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What is the Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors?

A damp mop is a great way to clean a hardwood floor.
Robotic floor cleaners can be used on hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors can be cleaned of dust and dry objects with a vacuum.
A house with hardwood flooring.
Hardwood flooring.
Most hardwood floors are now finished using a polyurethane coat that looks glossy and shiny.
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  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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Hardwood floors are one of the easiest flooring types to keep clean. Unlike carpeting, hardwood floors require minimum maintenance and can last for many years. Clean hardwood floors that run throughout a house can make the house look both beautiful and spacious. Maintenance methods to clean hardwood floors should not differ among types, but some finishes may require extra care when removing stains.

The quickest and most effective way to clean hardwood floors is with a damp mop. Before mopping, make sure that you have removed all surface dust from the floor. This can be done with a soft broom or lightweight vacuum cleaner. Then, simply mop, rinse and repeat. It is important to remove grit and dirt from hardwood floors. Dirt and grit are the biggest enemies when it comes to scratching or scouring the floor finish.

There are many hardwood floor cleaners available, but a neutral cleanser (i.e., neither too low or too high a pH level) and water will do the job just as effectively. The hardwood floor must be properly sealed before any mopping. If there are worn patches, do not use water, as the liquid can penetrate the wood and cause warping.

Most hardwood floors are now finished using a surface finish called polyurethane. These floors look glossy and shiny. Polyurethane looks like a plastic coating over the wood and is extremely hard wearing. Another finish, called penetrating seals, consists of wax or oil finishes that penetrate the wood and protect from within.

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You may wish to go that extra mile and finish off the mopping with a wax or polish. If you find that your clean hardwood floors still look dull, then buffing them with wax may help. It may take some extra elbow grease in order to clean hardwood floors in this way, but the end result will be worth it. Some people also use a floor polish to add a shine to the floors. If wax or polish is used regularly, there may be a problem with adhesion when it comes to recoating the hardwood floors.

All floors are susceptible to stains, whether they are hardwood or carpeted. A very fine steel wool can be used to remove a majority of the stains. A little alcohol can also be used to remove stains from clean hardwood floors. Finish off by polishing and buffing. If the stain remains, then sanding down the area may be the only option in order to remove it.

Depending on the amount of traffic in your house, you may only have to clean hardwood floors once a week. An extra precaution used in order to maintain clean hardwood floors may be to have people remove footwear when they enter the house. By doing this, you may limit the amount of heelmarks imprinted into the floors and the maintenance required in the future.

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anon961408
Post 194

We bought this house a few months ago. The previous owner told us to use Bona cleaner twice a month and the microfiber pad at least every other day. These hickory floors are beautiful, so I am taking her suggestion. The pad picks up all our cat hairs too. Never use water on hardwood. Be careful of trying many different products on your floors; you will get a build-up.

anon352767
Post 193

Has anyone tried olive oil on their engineered hardwood? I use Bona floor cleaner and from what I have read, that is a good choice. But I wold like a bit more shine. Feed backwould be appreciated on the olive oil and Bona.

anon346024
Post 192

I have lived in my house for three months and my floors look horrible. I have only used Bona since we bought the house (we are the first owners). I had a floor cleaning company come out and he said that in order to properly clean mine without leaving a residue, I need to change the microfiber pad numerous times (15-20) for my larger area. While examining my floors, he discovered someone has put some type of wax on top of them, grrr! It is going to cost lots of money to have it removed!

anon343552
Post 191

Whether you own a house or not, keeping your flooring safe and clean is an important step in general house keeping. Flooring, particularly in high-traffic areas, takes a lot of beating and you may sometimes feel as if your floors are never free from injury and insult.

anon334276
Post 190

I have Bellawood Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring in my home. I have no trouble at all keeping it clean and with its original shine. I use their floor care kit which consists of the microfiber mops and the Bellawood floor cleaner. I sweep my floors daily and mop probably once or twice a week. I lightly spray the product, mop with the grain, it dries quickly and looks wonderful. I won't use any other cleaning product, and am very satisfied with Bellawood. I won't risk damaging my floors with anything else; these floors cost us too much money.

CAjan2
Post 189

Please read if you’ve used any product that resulted in a wax residue (build-up) on your wood floors. My floors are manufactured wood plank. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

After five days of laboriously scrubbing, scraping, rinsing and scrubbing some more, my floors are back to normal. The fault is my own and I admit I was duped by savvy advertisements selling wonder products. How is it, I now wonder, can a well-read and highly educated person be so easily convinced that “this product or that product” is going to produce miraculous and astounding results? The number of these products on the shelves is mind-boggling and for some reason I felt compelled to try many of them.

What I know for sure is: first, 99.9 percent of them don’t work as they claim; second, they surely don’t save time; third, we Americans are obsessed with cleaning products (just gaze down the cleaning product aisle at your local super-market); fourth, I am responsibly disposing of the copious products I’ve accumulated. It was getting to a point where I practically needed a separate pantry for all the “miraculous, time-saving” cleaning products -- not only for my floor, but counters, stainless appliances, furniture, leather, sinks, toilets, etc, etc. I’m not an environmental freak, nor am I an anal clean freak. Rather, I am a consumer who has been expertly deceived by ads and commercials (and I don’t even watch a lot of television).

In retrospect, I actually felt I’d be inadequate at cleaning my home if I didn’t use these products, so I bit. When one didn’t work, I’d try another, then another and so-on and so-on. Regardless of cost, none of the “recommended” products worked as promised.

As mentioned in a couple other posts, the only thing that worked for me in removing the cruddy, gunky build-up is Goof-off. However, not being aware there were two different kinds of Goof-off, I used what was in the garage; which was the original. In the end it took three cans of Goof-off, five days of my life, countless green scrubbies, and many rags washed and dried several times. Oh, I mustn’t forget to tell you that the physical effort of scrubbing is enormous! Incidentally, the Goof-off did not affect the original finish whatsoever.

In the end, my floors looks like they should: five-year-old wood flooring with some dings and scratches, and most importantly, they are clean without a coating of a residue build-up. I think they look fabulous. Insofar as future cleaning, I’m going to try the rubbing alcohol and water mixture applied with a micro fiber topped mop. This simple formula is suggested in a few posts. Further, I am taking a vow to never, ever be influenced (conned) into buying another “phenomenal and incredible” cleaning product again.

