Cleaning and Preventing Streaks on Hardwood Floors

November 29, 2015

shiny hardwood floorI 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.

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5 Questions

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May 3, 2011

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


May 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If your floor does not have a Eurathene finish I would say use Murphy's oil soap, If it does try Bruce dura-luster no-wax floor cleaner, or a solution of vinegar or windex and water. Otherwise, you may need to just sand down the top layer and re-stain and finish it. Sometimes ya just gotta start over, unfortunately.

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September 5, 20120 found this helpful
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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.

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December 26, 2013

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


December 28, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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April 25, 2010

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

By ALEX A from KS


April 28, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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September 28, 2009

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

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