Crafts, Recipes, Tips,
& Guides
Enter Contests
Share & Vote
Get Advice
Submit a

Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

0 0EmailPrintFollow

About two years ago I had wood flooring installed in my house except for the baths and kitchen. Now the are places that look dirty and are rough to the touch. I've tried Murphy's Oil soap and Orange Glo for wood floors. They did not work. Does anyone know of a better way to clean wood floors?

By Linda from Waco, TX


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By ginger11/25/2010

It depends on the finish on the floors. I have been told to clean mine with a vinegar-water solution but I can't remember what the finish is as it has been 20 years since they were re-done.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

I just recently purchased a home, built in 1957, and it would seem that the wood floors were never cleaned. Someone recommended "denatured alcohol." Please help. I want to be certain that I use this product without mixing it and that I am not going to have to re-polyurethane the floors. I think they are in good condition, minus the years of "whatever" it is that keeps filling my bucket with dirty water.

Any other suggestions would be helpful as well. I saw the article about the tea bags and would imagine that is only useful once you remove the "grime."


RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

We recently bought a house that had hardwood floors and the whole house was covered in a brown nicotine film. The only thing that worked was some ammonia (about 1/4 cup) and water (1 gallon). On the tough spots of dirt I used a Magic Eraser knock off. When I had gotten the majority of the filth off, I used orange oil to make it smell nice and look shiny. This had to be hand rubbed, but the result was beautiful. Do not use the oil if any of the polyurethane has rubbed off in "high traffic areas" Open a window while using ammonia. (05/19/2005)

By Sarah

RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

I have heard that hardwood floors need to be sanded down every few years and re-finished. If this is in the budget, then the sanding will clean them up. However, this whole process produces a lot of dust and uses strong chemicals. You might want to call around and get a few quotes. Also find out what you can do to minimize the dust created during the process. (05/23/2005)

By Holly

RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

Try this site: (08/28/2008)

By Elly

RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

I use 1/2 a bottle of Windex, and then combine and fill the rest of the Windex spray bottle with water. This does a great job and is ready to go in a spray bottle form! It is streak free, cleans the dirt and easy on the budget :) (01/14/2009)

By Amy

RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

I use white vinegar and water. It is a simple, inexpensive and nontoxic way to clean (nearly everything). Especially if the floors have sadly been ignored for years. I find when I use other floor cleaners, I need to either buff away the film or rinse again with water. I'm actually thinking of buying one of those steam cleaners to do my floors. (01/20/2009)


RE: Cleaning Dirty Hardwood Floors

My husband sands and refinishes hardwood. They don't need to be done every few years. They can be screened and cleaned every couple of years if you would like. This gets some of the surface scratches and dirt that grinds into the urethane out. It also gets rid of other things that have worked their way in to the finish. It doesn't take off the stain and doesn't go all the way into the wood. It's a lot cheaper and makes a floor look brand new. A new coat of urethane is put on afterward. (01/29/2009)


Answer This Question

Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.