These are a few of the products I used, but there were others: Rejuvenate System, Bona Cleaner and Polish, Orange Glo, Pledge wood floor cleaner, Old English. Good luck and take care.

anon312815
Post 188

Wow. This all sounds very scary. I am having prefinished oak floors with a polyurethane finish installed as we speak. They look beautiful and naturally, I want to keep them that way. From all I've read here, I'm thinking I'll just use a clean microfibre cloth and very little water and perhaps just a dab of mild soap, and nothing else. I will likely buy one bottle of the manufacturer's 'recommended' product to try at least once, however, with the hardwood floors we just had torn out (due to a manufacturer's defect) under warranty. The product they had recommended took the finish off, so even then, be careful. I suppose the best solution to everyone's problems is to stick to the manufacturer's recommendations (so you warranty holds - which ours did eventually), or you are at risk of having no warranty.

Learn from me: stick to what they recommend or forget about your warranty. Even with a warranty and doing everything they recommended, it took 5.5 years to get the floors replaced. I had to prove I used only the products and their recommended cleaning methods before they would accept that it was the floors that failed and wasn't due to the way I cleaned or looked after them. I was able to do that, but it wasn't an easy five years. So be very careful.

anon312741
Post 187

My hardwood floors are less than a year old. I have been using Bona Professional Hardwood cleaner and a microfiber mop as suggested by the floor manufacturers. My problem is this: After a thorough cleaning, I use a wet, clean cloth and am still able to wipe up dirty residue from the hardwood floor. My floors seem to have a duller look, as well. What should I do to truly get the floors clean?

anon312058
Post 185

I'm not sure if whoever is reading this post will get to mine. Anyway, I have beautiful brazilian cherry wood floors on my first floor. Every time my cleaning lady came, they looked dull and lacked the shine. After doing some research, I found that a mix of windex and water does the trick for me. I mix 1 part windex with 9 parts of water, spray the floor and mop it, then dry it with a cotton towel. It does work quite well. I hope this helps.

anon283829
Post 184

I too have had a horrible build up of wax on our six year old Brazilian cherry wood floors.

After years of trying various methods to remove this from all of our floors, my husband and I have discovered that you can put full strength acetone (which is a solvent) in a pump sprayer. We sprayed a small portion of the floor, waited a few seconds and then took a plastic ice scraper and went the length of the wood. A nasty, gooey roll of wax appeared, which we then easily wiped up with blue construction paper towels. This process did not harm our floors. Afterward, we sprayed the same area again and polished the floor with a clean paper towel and the result is perfect! Now, it's a matter of how many more hours on our hands and knees it will take to do all of our floors! It will take gallons of acetone and tons of paper towels. I do not understand how the company can continue to sell this product.

anon275497
Post 182

Using vinegar, a steam mop, Murphy's Oil Soap or ammonia are all big no-nos.

First, anyone with hardwood floors should go to the manufacturer to see how they want them cleaned to last. Vinegar is an acid. So every time you mop your floor, you're etching away at the finish. Murphy's Oil Soap is vegetable oil. Dunk a dish in your water, let it dry and see what's left: an oily film. After a while, the build up will dull the film.

A steam mop is forcing water into the wood. You are wanting to protect the finish on your floors, not damage them with this stuff.

Buy a microfiber mop. Microfiber is the best way to clean. I have two, one for cleaning and one for drying. I take the microfiber mop and soak in in plain water, then I wring as much water out of it as I can so it is damp. Just damp, not wringing wet.

I work in small sections, mopping. Then I dry the heck out of it. When my mop is dirty, I re-wet the mop and start again. If the floor is really dirty, I put a squirt of dish soap in the water. I mop, rinse then dry. If my floor is dusty, I use a spray bottle of water and lightly mist the floor and dry it. It doesn't take much to get them clean.

I don't endorse products, but Bona works also if you feel you need a cleaner. You also need to go to the manufacture's websites; they tell you what to do and not to do. Ammonia will take off the finish.

If you're having more problems than that, ask the manufacture what to do. Not some website that wants to sell you a shark steam mop or someone who uses the wrong products on your floors.

You need to educate yourself. These floors are an investment. They can be taken care of with ease if you know how to do it. I am a professional cleaner and when I have a question, I go to the people who manufacture the floors so I get it right. It is clean and undamaged.

anon269613
Post 181

We too, have had the dull film layer on our floors and have tried just about everything from vinegar, ammonia, windex, etc. We finally found something that works wonders: Bostik's Ultimate Adhesive Remover!

I tested it on a sample of my dark brazilian cherry floors and it restored it to look brand new. I just now have the do the hard work on hands and knees to do the rest! Wow! What a miracle!

swlegal
Post 180

Help! I have read all of the posts, and I am totally confused. I have Brazillian Cherry hardwood floors. Sad to say, over time, I have used the wrong products. I have an awful white film on my floors. Vinegar and water do not help. I have over 2,500 square feet of wood flooring. What is the best way to get my floors back to the shine they once had? What can I do?

anon249305
Post 178

Our cleaning lady used the Bona polish by mistake, thinking it was the Bona cleaner. She realized that it didn't look right, so she put another coat on. The result was a white waxy looking film all over our floors.

I used warm water and household ammonia (300 ml's of ammonia/six liters of water). I then went over the whole floor, section by section, using the ammonia solution and then rinsing with warm water.

This removed all the polish. A little back-breaking but what a relief.

anon248508
Post 177

Everyone, stop, stop, stop! What are you people talking about? Use Murphy's Oil Soap. Just use a tiny bit in a bucket of warm water. Your mop or rag (if your on your hands and knees) should only be damp. Wipe and then dry. Period.

If your floors are such a mess that you have to scrape (?) them, they need to be refinished. Whew!

anon235910
Post 176

I've been using Quick Shine Floor Cleaner and Quick Shine Floor Finish made by Holloway House. My floor shines again and the finish is not hard to apply with floor cleaners of old terry cloth towels for cleaning and putting down the finish.

anon232005
Post 175

I am having a huge problem. I can't get my floors clean! They are hardwood, but I don't know what the finish is. Mopping just moves the dirt around, scrubbing on hands and knees cleaned it a bit, but there is still dirt! I was wondering if there was some sort of floor cleaning machine that I could use on my floors that wouldn't hurt them? Help!

anon219115
Post 174

Anyone Use Aquashine from Rona (Canada)?

I am tempted to try the vinegar, but many websites says it is too acidic - baby and environmentally friendly.

How much vinegar should I add? Cold/warm/hot water?

P.S. Baking soda and vinegar does wonders for whites and cloth diapers!

anon216262
Post 173

I have worked for around 10 hours on my dull hardwood floors caused by using Bruce products. They were dull, cloudy and I have tried everything to remove the build up, so today I tried the Windex and a plastic scraper. That works better than the water/detergent/vinegar, Bona or Pledge wood cleaner. It is still a work in progress. I'm only doing a small area at a time.

