipe the floor dry. Continue in sections. Remember you may have to get extra towels as they get too damp. The problem that we're having with the streaks is the water is drying in place and leaving a watermark, so if you wipe the excess water immediately ya got a beautiful shine.

shiny hardwood floor

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    Tip: Borax for Cleaning Floors

    By Irishwitch 390 18

    I have hardwood and tile floors. I tried everything to make them shine. One day I was in a hurry. I grabbed a bucket, put in about 1/2 cup of borax, filled it with hot water, and mopped all the floors. When they were dry, it looked like I waxed and buffed them! So simple and so cheap! No more Mop and Glo!

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Cleaning Wood Floors With Dog Prints

      By DeeAnn 1 1

      I clean for a couple that has wooden floors and 2 very large dogs that track in and out all day long. I only clean there once a week and the dirt from the dogs paws is bad. Everything I have tried makes the floor look as if I just smeared the dirt around. I do vacuum before mopping. What can I use to make this floor shine and make this couple happy?
      Thanks,
      DeeAnn
      in Illinois

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

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      Most Recent Answer

      By Frust8dclnr 2 1 Flag

      May 16, 2011

      From all that was stated, I wonder what you tried and did any of the following work for you and if so, what did the trick?

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Cleaning Wood Floors With Tea

      Try using tea to clean your wood floors. It works.

      By pittypatty

      Editor's Note: We are assuming this is non sweetened brewed black tea. Has anyone else tried this?

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Microfiber Cleaning System For Wood Floors

      By Debi Cat 3

      Has anyone tried the new swiffer-like microfiber cleaning system for wood floors that comes with a cleaner and upkeep liquids? It runs about $15. We have an older wood floor with some dark spots that were under a carpet we removed and has some scratches. I have used the swiffer wet pads on the wood floors and it leaves them sticky.

      I have cats, so frequent hair removal is a must, and they like to throw up on the floor. I dry mop (sweep) a couple times a week and wet mop every 2 weeks or spot clean the pet presents.

      Thanks!
      Debi from Youngstown, OH

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      Most Recent Answer

      By guest (Guest Post) Flag

      April 5, 2008

      How do you get scuff marks off hardwood floors? I have heard using a dry clean tennis ball?

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Removing Red Candle Wax Stain on Hardwood Floor

      Red wax stains on wood floor.After removing the wax from the floor, there is a red stain left behind. I have tried numerous products that were recommended on this site, but none of them work.

      By Rich L.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By Michael N. 1 Flag

      February 11, 2014

      Use a magic eraser from Mr. Clean. It's the only thing that works. You have to scrub very hard for awhile but it will take it up.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Cleaning Unsealed Wooden Floors

      By Rebecca B. 2

      My house has unsealed wooden floors that were sanded and oiled around 15 years ago. They need a spruce up. Does anyone know of a surface application of something that won't damage the timber or does it look like another sand and oil?

      By Rebecca B.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By maxsavickas 1 Flag

      November 30, 2013

      I am surprised you haven't slipped and fallen on some of your slippery choices.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

      By Miss Diezella 1 1

      Regarding someone's question on 8/22 on cleaning polyurethaned hardwood floors. I'm also looking for cleaning info. I have already found out not to use Murphy's Oil Soap (or any products with oil), water, soaps, sprays (like Liquid Gold), and vinegar. Bona appears to be a leading cleaner, but has a wide range of satisfaction reviews.

      Has anyone tried a mild solution of Windex and water? When I had the floors sanded (about 20 years ago), I vaguely remember the contractor mentioning Windex. Thanks for your response.

      By Miss Diezella from Washington, DC

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By mydogevie 3 Flag

      September 24, 2013

      Windex has ammonia so I'd probably steer clear. Bona so far has worked the best and I've tried all.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors With Murphy's Oil Soap

      To clean my hardwood floors, can I use Murphy's Oil Soap straight (without adding water)? I love the smell and cleaning with it.

      By Steph

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By Nancy B. 1 Flag

      June 24, 2015

      I've used this before. I love the smell, it looks very clean. I get on my hands and knees and clean in sections. I just don't know how to get my floor to shine. My floor has never shined. I was told that some wood floors just don't shine it's the kind of wood it is.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Question: Cleaning Wood Floors

      By heather 1

      What is the best way to clean wood floors?

      By Heather K.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


      Most Recent Answer

      By Noella 11 381 Flag

      July 2, 2011

      I have oldstyle wood floors and when I want to clean them really well, I use a bucket full of warm water, a little dish detergent and a couple of squirts of baby oil. Seems to work great!

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


      Tip: Dusting Hardwood Floors

      If you have hardwood floors and dogs, it is difficult to contain all the dust and dog hair, so what I do is take a dust sweeper (less than $3.00 vs. the disposable brand names) and open a window and have a fan blowing out. Then when I get a decent amount of dust/dog hair, I stick it out the window and shake. This prevents dust from being pushed around. It takes a steady hand but you can guarantee the dust is out of your home!

      Shannon

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      Tip: Flannel Swiffer Squares with Endust

      By hopeful 27 135

      I watch garage sales and the Goodwill (last chance store) for really cheap flannel king size sheets. I cut them into Swiffer squares. When I use them, I spray with Endust first. I "never" throw them in the washer -- yuck, so I toss them out after using.

      Endust is the "only" spray furniture polish you should ever use on a floor. Any other furniture polish is slick as ice! I mean it! Very dangerous. Not so with Endust. You can use it on a floor very safely.

      I really like my Swiffer mop. Easy, fast, Bam!

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors After Removing Carpeting

        By MizAyo 2

        My question is about cleaning wood floors after carpeting is removed. We don't have the funds for a professional to do it, so how do I clean and prep wood floors after the carpeting has been removed from 2 rooms in the house?

        By MizAyo from Chicago, IL

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By susan 33 441 Flag

        August 29, 2011

        Do as Chloelizabeth says but if there are faded or discolored use some Old English on it, this will make it blend in. Good luck, wood floors are so beautiful!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


        Question: How Do I Get the Streaks Out of My Hardwood Floor?

