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Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Category Floors
Someone mopping 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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March 25, 20050 found this helpful

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?

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By 2 found this helpful
November 21, 2013

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!

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June 8, 20040 found this helpful

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!

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Shannon

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By 0 found this helpful
April 29, 2015

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.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 15, 2010

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.

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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

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Answers

September 16, 20100 found this helpful

Clean your hardwood floors with water. I bought a mop with a wide head and a microfiber cover. I wet the cover, wring it out, put it on the mop and clean my hardwood floors with water only. I carry a spray bottle of water with me as I go. When the mop appears to be drying out, I mist the floor with water and keep going. Unless your floors are absolutely filthy, you can keep them clean without any chemicals at all. On the rare occasion that my floors need additional help, I use Bruce Hardwood Floor Cleaner. I buy it at Home Depot for about $5.

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September 18, 20100 found this helpful

When I had my hardwood floors refinished several years ago, the worker suggested I use Polycare. It is a liquid and I use one capful to a quart bottle. It is about $7 or so but lasts a long time.

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September 18, 20100 found this helpful

I use my swiffer wet jet and it cleans them just fine.

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September 24, 20130 found this helpful

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

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June 1, 20160 found this helpful

Bona has just smeared my floors worse than ever. I had them refinished to a satin finish so the smearing wouldn't be as obvious and it didn't help. I have tried a few drops of Dawn (not for sensitive hands type) in hot water and a microfiber pad and the floors still look smeared. I've tried Windex, I've tried vinegar, and I am ready to give up and just never have another wood floor.

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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

Please help me clean the mop residue off my hardwood floors nothing had help new mop new floor cleaner nothing help me and they are beautiful when clean help plz

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Anonymous
December 3, 20160 found this helpful

I use a Shark Steam mop on low setting for my laminate floors only once every 6 months for a deep clean and immediately dry with a towel. If I don't use the towel, I get a smeared haze. The towel dry method works wonders. You might want to use the towel after using Bona as well.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 12, 2006

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
March 14, 20060 found this helpful

Please stop using these, as I know some are very harmful and fatal for pets, especially cats.... I know some lost their pets because these wet cleaners are very toxic and can cause liver disease, that might be why your cats throw up.. as the cleaner comes in contact with the paws of the cats and they lick themselves... please check for any warning... you can clean your floors with a little water and vinegar and save your cats from any illness. Catperson who cares.

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

To get through the gunk, Murphy's oil soap is one of the best (vegetable oil based) or use the water/vinegar if the finish is old. Lemon Juice is another that kills bacteria, but is even SAFER.

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

I totally agree with the other postings but just wanted to add something. The pads on the Swifter wet jet is excellent for picking up pet hair. So I don't use the spray liquid with my swifter. I use a spray bottle with 1/8 lemon juice then equal parts of vinegar and water. I simply mist a small area of the floor and use the swifter to mop it up. It cleans hard wood like a dream and the microfiber cloth picks up the hair and cuts down on streaking.

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

I got a package of 6 white /cream dish/wash cloths at the Dollar Tree. They are a perfect size replacements for the swiffer PLUS washable. I use Windex to clean my laminate floors. It was recommended by the floor maker. I know you were asking about WOOD floors , but thought some readers might be interested in this thrifty hint.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 5, 20080 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
March 21, 2017

I clean my wooden floor with my steamer everyday. I put white vinegar and water in the part where you fill the steamer up. Then I buff it up with a dry Swiffer, but when walked on it leaves footprints, etc. Can anyone help me to stop this happening please?

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March 21, 20170 found this helpful

Is your wooden floor still damp or wet somehow afterwards?

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March 22, 20170 found this helpful

Make sure the floor is thoroughly dry before anyone walks on it.

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March 31, 20171 found this helpful

Is it a pergo type floor or one with a shellac or clear coat? If so, vinegar is not recommend for them.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 27, 2011

What is the best way to clean wood floors?

By Heather K.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 28, 20110 found this helpful

When my wood floors aren't terribly dirty, I damp mop them with just plain water. When they need a little more cleaning than that, I buy Bruce hardwood floor cleaner at Home Depot, spray an area of the floor and damp mop. The Bruce cleaner comes out as a fine spray, so the bottle lasts a long time.

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June 30, 20110 found this helpful

As I stated in the comment before you, I use a Shark steam cleaner and love it!

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July 2, 20110 found this helpful

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!

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By 0 found this helpful
August 27, 2011

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 29, 20110 found this helpful

Much will depend on the condition of the wood. First, get up all the dust. You need a strong vacuum for this. Use the crevice tool to clean between the boards. Next, use a hardwood floor cleaner and follow the directions carefully. Do NOT use water. If there are areas that do not look nice, use an area rug there or even a piece of furniture to cover the spot.

If you plan to enjoy the natural wood, do use area rugs and throw rugs in areas of high traffic and in front of seatings. Door ways get the most wear so you may want to put a runner rug through the doorway. I have seen some fantastic rugs at thrift stores.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

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!