I spray the Windex on, leave it for maybe 30-45 seconds, then I use the plastic scraper on it, followed by a cotton wash cloth. It is effective to remove the gunky build up but I do have to continue to go over it. I'm hurting all over from scrubbing, but this is the only way that seems to work. When I'm finished removing it all, I haven't a clue which direction I'm going, but for now, I've got to find my original floors!

anon202075
Post 172

I have read nearly all of these postings. This forum is a mess! The confusion about which product to use to clean hardwood floors seems to me to be that most people don't know the finish that is on their hardwood floors. The first question to answer is what is on your hardwood floor?

Whether you have hardwood floors that are engineered, laminated, polyurethane, shellac, or varnished determines what one should clean them with. It is clear from the multitude of these postings that most writers do not know what product was last used to finish their floors. You may have floors that are 150 years old, but if they haven't been refinished for 150 years, they do not have a polyurethane finish; therefore you would not treat them with the same product you would treat them the same as a polyurethane floor which has been refinished in the recent past!

My question is which products or household chemicals work best on a vintage hardwood floor finish?

Is there any difference in the product or household chemical that should be used to clean a floor that was finished with shellac or varnish?

Writers, please note which type of hardwood floor finish you are addressing before you start giving us details about your problem, or your solution!

anon188505
Post 171

I have laminate flooring and I have tried so many brands of cleaner. From Murphys to Rejuvenate to Bona, Martha Stewart, Swiffer, Orange Glo, everything! Using all these products was a bad idea. Over the years my laminate has gotten a buildup of nasty wax. The floors are dull, lifeless, and disgusting. I paid over 10k to have laminate installed everywhere in my house, and it all looks like crap!

I found a solution though. I started in one room on my hands and knees using Windex and a plastic scraper. I spray Windex a little section at a time and then literally scrape the scum off. It's disgusting. It feels like skin you peel off when you get a sunburn. My floors look a lot better. I am going to buy Bona tomorrow and use it once. Don't want to use anything on my floors except water and vinegar anymore, because I don't plan on getting on hands and knees ever again. I just can't believe this happened. It's going to take weeks to finish whole house. I would rather have my carpet back!

anon188334
Post 170

Do you have to use an expensive clothing steam cleaner or can you use one of those little cheap ones, or even the steam from an iron? I have been debating whether to buy one of those Shark type steamers for hard floors, but apparently they can ruin your floors.

I, too, have been the victim of Orange Glo, Pledge Wood Floors, and Murphy's Oil Soap. Trying to get up the Orange Glo has left a square yard area in the dining room looking stripped. I bought something called Minwax Reviver ("restores beauty and luster to hardwood floors, 1 coat application"), but I have been afraid to use it. Has anybody tried it?

If any builders are reading this, please do not put hardwood floors in kitchens in spec houses! We don't want to spend weekends scraping out filth from all the cracks with a toothpick. I have no idea what type of wood finish there is on our floors, as we didn't have the house built and the previous owner didn't know, either.

I am getting ready to paint the kitchen and discovered that Windex sprayed on semi-gloss walls and wiped with paper towels works much better than my former spot cleaning with a damp sponge. So I tried Windex on the wood floor, and it did look cleaner and felt better than plain damp mopping, but it still has no shine. I may try the alcohol next, but probably the steam would be better for getting out the gunk in the cracks. Maybe I'd better practice in the closet first!

There is really no alternative for cleaning kitchens than to get down on your hands and knees. Not every week, but once a month. Don't rely on cleaning ladies who stand up and use a mop with Murphy's Oil Soap and then use Mop & Glo. (I used to use Mop & Glo on vinyl floors, and it left a beautiful shine but built up and had to be stripped every three months. It also stuck to my feet if the floor got wet.)

You may think your kitchen is clean, but unless you have x-ray vision, you will never realize the filth that suddenly appears when you sit on the floor and take a close-up look.

anon178486
Post 169

I'm so glad I saw all these posts! I was so confused why my floor was starting to get this sticky, waxy, grey-white film on it, and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! I thought something was seriously wrong. Had I known how disgusting the residue/film would get on my wood floor, I would've never used the wood floor cleaner.

I spent three hours yesterday on my hands and knees with a sponge and that dish detergent/warm water/vegetable oil solution that others suggested. It does work, but it take a long time and a lot of backaching scrubbing. Also the film that starts to slough off comes off like soggy mold, so I had to keep running back to the sink to rinse off the sponge every two or three minutes. If I didn't wash the flakes off, it would dry back into the floor and result in even uglier and lumpy residue. It's disgusting. After all those hours, I only finished cleaning 6ft by 6 ft -- not even a fraction of the flooring in my house.

Today, I decided to try something that seemed riskier, but after waking up achy and sore, I figured it'd be worth a shot.

I took my clothes steamer and used it to steam the surface of the wood floor one tiny section at a time. Also, I made quick passes over the floor not lingering on any one place for a long time for fear of damaging the wood. It worked great! Still takes a bit of scrubbing, but it comes off so much easier than the dish detergent formula. Also, the flakes that come off are easier to manage and i can simply brush them off into the trash bin vs. using water in the sink to rinse the sponge off.

If you're willing to take a risk and are careful enough, you can try this method.

anon177900
Post 168

Never use vinegar on wood floors. It is a strong acid that will break down the sealants on the wood. To remove any old wax, use ammonia and water. Ammonia cuts through wax.

William766
Post 167

Is everyone ready for the solution? I have pre-finished hardwood floors about eight years old. I had a waxy build up on my floors and nothing would work. I tried alcohol soap floor strippers and everything. After the floors dried, there was the residue and it also left foot prints --yuck!

I took the chance of using a professional garment steamer i had used for my suits and other dress cloths and ooo-la-la it came off like a hot knife through butter! First, let the steamer get hot. after the steamer is hot, very quickly make passes on the floor with the grain. It is very important you do make the passes very quickly in order not to harm the wood. Then (this is very important) do not use microfiber. this traps the wax and will spread it! use a terry cloth cotton towel to wipe up the residue. I use cheap wash cloths.

Repeat steps as needed until the wax is melted and completely off the floor! Try a small spot to make sure this does not harm your wood since not all floors are the same. some have 5-6 mills of urethane and others have 2-3 mills!