        I just had hardwood floor installed, we cleaned it with a Shark steam cleaner. It looked good, but due to so much dust, etc. I decided to apply Quick Shine by Holloway House. It left streaks! Now how do I get that off; or how do I get my floor to look nice and even with no streaks?

        By Marlana

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By ann 36 40 Flag

        September 5, 2012

        I have a shark steam cleaner that I use on my ceramic tile floors, but never on my hardwood floors. I strongly advise you not to use a shark steam cleaner on hardwood floors. I believe there is even a warning on the instructions not to use it on hardwood because the water from the steam will go into the cracks of your hardwood and eventually it will discolour them and warp the boards.

        Either fill an empty (fine) spray bottle with a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar to 4 cups water, or go to a trusted hardware store and ask the salesperson for a hardwood cleaning solution in a spray bottle. Use a wide soft mop and follow the directions on the bottle. Use the spray sparingly, damp mop (not wet) following the grain of the wood, and buff any dampness off your floor until it is dry.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


        Question: Where Can I Find a Terrycloth Mop For Hardwood Floors?

        I am looking for a terry cloth mop for use with Bellawood hardwood floor cleaner.

        Mark

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        Most Recent Answer

        By Kathy 27 25 Flag

        June 5, 2010

        I have a double sized 'Swiffer' type mop, and got tired of buying the pads for it, so I went to the Dollar store and bought microfiber towels, and use those for cleaning my wood floors with a spray on cleaner. I stretch them tight and push them into the holes on the top of the mop, and they fit and stay on perfectly. The microfiber leaves no lint and minimal streaking, I can rinse them while cleaning or remove them and put another one on when it gets dirty, and they wash up perfectly in the laundry!

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes


        Question: Hardwood Floors Streaky After Cleaning

        After cleaning,the floor is streaky. We've tried several products without any improvement. Before buying another piece of equipment, we need some direction.

        By Jeanne

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By simplystephanie 1 2 Flag

        December 28, 2013

        Try this!

        Dry-mop or vacuum floor

        This gets rid of all surface dirt and debris.

        Mop floor, going with the grain

        If your floors are polyurethaned, dampen a mop with water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Be sure to ring out the mop thoroughly before using it on the floor. Run the mop back and forth, going with the grain of the wood in smooth strokes.

        Tip: If your floors are lacquered or shellacked, dont use water, which can stain the wood and cause buckling.

        Buff floor with a cloth

        To lift soapy residue after mopping and make your floor shine, hold a soft cloth in your hand and use it to rub the floor gently in a circular motion. Still not sparkling? Use a wood-floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer.

        Tip: Cloth diapers work well for buffing, because theyre very soft and absorbent.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Removing Top Job Residue from Hardwood Floors

        I used Top job on hardwood floors and it has a coating that will not come off. Could you please tell me how to get this off?

        By Becky from Burnsville, NC

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By Kim Marie Davis P. 1 1 Flag

        December 4, 2014

        I have had my own cleaning business for 14 years, and have tried many floor cleaners...with that said, I will share my experience and opinion. I am afraid that the use of Top Job cleaner may have etched your floors. (Leaving a cloudy appearance ). Using ammonia is risky and I do not recommend it. If this is the case, the only option to "fix" your floors is to re sand. If they are laminate... consider replacement.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Removing Waxy Buildup on Glossy Hardwood Floors

        By Glenda M. 1

        Can you please tell me how to remove the residue from my Santos mahogany high gloss hardwood floors? With using Bona, Minwax, and several other products such as Murphy's wood cleaner, there is a dull film that I have been trying to remove for months. It's to the point where I can hardly stand to look at the floors anymore and was thinking about taking them up completely. Please send me an SOS on how to save my floor. Thank you sincerely for your reply.

        By Glenda

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By Sharon F. 1 Flag

        September 15, 2014

        We have dark mahogany floors that were factory finished. Anything other than water with a few drops per quart of dishwashing liquid leaves a sticky film that attracts dirt. We are actually having these floors refinished, because they are always dirty looking, no matter how clean you keep them. Wish I had better news.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Unfinished Hardwood Floors

        By kfulcher 1

        What can I use to clean hardwood floors that are unfinished? The floors were finished at one time (years ago), but now they are dirty and very dull. I'm fixing up an old house, but I've got to clean these floors first!

        By rach

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By Irene Saltsgaver 12 Flag

        May 7, 2013

        You might try white vinegar and water mixed 1/2 & 1/2 and wipe it up quickly.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

        How do I get grime off a wood floor around the cabinet edges? I have a wood floor in my kitchen.

        By Pat O.

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By ofarrellsaus 8 Flag

        April 25, 2012

        Degreaser, WD40, apply to rag, rub briskly and it should come off.

        Also try white vinegar, should work a treat.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors Without Leaving Streaks

        By ALEX A 1

        What household cleaners would clean hardwood floor without leaving a haze or film behind?

        By Alex A from KS

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By Andrea 1 10 Flag

        April 28, 2010

        If you have solid hardwood floors vs laminate, then use strong brewed tea. I had the same problem. Anything commercial left my floors with a film and sometimes tacky. I looked all over the internet and discovered this method. Seems that this is an idea from the "old days". Make very strong brewed tea and use it to clean your floors. No film and not tacky.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Buildup Off Hardwood Floors

        By Kahlbrand 1

        How do I clean the buildup on my hardwood floors?

        By Kahlbrand

        AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


        Most Recent Answer

        By Chuck 2 16 Flag

        March 27, 2010

        I have had beautiful hardwood floors and always used small amounts of ammonia in the mop water every time I mopped. After getting them down to the real wood, I would wax, and start small amounts of ammonia mop water again to slowly strip off. They always shined great and never built up again.

        ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

        Question: Cleaning Bellawood Floors

        By Allisun 1

        Can I spray salt and water from a sprayer bottle on my Bellawood floor to clean it? I have a reason for the salt.