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November 18, 20130 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 4, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 28, 2013

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 7, 20130 found this helpful

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

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April 21, 20120 found this helpful

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

By Pat O.

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April 25, 20120 found this helpful

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

Also try white vinegar, should work a treat.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 30, 2015

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
May 4, 2015

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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 29, 20150 found this helpful

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

By Ann from Sussex U. K

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

January 9, 20150 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

March 10, 20140 found this helpful

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

By Rose

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By 0 found this helpful
January 6, 2014

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

August 6, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 19, 2016

Tested solutions for removing candle wax from hardwood floors. The key to removing candle wax from most surfaces is heating it up with an hair dryer or clothes iron. Beyond that there are some solvents, like Goo Gone, that have been effective.

Red wax stains on wood floor.

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January 19, 20170 found this helpful

Certain cleaning products can leave an unsightly buildup on your hardwood floors. This is a guide about cleaning buildup off hardwood floors.

Hardwood Floors

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January 26, 20170 found this helpful

Unsealed wood flooring can be kept looking good by using an oil or wax finish. Then just use the best cleaning method for the finish you choose. This is a guide about cleaning unsealed wooden floors.

Unsealed Wooden Floors

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January 26, 20170 found this helpful

Using Murphy's oil soap on hardwood floors can have mixed results. This is a guide about cleaning hardwood floors with Murphy's oil soap.

Mopping a hardwood floor.

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December 20, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about mopping hardwood floors. Hardwood flooring is quite beautiful. To keep it that way proper cleaning methods and products are essential.

A mop and bucket on a hardwood floor.

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September 25, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning and preventing streaks on hardwood floors. Many cleaners and methods of cleaning can leave streaks on your hardwood floors.

Wooden floor being mopped

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June 25, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning dog prints from hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are beautiful and durable, but they can often show a lot of spots and prints, such as pet footprints.

Guilty Basset Hound with muddy feet and a trail of muddy paw prints

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June 20, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about cleaning haze on hardwood floors. Some wood floor cleaning products can leave an unsightly haze on your floors.

Hand wiping white residue off wooden floor

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August 19, 20130 found this helpful

This guide is about removing scuff marks from hardwood floors. Certain shoes can leave black marks on your floors.

beautiful wood floors

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September 15, 20100 found this helpful

I have to clean espresso hard wood floors and I have to use a natural product. Would anyone be able to tell me what I can use? Thanxs.

By Ce Ce from Canada

Answers:

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I found this article very helpful, for other useful tips check out this IVillage article: articles.ivillage.com/ which goes a little more in depth with the mechanics and best practices for cleaning a wood floor. (08/18/2010)

By PennyInkwell

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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

I just built a new house. I have hardwood floors in the kitchen and dining room. I also have 4 Siberian Huskies. How do I clean their paw prints off my wood floor safely every day, without damaging my floor? A dry Swiffer does not work because sometimes their feet are a little wet and dirty and it dries on. I don't want to have to mop every other day.

By Terri Lynne from Hayden, ID

Answers:

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I just have a section in my dining room and I put a little Pledge on a washcloth and do the floor on my hands/knees.
You can also make sure your dogs' paws are clean when they come into the house. My German Shorthair stops at the kitchen door till you wipe her feet. That helps a lot. (07/06/2010)

By T&T Grandma

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

I have a cleaning service and I clean a lot of log cabins with hardwood floors. What I have found that works well and it doesn't harm the finish of the hardwood, is a dab of mild dish detergent mixed with water in a spray bottle. I spray it on the floors as I mop or clean them. (07/07/2010)

By mprince

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Buy a product called Bono. It is by far the best. (07/07/2010)

By kayrayriggs

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Buy a hardwood floor mop that comes with a microfiber covering.
Wet the cover, wring it out thoroughly, and damp mop the floor.
You will be surprised how much dirt the microfiber will remove with nothing more than water.
(07/07/2010)

By Southern Saver

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

You're probably going to have to damp-mop, but an easy way is to just put a wet, lightweight towel or cloth onto your Swiffer in place of the regular Swiffer sheet. I find this works well for light cleaning of my hardwood kitchen floor, and as long as it's not too wet it won't harm the finish at all. (07/08/2010)

By ChloeA

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

We are also in the process of putting in more hardwood, so don't have much of that surface, but even with one dog, I can't get around the frequent mopping. As a few other posters here already mentioned, I find a squirt of Dawn in lukewarm water on a barely-damp mop, so it dries quickly, works the best for us, and hasn't done damage to the finish on the flooring. (07/08/2010)

By PupperMom

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Can you get large floor mats at the entrance way to stop the dogs from tracking mud into the house in the first place? If you could get them to wait for a foot cleaning like T&T Grandma's dog, that would be the easiest solution to this problem. (07/17/2010)

By louel53

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July 6, 20100 found this helpful

What's the best way to clean hardwood floors?

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Mopping a hardwood floor.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors With Murphy's Oil Soap
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Mopping Hardwood Floors
Unsealed Wooden Floors
Cleaning Unsealed Wooden Floors
Hardwood Floors
Cleaning Buildup Off Hardwood Floors
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