I am not responsible for any damage caused to your floors -- this is an at your own risk method. If you do need cleaning towels, check out Textiles of Atlanta. Also try my method. I'll bet it works. my floors are like new! --

William, Atlanta GA

CleanFloor22
Post 166

I also heard steaming a hardwood floor is not good because the water vapor can warp the wood and cost a lot to repair. I also read that vinegar should not be used for regular hardwood floor cleaning treatment.

anon168550
Post 165

I tried the windex idea. It worked a bit, then I saw the alcohol/water idea. It sort of worked. Then I sprayed alcohol on full strength. Works great! I see a light at the end of the Orange Glo tunnel! We have maple, engineered hardwood.

anon164790
Post 164

I have hardwood floors (polyurethane) in my kitchen and foyer that are five years old. I noticed over time that they were dulling. I've used Bruce cleaner, pledge floor, mop n' glo and murphy's -- you name it.

We recently decided to do the rest of the home with hardwood floor and i couldn't believe the difference in shine. I've learned that rubbing alcohol mixed with water is good for granite (non acidic) so I decided to use it on the older wood floors. Well, they came out almost like the newly installed. If it weren't for the scratches i wouldn't be able to tell the difference between new and old. The mixture of rubbing alcohol and water took up so much dirt that I wasn't aware was even there. My old shine came up and the "dulling residue" is gone!

anon160333
Post 163

Inadvertently, while in the process of polishing our hardwood floor, the cloth that was being used had been previously used for polishing furniture and had basically been saturated with Old English furniture polish. When using this cloth to apply Holloway House Floor Finish, it resulted in a significant haze on the floor instead of a nice sheen. Has anybody experience this or have any suggestions as to how to restore the original sheen on the surface? Thank you.

anon158272
Post 161

I use Pledge "Wood Floors" and microfiber cloth. No residue, and the floors look great.

anon156714
Post 160

I have 65 year old pine floors, which have not been re-finished in some time (it's on the honey-do list). I stick to hot water and a small amount of mild soap and that tends to keep it clean. I do this at least once a week, as I have toddlers that are always dropping something on the floor.

I have never used Orange Glo to clean them, as that would probably make the floor extremely slippery, plus it's expensive, plus it will leave the residue that everyone talks about.

However, we put a bit of a gash in the floor when moving in a "new to us" china cabinet. I tried a number of things to fix it. Orange glo did the trick for this. After a couple applications spaced out a couple days apart, the scratch is no longer noticeable. Maybe this was because the finish on our floor is barely there anymore and the orange glo residue "filled" the gash.

anon152513
Post 159

I think it was the bottle of Orange Glo that left a ring everywhere I put it down: dining room table, iron woodburning stove -- that I cannot get off. Any suggestions (other than not ever using the stuff)?

anon151779
Post 158

I have to highly recommend F.A. Seeds' Wood Dressing. It's by far, the best wood polish on the market. My grandmother used to use it to polish her wood paneling in her home and her wood floors. It works like a charm and smells so much better than Murphy's. Seeds' is a small American company based out of Atlanta. They've been around forever.

anon149986
Post 157

Equal parts good quality vinegar and vegetable oil makes a nice cleaning agent and mirror shine. The best applicator is probably a spray bottle. The vinegar cleans and the oil conditions the floors and restores shine. Always use a "test" area on the wood floors to make sure the wood is reacting properly to the ingredients. The next day check the area to see if you are happy with the results. If so, then you found the right mix for your floors.

anon144000
Post 156

a little paint thinner to get off any glue, or any dirt, use very little and rub with a soft cloth until it shines, very successful. this answer is for comment #53 above.

anon143564
Post 155

Do not use a steam mop on your wood floors, even if it says for use on wood floors! It was a very expensive mistake. When the wood floor company came to install our new wood floors, he looked at our floor and he thought we must have had a leak with water damage, and then I said I used a steam mop. They were badly warped. Just warning you!

anon142943
Post 154

Notice how it's the "house cleaners" who use Murphy's Oil Soap? They don't care what happens to your floors, only that you're left with that initial, superficial shine!

anon139089
Post 153

After reading most of the posts but not all, I have to say I am really happy that I use vinegar and water for cleaning all my wood and tile floors my wood floors are as shiny today as they were four years ago when they were brand new. I've never had any type of residue. And the good part is no harsh chemicals and not expensive.

anon138835
Post 152

I made the mistake of using murphy's, then bona, then pledge floor cleaner and my floor looks so streaked and waxy -- yuck! Before that I had only used bellawood floor cleaner and bruce and never had a problem.

After reading this site, I have taken 1/2 vinegar 1/2 hot water and gone over board by board pressing hard with the towel and the stuff comes up, well for lack of a better description, like toe jam. It looks a little hazy after the vinegar and water though, so after that dried, I squirted some windex on a different towel and went over the boards and it brought the shine back out.

Be careful when the stuff starts coming up, because if you get it between the cracks of your floor, it looks like white grout.

anon138280
Post 151

Orange Glo stinks! Never use it. It has a awful residue left on the floor. Thanks for all the helpful hints to get rid of it.

anon136637
Post 149

I just want to thank everyone here for the great advice. I recently had a customer call with the same issues. She was a bit overwhelmed with all the products on the market and wasn't sure what to use. I found this information and gave her a few ideas. She called back today and said that the BONA worked great for her. Thanks again!

anon132306
Post 148

If you live in Arizona there is a company Master of Wood Floors LLC who can help you and make your hardwood flooring shine again. They can chemically clean and strip the build up on your floors. You can contact them directly; they always answer the phone.

They are professionals, cleaned my wood flooring in a day, and they look amazing now. I highly recommend this company for all of your wood flooring needs.

anon130503
Post 147

I have Brazilian cherry floors and use Bone or a damp mop but, there is still dirt when a take a damp towel still have soil. I want to know if anyone has used the Hoover Hard Floor Mate? I do not want to use the "Multi-Floor" detergent which comes with it so am I inquiring as to what to use.

anon128776
Post 146

We usually clean the floor with just a damp microfiber cloth.

Hardwood floors don't require any type of residue that a cleaner will leave behind.

A clean microfiber dampened by water is all you need.

anon128576
Post 145

The only product I have used is Bona and it works wonderfully! I love it and it does not leave a smell or any residue. The best I have found!

anon128305
Post 144

I have a 120 year old house, no idea what type of wood flooring or coating. but after much research online I found the best combination to use is a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of one whole lime into about three gallons of water.

anon125338
Post 143

I am using Windex to clean the dirt in small sections followed by olive oil (which was suggested by a girlfriend). My shine has finally returned!

anon124641
Post 142

I was shocked that no one mentioned rubbing alcohol and warm water with a one to four ratio. I always use the old fashioned way of cleaning on my hands and knees spraying the solution on one area at a time including hardwood steps. I then use either a microfiber cloth, a worn Turkish towel or T-Shirt to clean.