          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

          Question: Removing Quick Shine from Hardwood Floors

          By kelly.bessey 1

          My floors were looking dull so I applied Quick Shine to them. They looked great at first. My son decided to surprise me while I was out of town and applied 5 coats of Quick Shine to "restore them". They were left with streaks. I've tried everything I can think to of to remove this product from my floors including a Shark steamer, floor scrubbers, Windex, vinegar and water and nothing has worked. My husband has even gotten on his hands and knees to no avail. You can see spots where the solution is gone and patches where it remains. At this point I'm wondering if my only hope is sanding them down and re-staining them.

            AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

            Tip: Use Wet and Dry Mop for Floors

            By Annissa A. 1

            I worked for a cleaning company and we always had those floors. We used a flat mop by O-Cedar and just water. Go over it with a wet one (not soaked), then a dry one in small sections. The best way though is unfortunately on your hands and knees. Same wet then dry, but it looks amazing when you're done.

              CommentWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Ink Stain On Hardwood Flooring

              My grandson has trodden on a pen on oak flooring. How can I get the stain removed?

              By Ann from Sussex U. K

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Removing Furniture Polish from Wood Floors

              My housecleaners used my Bona furniture polish to clean my wood floors. Now we are slip sliding all over the place! You should see our poor dog. What do I do to fix it?

              By Moshelle

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Cleaner Leaving Streaks on Hardwood Floor

              I have been using Bonaparte on my wood floors, but there are many streaks and smudges. What can I do?

              By Rose

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

              By Sheila 65 55

              We have a beautiful hardwood floor in our hallway and kitchen. Does anyone have a good product they use to clean them? Or a natural product will do too. I just moved here and I want to keep the floors beautiful and shiny. Thank you

              By Sheila from Ontario

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Tip: Cleaning Oiled Wood Floors

              By Tina K 1 3

              I have 105 year old heartpine floors. I use WOCA natural soap to clean them. They have also come out with a refresher that has more oil in it. If your floors aren't horrible, clean them well and try the refresher on a small section. We sanded and oiled our floors six years ago after removing about five layers of linoleum. I used WOCA oil. Haven't had to re-oil yet.

                Source: Wocadirect.com

                CommentWas this helpful? Yes

                Question: Removing Black Scuff Marks on Hardwood Flooring

                After a couple friends came over, in the areas where shoes were worn, there were black scuff marks and slight indentations on the hardwood floor. Please help ASAP.

                By Josh

                AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                Question: Oreck Steam Mop Left White Mark on Wood Floor

                I've been using my Oreck mop for quite sometime now and yesterday I found gum on my wooden floor. I used my Oreck to get it up and it just wouldn't come up. So I placed the Oreck on the gum so that maybe the steam would break it up and all it did was leave a white mark on the floor. Any ideas?

                By Ron F.

                AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                Question: Dark Stain on Hardwood Floor

                What can you do when a Swiffer Mop is left on your wooden floor and has left a dark stain? It hasn't been treated with a polyurethane coat since it was sanded down 7 or more years ago.

                By Kathy

                AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                What is the best way to clean hardwood floors? I have found that with cleaners like the Swiffer wetjet or Murphys oil soap and others leave a film and streaks whether I dry it with a cloth or let it dry naturally. I also tried to dilute the cleaners thinking I've used too much. Most of my main floor is hardwood and I miss the shine!

                Loni

                Answers:

                RE: Hardwood Floor Cleaner

                I am all about vinegar and water for wood floors also. I responded to a similar question but a hardwood floor company suggested 4 oz. to 1 gallon of water. And they are against commercial cleaning products.

                Shannon (06/11/2004)

                By sjk

                RE: Hardwood Floor Cleaner

                Have you tried 4 oz. to 1 gallon? That doesn't seem like enough. I used 1 cup to 1 gallon, and it didn't work too well. (12/14/2004)

                By Miranda

                RE: Hardwood Floor Cleaner

                I am curious to try this vinegar and water tip on the hardwood floors. I am helping my father prep up his rental apt. to rent out, and there is a lot of dust on the living room/dining room floors from the latest home improvement project. So, I am figuring that using this water/vinegar solution will clean up the dust residue and give the floors a nice shine. Wish me luck, and I will be writing to let you how well it comes out. (03/25/2005)

                By Patricia

                RE: Hardwood Floor Cleaner

                Use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water to clean hardwood floors. It's cheaper than the commercial cleaners and chemical-free! (06/21/2005)

                By Dianne

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                We recently had our hardwood floors re-sanded and polyurethane. The man who did our floors said only to clean them ONCE a year with vinegar and water. Other than that, simply sweep often and spot clean with plain water--anything else and you risk damaging the finish. (06/22/2005)

                By ght

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Vinegar smell is short lived. I clean with it daily. (09/07/2005)

                By Jennifer from CA

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have polyurethaned wood floors. Can't imagine not cleaning them every week, especially in the kitchen. Vinegar and water works fine and there is no smell! The vinegar smell dissipates after a few minutes--and it works well (09/21/2005)
                (09/07/2005)

                By KathleenLI

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have been trying for weeks to remove the cloudy look to my hardwood floors. I believe that murphy's oil soap is what put it there. I will NEVER use that again! It's driving me nuts trying to get that terrible dull coating off the floor. (09/22/2005)

                By Valerie

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use windex on my hard floors. They turn out really nice. (09/25/2005)

                By Joyce wis

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use a bucket of hot water and a little Murphy's Oil soap. Lemon oil works well too. (09/26/2005)

                By Tanya

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Use cheap shaving cream on your floors. Spray it on and then wipe it off. Gives the floor a nice shine. (09/26/2005)

                By sjackie2000

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Try cleaning your floors with armstrong dura-luster. It comes in a spray bottle and the floors look great. I have a problem finding it and at present, I'm all out. I tried min wax and I didn't like it at all, left my floor dull. The person that put my floors down said vinegar but I don't think it's as good as the cleaner and does not smell good either. (12/12/2005)