I then use a different cloth of the same materials for the final polishing as well shining the hardwood surface. The rubbing alcohol and water works great and leaves a most beautiful clean and shining hardwood floor! Please try it and you will love the process and the end results!

I learned this fantastic housekeeping tip when I operated a cleaning service business years ago!

Good Luck, Mary

anon124633
Post 141

As a pro housekeeper, either murphy's oil soap or swiffer hardwood to clean them after vacuuming or sweeping and then mop n glo multipurpose which really shines them after cleaning.

anon123805
Post 140

anon24980- Thanks for the Stanley Steemer shout out!

anon121131
Post 139

Ammonia and water! I used Bona floor cleaner weekly for one year. Loved it but I had a build up I could not get off. I called the manufacturer of the hardwood and they said do not use vinegar (or anything other cleaners) but instead ammonia and water (1 part ammonia, three parts water).

It is neutral so it will never damage the finish (even using it weekly). Amazing. I had to go over it two times but is like brand new.

anon118422
Post 138

I tried Bona - the cleaner works well but the polish was a nightmare. I kept creating these large, sticky, waxy white flakes all over my new hardwood floors (that have never been treated with any other product since we've moved in two months ago).

I was left with these horrible, dull streaks and dried-on white flakes all over the place. I tried the following:

1.) Spray Windex directly on floor (do one section at a time).

2.) Scrub with a Scotch Brite "Dobie" cleaning pad (rinse after each section).

3.) Wipe section clean and dry with a paper towel.

4.) Apply a light layer of pure mineral oil with a clean paper towel, a clean microfiber, or an old (but clean) tee shirt/rag. (Can get mineral oil from the laxative section at Target /Walmart/grocery store)

This did the trick for me.

That Bona gunk came right off with minimal effort (because the pad scours it off instead of you applying a ton of elbow grease) and the mineral oil gave my floors a nice natural sheen (that is also safe for my pet who licks her paws often). My hardwood floors are beautiful again – thank God!

anon113778
Post 137

Wow. Thank you to everyone who posted. I wish i had looked up the best way to clean hardwood floors a long time ago. I never would have bought the three no-no's. I too, am a victim of orange glo, 4-in-1, rejuvenate, and murphy's oil. Yikes! I will try the goof off 2, i think, to try to restore my beautiful floors (now haze mixed with shellac, thanks to the no-no's). Thanks again for all those who cared enough to put forth what actually works!

anon113324
Post 136

I used the brand "Ecover" floor soap make with Linden seed oil. You can find it at Wholefood market. It cleans and shines the floor. Loved it. This is after I tried murphy oil, Orange glo, method almond, you named it. Except for the windex, I haven't tried that.

anon111296
Post 135

Rejuvenate is the "devil". It has ruined my hardwood floors. I have tried removing the hazy look with alcohol, pine sol, murphys oil, vinegar and windex and nothing seems to work. What a mess! I have spent hours trying to get it off.

anon109507
Post 134

I clean houses for a living and I've always used Murphy's oil soap and never had an issue with it, even on those floors that the installers say not to use them on. Occasionally you will get a bit of a film which can be removed by using a mild all-purpose cleaner. I've used lysol, mr clean, pine-sol and mrs Meyer's cleaning day on them and never had any damage at all.

The trick with any cleaner on hardwoods is never use as much as they tell you to. i use maybe half of the recommended amount of murphy's which is probably why I've never had an issue with it. Vinegar always seems to leave floors dull to me, and as far as using a spray and microfiber flat mops to clean them, they don't really clean. They're great for touch ups but sometimes you need to mop. Period.

Wringing the mop out till it is damp is perfectly fine; it's not going to damage your floors. And if it does they were probably installed wrong in the first place. Wood is pretty durable but dirt is dirt. Wiping it with something barely wet won't keep your home clean. the best thing to keep in mind with cleaners on wood is that less is more.

anon102602
Post 133

I have Bruce/Hartco engineered flooring and have used Rejuvenate on them a few times. They looked okay for a while but there's definitely a buildup.

I have used acetone to remove the product from the finish and it works great! It doesn't do any damage to the finish at all and the floors look as good as the day they were installed.

anon93182
Post 132

I was also a victim of Orange-Glo, Bruce Hardwood

cleaner, and the Shark Steam Cleaner. We had to rent a buffer and put a pad on it -- that was the least abrasive. It took a lot of work, but we finally got the majority of the mess up. I now use Swiffer Wet-Jet for hardwood floors and so far am very happy with it!

anon91908
Post 131

Consumers should contact their flooring manufacturer directly for specific safe cleaning products and methods. Never use a steam cleaning devise. Avoid common cleaners containing wax, ammonia or abrasive substances.

anon91753
Post 130

BR-111 site says not to use ammonia in a pdf file under care and maintenance.

Funny how if you read the Orange Glo (4 in 1) label it says it will build up, and to remove this build up, to use 1 cup ammonia to 1/2 gal water, right on the label. But BR-111 says not to use ammonia, or water.

I assume the people who post here saying they use water and soap on 100-plus year old wood, are dealing with wood that was finished after installation, providing a solid top coat, preventing water from reaching between the planks.

Well my planks are pre-finished, allowing any moisture to get in and wick up under causing mold and other damage, not to mention swelling which will go away, but not the mold.

I am trying the clear Windex with vinegar to remove the faulty products. The firs plank came up shining with a residue from the adjacent plank on one edge which has Orange Glo on it.

I first tried Orange Glo 4 in 1 cleaner protector,

then used their Everyday Cleaner which was awesomely terrible. Yuck! Haze. Label says no streaking, no haze. Now that's a flat out lie. Ok switched brands.

Now I have the Pledge Wood Floor cleaner. C'mon, is this stuff made by Orange Glo too?

Maybe, just maybe, had I installed unfinished floors, then used a finish that has to be removed and finished every few years, would these products work, maybe.

I chatted with BR-111 today, and they say to use PolyCare. Well it's for -- duh -- polyurethaned floors. My BR-111 has Aluminum Oxide finish, and they don't know what to use. Will have to speak to a colleague and call me back.

Should I hold my breath or wait to eat before they call me back? sure.

I'm seeing a lot of posts of questions, but not many answers. Maybe one or two good answers repeated is worth noting. Like Windex, even though the manufacturer warns against it? My question then would be what to use after the Windex to keep a nice slick dust repellent, protective barrier.