                By lizzy195

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                i just used the water and vinegar on my floors and i loved it. I used about 1/2 a cup to 2 gallons and did it throughout my house. (01/03/2006)

                By Dana

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use Bruce hardwood floor cleaner just spray it on and wipe off. The flooring company recommended only using this stuff you should never use water to clean hard wood floors. You can get the floor cleaner at Home Depot or try any company who sells hard wood floors. (01/25/2006)

                By Jeanette

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I tried the water and vinegar solution and it left a cloudy film on my hardwood floors. I'll never use it again. I only use cleaner recommended by the professionals. It's worth the money. (06/05/2006)

                By Kate

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I used vinegar on my floor, and it took the finish off. I will never use it again. (06/23/2006)

                By Gail

                Vinegar and Water

                My floors are polyurethaned. Since house construction I have only ever used vinegar and water (1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water). I damp mop the floors then dry them (on hands and knees) with a soft towel, essentially buffing them. I get lots of compliments! I do this about every 3 to 4 months. In between cleanings I just sweep with broom, then use the swiffer or pledge dusters to pick up any remaining dirt and for a shine. (10/25/2006)

                By CMW

                Archive: 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

                Answers:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

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

                By patg

                RE: 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

                RE: 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.

                By EC

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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.

                By NC

                RE: 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.

                www.pollyscleaning.com

                By Polly's Cleaning

                RE: 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

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                To everyone just tuning in DO NOT USE ORANGE GLO ON HARDWOODS - IT WILL RUIN THEM!!!!

                By John

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                RE: 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

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors


                What is the best thing to use to clean hardwood floors?

                Ramona from Pinckard, Alabama

                Answers:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I'll be another person to not recommend Murphy's Oil Soap. It leaves a dull scum on the surface. (06/28/2007)

                By Beth - MA

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use the pledge for hardwood floor cleaner. You just squirt it on, run a damp mop, and its clean, no streaks, so easy! (07/02/2007)

                By lonefive21

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Ask a local hardwood refinisher or seller. I researched it a lot and learned not to use vinegar, murphy's oil, or any of these type of things. What I use is a professional dust mop that I bought at a janitorial store for daily cleaning/dusting.

                I also bought the floor system from Bona Kemi. The microfiber mop and the hardwood cleaner. I use this about every two weeks. It really works and is made by floor refinishers. Won't hurt your floor finish.
                http://www.bonakemi.com/products/specials/WM710013303.htm

                The company also has a system for laminate floors. (07/09/2007)

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use Rejuvenate on my hardwood floor, it brings back the luster to a dull floor. It is the easiest and the cheapest way to bringing life back to a dull finish. You need to use a good hardwood floor cleaner, then apply the rejuvenate to the floor, it takes about 45 minutes for it to dry, but it looks as good dry as it does wet! (07/12/2007)

                By tracy

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Please! Please! do not use ORANGE GLO HARDWOOD FLOOR CLEANER. It leaves your floors cloudy and dull. I tried two other floor cleaners and it made it worse. I had hardwood floors in the past before this product was on the market and I use plain old soap and water with a damp mop and
                put towels on the floor and skated through to dry them. It is work! but I am in really good shape after having five kids.... (08/01/2007)

                By p.simon.

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Hi RAMONA, here in Topeka, I have tried the windex, which gummed up my buffer and never did get didn't get past the gummy mess on that section, now I'm going back in and giving it another try! (08/01/2007)

                By therese

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I've read the ENTIRE blog here about hardwood floors and I'm greatly discouraged with so many contradicting opinions. 13 years ago I lived in a home with all hardwood and I tried every product on the market, despite being clean the floors just looked cloudy and dull. I must admit it even caused me to feel depressed at times. I paid a professional every 4-6 weeks to bring in a heavy duty buffer and treat my floors at the expense of $200 each visit. I finally found a product at a local owned hardware store called Bruce's One Step. After cleaning my floors I would pour this formula right out of the container onto the floors and spread it with a mop. The hard part was knowing when it was dry as it looked the exact same as it did wet!! VOILA! The floors looked BRAND NEW better than after $200 spent to buff.

                The most recent mistake I made, having relocated to a fabulous home with all hardwood yet again after 13 long years, was trying the Orange Glo, Bissel flip-it and swifter!! My dining room is trashed!! Lesson learned! For all of you still reading these blogs, please go online and look for Bruce's One Step. Once you get the cloud and film off the floors don't use any other products for restoring shine other than Bruce's One Step if you're fortunate enough it may be in your local hardware store. I believe Bruce's has many other products to help strip and remove the grime and build-up. Best of luck to you. (08/05/2007)

                By Sheri Lynn

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I can also attest that the Orange Glo left my wood floors a cloudy mess... I have read every post here trying to figure out what the best method would be to get the shine back on my floors. I tried squirting a small area (2' x 2') with windex with vinegar and scrubbed, towel dried, scrubbed again and towel dried and I could see that the cloudy build up was gone, but there is no way I can hand scrub my entire wood floor! I checked into the "Bruce's One Step" that someone else suggested but it is only to be used on waxed floors. I have polyurethane floors. Can a sponge mop with windex or a vinegar/water solution work? I physically am unable to hand and knee the entire job! (08/06/2007)

                By Stephanie

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have had hardwood floors for years and I have never been able to stop the foot prints left by my kids. Just have everyone wear slippers and that problem will disappear. As far as cleaning the floors, I use an amazing product called Mystic Mop. I lightly spray the area I am working on with plain water then I go over once or twice with the mop, I then buff the area with a micro fiber cloth mop. It leaves a fantastic shine. I still get foot prints as my husband and son refuse to wear slippers but if they did the floors would continue to shine.
                I have tried everything out there and this is the simplest and cheapest as well as giving the best result. (08/12/2007)

                By Michele

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I recently had my hardwood floors refinished and the floor guy told me Never to use any kind of oil (Murphy's oil) on the floors and to only clean them with the water/vinegar solution. He recommended using the solution every three months or so and just damp mopping with hot water in between cleanings. So far it has worked well for me and is very inexpensive. (08/16/2007)

                By JS

                Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have read over all these entries and now I am even more confused. I have used the Orange Glo and I hate it. It put a milky looking film on my pre-finished hardwood floor. And you can see everywhere we have walked. I tried just using soap & water and it didn't work. I also used a spray from Fuller that said it was for Bruce Flooring. That is what I have but it didn't work either. What is the best way to get this milky film off my floors and make it shine again? I saw a product online called Quick Shine by Hollow House. Has anyone used this product? Does it work? Just thought I would ask someone -- anyone -- before I put more money into trying products. I am just sick looking at my floor with the milky film. I am ready for my glossy look back. Any suggestions are most appreciated! (08/17/2007)

                By Lisa

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have double trouble, as I first cleaned with Murphy's Oil Soap, and then the Orange Glo Polish. Talk about a horrible filmy mess! I see that others have posted about the build-up problems, but I'm not seeing any solutions! I'm thinking about trying a small spot with hot water and detergent. (08/22/2007)

                By DMC

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Okay... here's what I did and it worked!
                Mixed hot water and dish washing detergent (Dawn) I know it's radical, but I was desperate. Used a soft brush (!) and then dried with a soft towel in the direction of the grain. It worked! No more hazy white film! No more Orange Glo ever! (08/22/2007)

                By DMC

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Hi All!
                Ok, so for the first year and a half of trying everything I got my hands on to keep my hardwoods clean, here is what I came up with to do and not to do. Do not use water and laundry detergent; it dulls the floors. Murphys and Pinesol don't completely work. the Murphys will have you busting your bottom. It gets sticky. I have two small children that are just now walking and I'm not sure how many outfits each of them destroyed from crawling on those floors. Both of their knees would be dirty and their little feet. My grandmother came to visit and seen how I mopped almost everyday, without success. So she took me to the store, picked up a new and actually a cheaper mop than I had been using (the ones that you squeeze out with your hand and have the cotton noodles hanging). Then I bought some Mop 'n Glow. The bottle says to NOT use on hardwoods, but I was at my wits end. I used it and continued to mop a 5 session on my hardwoods. My grandmother told me that it was important to keep mopping sections over and over until the mop rinsed clean. I was completely exhausted after the hour of mopping but it definitely paid off. I have shiny beautiful floors and the kids are still clean after playing in the living room. lol (09/03/2007)

                By Robyn

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Regarding white film from Orange Glo and/or Halloway House wood floor products seems to be a huge problem. I read everyone's feedback and tried everything. I'll never really know what worked for sure, but the thing that finally removed the film for me was Mr. Clean. I diluted it in water, rinsed, and dried it with a soft towel. I could see the white powder from the polishes coming up as I applied the Mr. Clean. I'm sure most of you figured this out, but just in case....the mop set up that comes with the Orange Glo Starter pack can be used with ANY rag. At least something was worthwhile in that package. This comes in handy when you have to mop the floor 500 times to remove the polishes. (09/13/2007)

                By Christina

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I had heard that pet owners should be careful of certain cleaners since pets lay on the floor and then often lick their fur. I haven't tried anything yet, but I think I'm going to try the vinegar and water solution. I'll just start with a small amount of vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup to a gallon of water). (09/20/2007)

                By Lynn

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I called around a few floor dealers several told me to use Murphy's Oil. With 3 kids the floors always seem dull, dirty or sticky after mopping w/ Murphy's Oil. So another dealer told me never to use Murphy's on the hardwood floor (it leaves a film). That I must now clean my floor with TSP to remove the film, then damp mop it and then to use Polycare. He also said after the Polycare treatment to just use water to mop the floor. (09/20/2007)

                By Monica

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                patg:
                Thank you so much for your advice regarding how to clean off white, smudged residue from hardwood floors. I tried every product imaginable and the 2 cups of ammonia per gallon of hot water did the trick. I took a wet cloth and wiped the floors then used a micro buff rag and wiped off the damp floor. This process was time consuming doing a small portion of the floor at a time, yet it looks wonderful! NEVER again will I use any Orange Glo or Murphy's Oil products, I'm going to clean with Bruce's One Step. Thanks again! (09/21/2007)

                By Raina

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have beautiful Jatoba (Brazilian) Cherry hardwood floors that were installed 2yrs ago. I have NEVER used an over the counter cleaning product such as Murphy's oil or Orange Glo...the floor gets vaccumed 2x/week (more often during the summer months) and I use a damp microfibre cloth to spot clean any obvious marks such as footprints or sticky messes. Once every 2 to 3 months I get down on my hands and knees and clean every square inch of floor with a damp microfibre cloth and a spray cleaner recommended by the company who installed the floor. The key is a clean cloth....I will use 2 or 3 per room and have used upwards of a dozen cloths cleaning my main floor. The floors look fantastic and people are always complimenting me how great they look...even though they only get 'washed' every season. Of course, we don't wear shoes in the house.