What if, because the manufacturer recommends against ammonia, what if my finish is damaged or loses its shine after a year or so of this type cleaning?

anon89168
Post 129

I have had much success with my hardwoods using Quick Shine by Holloway House. I clean first with a weak solution of water and Murphy's Oil soap. I then apply at least four or five coats of Quick Shine, always letting each coat dry for at least 30 minutes. The shine is incredible and seems to last for about six weeks. I would give Quick Shine a try!

anon88290
Post 128

I just got new engineered hardwood flooring = southern maple, distressed and handscraped.

I don't care for the hardwood because it looks too distressed for me; however, my husband loves the floor. This type of floor has a natural matte shine. I prefer a very shiny hardwood look.

Is it possible for me to get my floors more shiny without messing up my new floors?

anon88195
Post 127

I also love the Method almond-scent wood floor cleaner! But because the product is made from natural products, it can aggravate allergies. I have to send my husband outside to use it or he sneezes!

anon86571
Post 126

For all home owners, being educated is the key. most homes are built on slabs and real hardwood is not used. Engineered wood is what is being put in most corporate builders' homes these days.

i have been dealing with the orange glow and murphy's oil nightmare for about five years.

the best way to break down the wax build up is acetone -- nothing more than finger nail polish remover. You ask, will it strip my finish? no, if it is an engineered product, it evaporates quickly and breaks down the wax build up.

it does take some elbow grease or a car buffer is what i use. my company charges .60 cents a foot to clean so it's not real easy. hope it helps.

anon86320
Post 125

I just tried using Windex and it worked! Arms are sore, but worth it. I finally have my shiny floors back. I sprayed Windex on towel then rubbed on floor. Took another cleaned towel and buffed dry. Again, a lot of work but it was worth it!

anon85696
Post 124

i just had to share how annoyed I am that my partner insisted on using "Brite" by sc johnson on newly polyurethaned floors for years. i noticed the poly flaking away.

i finally read the bottle for myself and it specifically says to use on tile/non wood floors only. so just because something make your floor look all shiny and nice doesn't mean it's the right product. Read the labels! thanks.

anon85023
Post 123

Really? All these people that used Murphy's oil and other junk never bothered to see what kind of finish they had? Check your finish first. If you use murphy's on a floor that is oil sealed with wax then you're messed up. Vinegar and water, all the way, and sweat a lot.

anon84846
Post 122

The best cleaner for hardwoods or tile is 1/2 cup white vinegar mixed with 1/2 gallon hot water. Use your hard floor vacuum attachment first to pick up the dirt and then finish by mopping with the vinegar/water. The hot water and vinegar sanitize the floors and evaporate quickly with no streaks. You aren't using oils or harmful chemicals and it is cheap!

anon81624
Post 121

We just moved into a home with lots of hardwood about a year and a half ago. the floors had just been refinished by the previous owner who didn't actually live in the house (long story.)

The vacuum I use is a Miele capricorn canister vacuum with a hepa filter. This vacuum works great, especially with so many people in our family having allergies. It's not too heavy and really cleans the floor well, especially if the bag is changed regularly (before the indicator comes on).

Using this, I vacuum every other day or so and only need to wash the hardwood floor every other month or so. I use Bona, which doesn't seem to leave a residue. Just got a steam mop for the tile floors so they can be as clean as the wood.

anon81586
Post 120

To the person who is installing new hardwoods with aluminum oxide finish. I bought my hardwoods with the same finish from Lumber Liquidators also.

They recommended a product made by Bellawood. It's a natural soy based hardwood floor cleaner with a microfiber cloth mop. Works great, no streaking, just spray a small amount on the mop cloth and go over the floor.

I vacuum first to pick up anything that may scratch the floor but they look like new when I'm finished. I tried the Bona product but it streaked.

anon81019
Post 119

We put new hardwood floors in 19 years ago. I have only used a little vinegar and water. Last year I had the original installer put in hardwood down my hallway. He couldn't believe the condition my floors were in after all these years.

anon80139
Post 118

Never, ever use Orange Glow, or Murphys Oil Soap. Just look at the word - it has oil in it. Most wood finishes are polyurethane and oil leaves a residue. They do not clean anything. If there is oil or wax buildup on the floor it cannot ever be recoated, it will have to be resanded which is extremely expensive for most people. Use glass cleaners, vinegar or Bona Kemi makes a great cleaner that leave no residue.

anon78669
Post 117

I have just had a terrible experience with Orange Glo and Murphy's Oil soap for hardwood floors!!! Don't buy! Going to try the windex. Thanks for all the helpful hints. Wish I had read them before I purchased the above products. They should be illegal!

anon77474
Post 116

Please be careful with animals using all of these cleansers. Method brand makes a windex type glass cleaner. They also make a wonderful smelling almond floor cleaner "wood for good". All of their products are safe for kids, pets, and the family as well as the environment. They are also inexpensive.

I have a new home with tigerwood hardwood floors which are dark and annoying and Method is just fine with me for most issues. Smells great and you're not breathing in toxic chemicals.

anon76893
Post 115

I just used Rejuvenate on my floors and it looks terrible. I am desperate to fix the streaks and uneven finish. Any suggestions? Does Windex work?

anon76623
Post 114

I have 200 year old oak with a poly finish. first i sweep, then I vacuum and if I have them, I use the dry swiffer sweeper. When the kitchen gets super dirty, i use the pledge hardwood floor cleaner. you just squirt and mop up. But mops don't work as good as plain ole microfiber cloth and your hands and knees.

My floor is super shiny, but you can't do a large part all at once. do it in sections, every five feet. dry and then shine.

I've also used plain old soap and water when it gets muddy or dirty. i use paper towels, in fact, because the dirty area is never larger than say, three square feet. in that case, I'll use just water. wipe down the area, and wipe again. then, dry off.

I've never had to have my floors refinished. and, no one's ever recommended any of the stuff you are all talking about here. my mom and grandma said just use water. period. the builder said try the pledge squirt bottle. floors are naturally shiny because of the finish. so just use the water to clean the dirt up.

but mostly i think the constant sweeping (every two days) and vacuuming (every saturday morning) and no shoes is the trick.

Also, use rugs in your kitchen and by each door.

anon73246
Post 113

quick shine is one product i would recommend and it always helps to use a clean microfiber cloth when you work on hardwood floors.

anon71987
Post 112

I really enjoyed all this information I've been reading. We live in a 113 year old home with beautiful old floors. I keep them up with Johnson's liquid wax from Lowe's. You will not believe how beautiful they will be. I do it the old fashioned way on my hands and knees, but it goes very quickly and I always have compliments. Thanks.

anon69892
Post 111

After weeks of scrubbing and frustration and bundle of money in cleaning products I finally found one that will take the dreaded Orange Glo off the hardwood floors! Its called Goof Off 2. It works like a charm and my floors are like brand new! This stuff works like a miracle.