                I know many people don't want to get down on their hands and knees (and I can hear the moaning), but it's the best solution. (Sept 27/07) (09/27/2007)

                By Vesi

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I used to use Bruce's cleaner on occasion and would spot clean with damp cloth and ALWAYS had beautiful dark wood floors. Unfortunately do to the inconvenience of going to the flooring place to get it I tried Orange Glo. AWFUL, cloudy, dingy and nasty floors is what I'm now inconvenienced with. Once I figure out what will fix my mess I will go back to my old ways. Pleased to find the local (and national) "HOME" store now carries Bruces. Hope this helps. (10/13/2007)

                By Rachael

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                For all of you out there trying to maintain your hardwood floors - it doesn't have to be that hard! The point of having hardwood floors is to have very little maintenance. You really only need to use cleaners if you have spills or scuffs. For the most part, you can just use a terry cloth mop. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you have all of the dirt off the floors. (walk off mats help tremendously)PLEASE ask the retailer you purchased your floors from what to use or invest in a product like the Bruce Cleaner that is made just for hardwood floors. Make sure your cleaner says on the bottle that it is specifically for your type of hardwood floor. I am all for being thrifty, but thrifty does you no good if you ruin your hardwood floors. These websites are from trusted sources. Please take a look and also look at the care section for other floors on the following site:

                www.wfca.org
                http://www.wfca.org/hardwood/care.aspx
                http://www.woodfloors.org/consumer/maintReg.aspx (10/19/2007)

                By A former hardwood salesperson

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Yikes! I just had hardwood flooring installed a few weeks ago. Seeing all of the contradictory advise on here, I am afraid to do anything to them! For now, I guess that I will just vacuum and dust regularly, clean up spills as they happen, and use area rugs in high traffic places. (10/21/2007)

                By Stephen from Boston

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Our floors are only 2 years old. Light Bavarian Cherry Wood. We just can't seem to get rid of this greasy like film? Any suggestions on what type of product works best? (11/04/2007)

                By Kim Rose

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I just tried the Shark steam mop and it's bad. It made my floors into a greasy streaky mess after 2 uses. I have small children and cannot go more than 2 days without needing to clean my hardwood. What will get this film off of my floor? I've never tried any of the oil products or the Orange Glo and will never. What about the water and vinegar? Somebody help me please. (11/08/2007)

                By Stacey

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I came on this site to find a solution to cleaning my hardwood floors; we recently exposed them after yrs. of being covered by rugs. Yea!
                Many people on this site are saying that there are many contradictions on this page and that they are more confused than ever as to what to use. On the contrary, I found this page to be very helpful. People are clearly saying,"DON'T Use Orange Glo, Murphy's Oil Soap or products such as Fuller that claim to be good on "certain" hardwood floors EVER!"

                I initially thought that you couldn't use water at all but here are the things I learned on this page.

                1.Yes, you can use a water based solution if you only dampen the mop or rag you are using.

                2.A product called BRUCES 1 STEP seems to be coming HIGHLY recommended by people on this site that have tried it; I didn't see anyone dispute it. All are saying that it WORKS GREAT!

                3.Also people on this page are RUMOURING that Vinegar and Water (which is an affordable solution) works and some claim that it even comes recommended by the people who are selling the hardwood floors.

                4.Another solution I saw recommended on this page is to find out what kind of hardwood floors that you have; go to the nearest store that specializes in hardwood floors and ask them exactly what product to use for your specific type of floor.(seems like a pain to me and the products they recommend may end up being expensive; but I could be wrong)

                5.To get the FILM and dirt up use Mr. Clean, I tried it in a small spot and thought it worked great However, I was afraid to try it on my whole floor until I found someone else on this site has tried it and it worked for them. "Mr. Clean recomends you dilute it in order to use it on finished wood." No one disputed it and I won't either.

                Ps. to the mop & glo user; I LOVE mop and glo (I use it to shine my REGULAR floors AFTER a good Mr. Clean cleaning - the results are great for a long time) but if mop & glo is telling you NOT to use it on hardwood floors you may want to call the manufacturer of mop & glo and find out the reason; maybe there is a long term effect that you are not seeing yet, who knows. I want to say thank you to the people on this site for all your tidbits of information as I said I found them very helpful. Good luck to everybody and don't stress, enjoy the beauty of your hardwood floors I know I do. (11/12/2007)

                By By Theresa

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use a damp mop, very damp and mix a little vinegar with it. I have new polyurethane and it does wonders. As i said I wring my mop until until it is barely damp. It brings back the shine. I do this a couple of times a week and use a dust mop the rest of the time. It doesn't loose it shine, but the vinegar makes it even shiner. I would definitely recommended a damp mop diluted with vinegar. I could not stand to go 2-3 months without my floors being mopped. My children are grown, so i don't have that problem. I use vinegar a lot as a household cleaner. (11/16/2007)

                By Charlene

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have been buying my wood floor cleaning products from http://www.cleaningwoodfloors.com/ and they have been great about recommending the right products for what I have needed to do.

                They also provide some resources I found to be useful, including troubleshooting tips and a FAQ section. (11/26/2007)

                By

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Don't use a Swiffer Wet Jet! It left a filmy mess. I am having some luck using Windex and a plain Swiffer to get it up. It takes some elbow grease too! (12/05/2007)

                By Anissa

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                How about Glass Plus to clean Urethaned floors. Picks up dirt and leaves a sheen (12/08/2007)

                By Chrissy

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I am trying to find a way to clean my client's floors without leaving streaks. So far from what I have seen on this page the majority of people are saying Mr. Clean. So I am going to try it. Thanks. (12/12/2007)

                By TRACI WHYTE

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I have 85 yr old red oak hardwood floors, that were refinished and sealed with semigloss poly in July. The hardwood guy said to use vinegar and water which only dulled the shine and made the floor sort of tacky. The floors are beautiful, although asked a neighbor what she uses to clean floor, she said Orange Glo hardwood. Cautiously, I used it in small area and it felt smooth and looked shiny. The orange glo worked okay until 3-4 months later, a horribly film built up and I have researched a way to get that smooth slippery clean feel back and the shine too! Out of desperation, I tried the ammonia and hot water with a non scratch sponge, and spent the next 3-4 hours scrubbing and wiping down the dry microfiber cloth small areas 4 feet aprox. This is my whole first floor.

                Wow, my floors are back! Shiny, gloss and beautiful color. I didn't think I could get it back to look like newly finished. I had bruises on my knees from all the vigorous scrubbing, but the only way! I do this every month, now my husband helps, but the results are really something to be proud of. People always comment on the beauty of the wood, asking if it's just been done.

                Hope this helps former Orange Glo users to get their floors back. (12/25/2007)

                By Laura

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Well, what has always worked for me is to get on my hands and knees and wash the floor with a solution of dishwashing liquid and water, and then rinse with vinegar and water. Finally, I dry with several terry towels. The dishwashing liquid is mild but slightly to the alkaline side, so it removes grease and household dirt very well. The vinegar removes alkaline-based soils and helps to completely rinse the detergent from the floor - far better than plain water can. Don't mix the two together, thinking you can avoid a step! Each will only cancel out the benefits of the other.

                Cheers, and rock on! (12/27/2007)

                By Viola

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I used vinegar and hot water and they came out great, I bought a house 4 months ago, and it is a 125 yrs old, it had carpet in the dinning room and front room so I pulled back the carpet to see what was under it and found it had hardwood floors . I had them redone. I used swifter cleaner for hardwood floors and it left them very streaked , so tried half cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of hot water and dried them with a cotton towel and the streaks are gone and they have a great shine again. (12/28/2007)

                By LYCKRISH63

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                How do I clean hardwood floors?

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors


                Does anyone know a solution to use to clean hardwood floors? The floors are sealed. I have smudge marks all over them from attempting to clean them with Pledge for hardwood floors.

                Susie from Hammonton, NJ

                Answers:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I tried the cleaner from Palmetto Floors and it cleaned without streaks or a mess. I actually used a mixture of ammonia and water to remove the film before hand and after cleaning with the Palmetto Floors cleaner, it turned out great. I bought a bottle of polish from them too because it is supposed to enrich the shine of polyurethane floors when the lose it. We will see.

                (02/12/2009)

                By Janice

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                All I can say is Bona. Bona floor system is the best. Same thing happen to me with a similar orange glow product called Rejuvenique. Too shiny, so I tried to remove it with vinegar and water, what a nightmare. There was white film all over.

                I usually use the Bona System. I will never stray from it again. Go to the website to learn how to use it properly. It can be expensive, but so worth it. I use the cleaner for wood floors all the time, but I used the Refresher to fix the mess that Rejuvenique caused, and my floors look so great. They're not glossy, but have a natural sheen. Love it. Hallelujah! Follow the directions on the web site. They have a video. You can get the Bona mop and products at Bed Bath and Beyond, Ace Hardware, etc. It is a greener product too. Water based poly. Good Luck all. (02/16/2009)

                By Lindsay

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Bamboo and hardwood floor cleaning

                My wife and I recently had bamboo floors installed (mocha dark brown) and we have tried some of everything mentioned on this blog from vinegar and water, to Windex and Bruce hardwood cleaner. The floors had a gray haze and a smudgy buildup that would not go away. I eventually tried Glass Plus and it did the job for us. It took practically 6-8 hours on my hands, knees and buttocks, since the majority of our downstairs is bamboo flooring, but the look we paid for is back! It was a 2 step process however.

                I sprayed the Glass Plus in small areas and wiped with a shop towel (a little thicker than a regular paper towel) and before the Windex completely dried, I wiped the area with a dry microfiber towel. The microfiber towel will eventually become damp and that is okay, still gets the job done. The wifey was very excited when she arrived home and saw the final result! Now that I have the floors back to normal, I plan to maintain simple upkeep and use the BONA hardwood cleaner maybe every 2-3 months to rejuvenate the luster. (02/18/2009)

                By timtation

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                We had black streaks on our satin finished cypress wood floor (it is not supposed to be shiny finish). So my husband cleaned it with a magic eraser (big mistake!). Now the floor has streaks. I have tried a lot of different things but will try the Windex and ammonia to see if they can help. Any other ideas? Normally I love magic erasers, but please, please don't ever use on your wood floor. (02/19/2009)

                By Rachel A.

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Vinegar and water. Make sure to get the water up right away. A damp mop is the best.

                (02/28/2009)

                By Gayle

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                The installer suggested I clean my hardwood floors with a dust mop and Windex. It works great, but the Windex much go on the mop not the floor. (03/02/2009)

                By B

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Daily cleaning of hardwood floors can be a challenge, especially if you have pets. The best tool I have found for daily maintenance of my hardwood floors is a good vacuum cleaner. Mine has a low setting made for flat floors and it works well for pet hair, dust and paw prints. Make sure you let muddy paw prints dry before trying to vacuum.

                Answers:

                Request: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                (format_html)What is the best way to clean hardwood floors? I have found that with cleaners like the Swiffer wetjet or Murphys oil soap and others leave a film and streaks whether I dry it with a cloth or let it dry naturally. I also tried to dilute the cleaners thinking I've used too much. Most of my main floor is hardwood and I miss the shine!

                Loni

                Feedback:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Some of us just cannot get on our hands and knees any longer! I drop a terry cloth towel (now a cleaning cloth) onto the floor and step on it to rub the floor dry. No more sore body, just clean floors. (10/31/2006)

                By hsorbits

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Mr. Clean

                I have polyurethane floors. My cleaning lady uses Mr. Clean to clean my floors. My floors never have a film or dull finish. They sparkle and shine. Read the back of the carton. You mix 1/4 cup of Mr. Clean with 1 gallon of water. I vacuum first with an Oreck vacuum cleaner. Then I use a soft mop and Mr. Clean. It turns out nice every time! (11/10/2006)

                By michelle

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                I have light colored laminate floors and when I wash them I always get streaks. You can see all of them. Any suggestions for a cleaner?

                Leona from St Paul, Alberta

                Feedback:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Use only vinegar and water with paper towel and wipe dry with clean dry paper towel. It is best to do a small square at a time and to spray on the vinegar and water mixture. It works!
                Good luck from Canada (01/04/2008)

                By Sharon L Martin

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                What kind of finish do your floors have? Wax/natural, polyeurethane or aluminum-oxide? Are they solid wood or engineered hardwood floors?

                All of these factors are very important in assessing what kind of cleaner to use! Unfortunately, Pine-Sol or Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Solution won't be able clean all types of wood floors effectively and properly, even if they claim they can. The best cleaning product to use is the floor manufacturer's brand cleaner or whatever they recommend to avoid voiding a warranty if your floors are brand new or newer.