The Orange Glo just came right off. Yes I still had to scrub. But not nearly as much or as hard as I had to scrub with all 10 million other things I tried. Straight ammonia and window cleaner couldn't hold a candle to the Goof Off 2 product.

Make sure you don't get the original Goof Off product -- it will completely strip the floors. Goof Off 2 is water based and it's made for use on fully cured varnished and oil-based painted surfaces and safe to use on most plastics as well! I wrote the makers of this product a huge thank you for this product. It will save your floors!

I put it on with a microfiber mop and the Orange Glo layer was so thick in some areas from the previous owners bathing the floors in it, I actually had to rinse the mop bonnet and scrub it before I could continue!

They carry it at Home Depot! It is about $7 for a 22 oz bottle and it took me 1.5 bottles to do over 1,000 sq ft of hardwood floor! But saved me hours because I didn't have to scrub so hard! I wish I would have known sooner! I am now going to go do my happy dance that my floors are clean and beautiful again!

anon69047
Post 110

I use either vinegar or my favorite is tea. You boil about eight tea bags, let it cool, and some water, and use a microfiber mop. The tannins from the tea even fill in small scratches. The floors shine beautifully! I tried the Shark steam mop and was left with streaky floors. Tea is the way to go!

anon68602
Post 109

I clean houses for a living. To clean the hard wood floors I use murphy's oil soap mixed with water in a squirt bottle and a swifter dust mop with a fitted microfiber cover from the dollar store.

I spray the floor with the murphy's soap and mop it up with the microfiber cloth cover. The trick to keeping your hard wood floors streak and film free is changing the microfiber cover on your mop in every room. When the mop head is dirty you are just putting the dirt back on the floor. This is why SWiffer wet jet pads streak floors.

Remember clean mop head, clean floors!

anon66411
Post 108

Holloway House. The stuff is fantastic. Both the cleaner and the Quick Shine work very well. I have old hardwood flooring and new porcelain tile, Mexican tile, and slate and it works on every single one of them. Not expensive and you can find it at Walmart.

anon66285
Post 107

we just moved into a house that had carpet for years and under it was wood flooring. the floor is not pretty to look at. i don't own the house but i would like to make it look good. what can i do to these floors?

anon65929
Post 106

How do I get the haze off of my hardwood floors? I was a victim of the Orange Glo too. Someone please post a solution for this problem. Does the Dep from Home Depot really work? I hate to be obsessive-compulsive about my floors, but I do not like the smeared, dirty look that Orange Glo gave them. Please post if you have an answer. Thanks, Nang in Tennessee

anon65905
Post 105

Man, thanks to the person who thought to use Windex! And thanks to all who posted. I put down BR 1-11 floors last year and used all the products mentioned above and all they did was make a unbelievable mess. The Windex works takes a lot of elbow grease but it does the job. Thanks again. Mel B. MD

anon65375
Post 104

The reason Windex works so well is the ammonia. Just use a very small amount (1 -2 teaspoons) of ammonia in about a gallon of water. The same combination of Ivory dish soap works really well on all types of wood and laminate floors.

I would like to know how to remove an oily stain from real wood flooring.

anon64322
Post 103

I ruined my wood floor with Rejuvinate. I tried to scrub it off with an orange based cleaner. This seemed to peel the wax off like sunburned skin. It took over an hour to do a one-foot section. What can I use to get this stuff off?

anon63795
Post 102

I am intending to install pre finished hardwood floors after a lifetime, almost, of carpeting since hardwood is to be so much more sanitary. The finish is aluminum oxide and I am ordering from Lumber Liquidators.

Has anyone had any experience with this finish? And I would like to hear more about steam cleaning hardwood floors. The problem, I gather, with steam is that it will make the wood wet. How about those machines that say the steam immediately evaporates and is dry right away?

anon63708
Post 101

While living in Holland I used Parquet Plus on my hardwood floors. It can be used either diluted in water or straight from the bottle for a high shine. I am unable to get it in the UK and find all the alternatives a complete waste of time.

anon63641
Post 100

I used orange glo, shark steam mop and murphy's on my two year old polyurethane sealed hardwood floors and was disappointed by all of these products.

I have a pet and after mopping with each of these products, not only did I have a dull waxy film over my floors but I also had paw prints all over them. I

have read most of these posts and decided to try out the windex and I absolutely loved the results. My floors look as new and as sleek as the first day. Do not mix the windex with water and do not spray directly onto the floors.

Spray it onto an old towel or rag and use a dry towel to finish buffing. It's hard work (on your knees scrubbing), but the results are rewarding.

All the floors need now is dusting every now and then because no longer will the dust stick to waxy floors. Thanks for the excellent advice.

anon63416
Post 99

Just pulled up a carpet pad that has probably been down for about 40 years. No polyurethane on the floor at all, but a beautiful but dull cherry finish. I need to shine it up. So what's the best way to do that?

anon62809
Post 98

To vacuum my wood floors I swear by the swiffer sweeper vac. It has the swiffer cloth that works great plus it vacuums, I've been using it for years, so much better than sweeping!

anon60964
Post 97

Goo Gone. My engineered wood floor had manufacturers glue along many of the joins which couldn't be removed by any other means. Looked like a bunch of black shoe scuff marks. Goo Gone (Canadian Tire) applied to a Q-Tip and lightly rubbed onto the residue took it off instantly. Five years later there are no adverse affects whatsoever.

I love Goo Gone and have also used it to remove sun baked packing tape residue from a dark wood bed frame. Wonderful stuff!

anon59368
Post 96

I also am a victim of Orange glo. Orange Glo has ruined my hardwood floors. I have tried so many products: Murphy's Oil Soap, Pledge, but nothing works -- it just adds more of a wax buildup.

I finally tried the Windex and warm water and it actually removes the buildup. After applying with mop a few times I could begin to scrape the Orange Glo buildup off my floor. Orange Glo is a horrible product and will ruin your beautiful hardwood floors.

anon58824
Post 95

Do not use rejuvenate on your hardwoods! We put it on our cherry polyurethane hardwoods and it took the shine off, you can see every scratch and swirl marks from rags. I am about to cry.

I have read all of these remarks and have no idea what to do to try to fix it. I was told that I would have to have them refinished and they are only 1 year old. Help!

anon58428
Post 94

I can't believe no one has mentioned using the Hoover Floor Mate on hardwood floors. I've had mine for four years now and would not do without.