                If you're not sure what type of floor or what type of finish you have, stop by a hardwood flooring store or your local building supply center. Compare their samples with what your floor looks and feels like and get the opinion of the salesperson in the flooring department as well, if necessary. They can recommend something on the spot for you once you've determined what kind of floor you have. (01/04/2008)

                By Rebecca

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Use a 1/2 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water to clean hardwood floors. Use one of those mop thingies that you put a cloth on and take off and throw in wash. you don't need to get soak it. (01/06/2008)

                By glea

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Mix half a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water. You can pour this mix into a spray bottle and spritz your floor, them mop with a Swiffer style mop, the kind with a terry cloth pad that is removable to wash. (01/06/2008)

                By glea

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Vinegar and water is all I've used, and been told to use for the last 20 years. If I don't have time to wipe the floor dry, I have a fan blowing on it. Also, change the water when it looks dirty. (01/09/2008)

                By mikki

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Instead of totally "wet mopping" the floor, use a regular ring mop, but ring it out very well and just kind of "damp mop" it! Use vinegar and water because it's all natural and doesn't have any type of soaps in it to leave water spots. Pergo floors are harder to clean. Did you put these down or were they pre-existing when you moved there? Someone may have waxed them or tried to put the wrong finish on them . My husband refinishes hardwoods and lays flooring and he's run in to that problem before. Let me know if I can help. (01/21/2008)

                By Elizabeth

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                I use glass cleaner. The cheap kind from the dollar store and then dry it with a Pergo mop. (01/13/2009)

                By Phyllis B.

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I am looking for tips for cleaning hardwood floors.

                Tom from Whitewater

                Feedback:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I use an upright steamer similar to the Shark, but bigger. (03/03/2009)

                By mountainbrd

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I'd use Murphy's Oil soap and clean them on my hands and knees with a damp rag. Don't get the wood too wet. Keep your rag on the dry side.

                I have old fashioned hardwood floors that I keep clean by swiping a Swiffer over the floors about once a week. If there is a lot of grit, I use the vacuum cleaner. But a wet wipe from Dollar Tree on the Swiffer is the best cleaning utensil I have found.

                Good luck. (03/04/2009)

                By Carol in PA

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                The best tip I have is more for not leaving streaks and that is to wash the floor in the direction of the wood. Don't wash across the pieces of wood, run your mop lengthwise along the wood. (03/04/2009)

                By PICO

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I've been told by flooring people to not use water on wood, as it eventually dries out the wood. We vacuum, but realistically you have to use a little water at times. Just use a dry cloth to wipe it up soon after applying it. (05/28/2009)

                By Allison5

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I know the frustration of trying to find the right cleaner for your wood floors. I found that my floor manufacturer recommended "Bruce hardwood and laminate floor cleaner". No rinsing, no residue. Use a microfiber mop. It smells really clean and leaves your floor beautiful. You won't be disappointed. You can buy it at any floor or home improvement store. (06/26/2009)

                By sunnee

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                My installer recommended using Windex to clean my dark cherry hardwood floors. It works great. When I have tried cleaners designed for hardwood floors, I usually end up with cloudy residue. He also said to wet them as little as possible. (09/06/2009)

                By Regina

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Found that the streaky, white film on our hardwood floors was the buildup of cleaning products we previously used on our floors (Orange Hardwood Floor, Murphy's cleaner, etc.)

                After an afternoon of my husband and I on our hands and knees scrubbing our floors, they are now back to the original finish. We used 1/2 cup of ammonia in 1 gallon of warm water (pretest) and scrubbing with a microfiber cloth could actually see the residue coming off. Although it does not come off easily.

                Now I will use nothing, but my shark steamer or Windex. (11/22/2009)

                By TERRI51

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors Without Leaving Streaks

                To keep your laminate floors or your wooden floors streak free, it helps to dry them. I use my Swiffer for this, but use a an old towel in it instead of the dust cloths. I wash a section, then use my Swiffer on it so I don't track over what I just did. Works every time.

                By Laniegirl from Iowa

                Feedback:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors without Leaving Streaks

                Well, that's a great idea. I use vinegar on my hardwood, but have watched the streaks form and couldn't figure out what to do about it. Just never thought of drying the floor. (09/28/2009)

                By Glenn'sMom

                Archive: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                What's the best way to clean hardwood floors?

                By Elsa from Cushing, ME

                Feedback:

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                Thank the heavens! Windex worked to cure the Orange Glo debacle. I used Bona to remove the buildup and Windex to remove the film. Thank you to all my fellow posters. (03/27/2010)

                By j1gi

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                I wish I would have read this sooner. I, too, used Orange Glo and have ruined my floors. I think there is hope. It might take me a few more Saturdays on my hands and knees. Does anyone use the Sharp Steam Mop? Please tell me there's no residual damage from using this type of mop over time. Thank you. (03/27/2010)

                By j1gi

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                My hardwood floors were refinished 20 years ago. Never waxed. To maintain them, I use the steam shark, then orange glo hardwood cleaner with enclosed pads. I finish with orange glo refinisher. Nice clean and shiny! (04/13/2010)

                By lz4004

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                How about pre-finished aluminum oxide floors? (04/19/2010)

                By qt0929

                RE: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

                All I know is I had beautiful Brazilian teak hardwood floors and we ruined them using any of the so-called wood floor cleaners and finishers. I started noticing my floor getting a cloudy film on them so I called the place where I purchased the floor and they said never put anything on the floor but their own cleaner! So I asked her what do I use to get all those 2 years of cleaners off. She said just dish soap and hot water. So I tried it and my lands I opened up a huge can! It worked but I had to soak the floors with water for 20 minutes before it penetrated through, and then the real work began. I started scraping the whole floor on my hands and knees with a pots and pans food scraper, it took forever like 12 hours, so I am scared to put anything on it again. (04/24/2010)

                By archy

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                Home and Garden Cleaning FloorsJuly 13, 2011
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