It is not a steam cleaner (I would never use steam on hardwood!). But it puts down cleaning solution and then sucks it back up immediately. I use a small amount of mild dish soap and water with it.

It's lightweight and my floors look great! Never use Murphy's or anything with oil base (Orange glo) on a poly coating! Those products are awful!

anon58373
Post 93

I have the same issues with my hardwood floors. I have a no shoes rule in my apartment, mop once a week, and sweep every 2-3 days. But my feet/socks still get dirty so I created a footpad that sticks to the bottom of your foot, called Footums.

anon57808
Post 92

I too was a victim of the film residue left by Orange Glo, Pledge, Murphy's Oil, etc. Mineral spirits or paint thinner would not remove the film these so called hard wood floor cleaners left behind.

After reading several posts from others I thought I would try Windex. Wow! It did a fantastic job! Takes a bit of elbow grease but well worth it, trust me. I sprayed it on a section of three boards wide and let it soak about a minute. Wiped it up with a microfiber cloth then dried the area with a clean microfiber cloth. Floors look like new again!

Going to pick up some Bona wood floor cleaner tomorrow and see how it does. Not sure what effect continued use of Windex will have on the wood finish. So if your floors have a film buildup get you some Windex and a bottle of Aleve. My legs and arms are sore today but I have shiny beautiful floors. Well worth it.

anon57126
Post 91

This is the only method that has worked so far for my brazilian cherry engineered hard wood floors.

The key is to continuously use clean microfiber cloths and old fashion on your knees and scrub. I have found glass plus or windex gets the film off.

Spray the cleaner scrub with one cloth and buff with a different one. When the cloths are dirty, switch out for new. This takes a while but it does work, my floors look much better.

anon57027
Post 90

I see a lot of people here are using vinegar for their floors, however, the Bruce website says vinegar can dry your floor out.

I e-mailed Bruce and asked if I can use a steam mop on my pre-finished engineered hardwood floors and the reply was that the heat and water could damage the floor and they wouldn't recommend it. So I'll continue to use the Bruce hardwood cleaner in the green bottle, although I'm not thrilled with it.

anon56766
Post 89

I have tried everything on the hardwood floors, Then i started to call the people who make the floors and they all said Hertel cleaner. You can buy it at Canadian Tire, very cheap and lasts a long time. Mix a small amount in a spray bottle and spray and mop. it works great. No dulling or residue to deal with. Good luck.

anon56390
Post 88

Bruce hardwood finished floors, according to them should only use their products to clean. Swifter products leave a film and should not be used. Stay away from

Orange Glo leaves a dull film also, then you have to spend days cleaning the floors to get rid of it.

anon56178
Post 87

I don't know the manufacturer of our wood floors but they are maple wheat, hand scraped with wide planks. The finish has several coats of poly but the look is satin due to the hand scraped effect. So, we've never had to try and keep them shiny because they just aren't that type.

I've had luck with my new Dyson all floors (wheels haven't scratched yet but others noted that so will have to be careful and watch for that.) For mopping, the installer recommended Zep from Home Depot with a terry cloth large mop head. I later found that the skinnier Rubbermaid head with a microfiber pad works best for scrubbing and moves easier across the damp floor. The terry one is almost impossible to go over dampness because it gets stuck.

No matter what, it's backbreaking work when the wood is throughout as ours is although it's beautiful to look at! I was going to try the steam mop because it seems like it would be easier, but now I'm afraid because everyone here says not to, due to possible warping and breaking down the adhesive the floor is put down with. So, safer to stick with Zep spray with microfiber mop after vacuuming with Dyson. Also love, love, love my Dustbuster handheld for all the crumbs in the kitchen between cleanings.

anon56147
Post 86

I bet I have purchased over $100 worth of cleaning products for the floors. Nothing worked worth a darn. Many of them were name brands mentioned here. After reading all the posts of people using windex, I thought why not, I have nothing to lose.

The grime wiped up without effort. I am sold, Windex is it for now.

anon56146
Post 85

the HAAN steam cleaner removed the finish from my hard wood floors. I don't know if the model I have is defective or what. Buyers beware, I now have to have my floor repaired. It stripped the finish and stain right off.

anon55182
Post 84

After having the "Orange Glo" nightmare on my finished floors I found a simple but time consuming way to remove the build up. Using Windex and an old credit card, i literally scraped off the gunk. It is a nasty experience that took about a week but my floors are the best I've seen them. Not only will i never buy Orange Glo again, but I will stay away from any product "As seen on TV!"

anon54665
Post 83

My hardwoods are prefinished bruce hardwood. I have started using a bionaire steam mop and i love the results. my hardwood looks streak free and the mop dries so fast. the dirt in between the edges of hardwood is being sucked. i would recommend to steam mop the hardwoods. it uses only water and the power of steam!

anon49308
Post 81

As far as I'm concerned the BONA Floor Cleaning kit is the only way to go. Cleaned my floors beautifully and left no film or scum. The new BONA mop and cleaner works great - much easier than the flat mop and spray.

anon46543
Post 80

Do *not*use the Shark steam mop on your hardwood floors. It streaks and left a white film. If I had a previous film on it, the steam made it worse. The vinegar and windex seemed to do the trick. I did both methods and they seemed like the result was the same.

anon46513
Post 79

to simply dust floors on a daily basis I have the Roomba Robot vacuum and it works, works, works! I am undecided on how to clean my hardwoods. I want a simple method. Has anyone tried the Scooba robot?

anon46465
Post 78

I have a steam mop that i do love, but it makes my hardwood floors look very dull. so i tried the orange glo, which looked very nice at first, but now terrible! i'm going to try windex to see if it helps; it seems to be the one solution on here that a lot of people have agreed on.

anon46293
Post 77

Our whole middle floor is hardwood. We've tried everything such as Swiffer, Pine Sol, etc. What I found works very well is Mr. Clean all purpose cleaner. It gets diluted into spray bottles for our home cleaning and diluted into the bucket for mopping. After our hardwood floor has been mopped and has that lemony fresh smell and it's dried, we go over it with Mop and Glow and it gives a great shine but be sure and rinse your mop between using the Mr. Clean all purpose and Mop and Glow otherwise you will have a film. Mop and Glow works great on our linoleum laundry room floor too!

anon45655
Post 76

I use murphy oil, always, because that's the only one product that i see gives out a shiny glow after mopping. I love it.

anon44674
Post 75

i had pre-finished hardwoods for four years. now how the heck do i clean the dirt out of the micro beveled edge? is there a tool? a special cleaning agent? anything? help me!

mgemler
Post 74

has anyone used the Bona Floor Cleaning Kit? I am most interested in getting the floors clean. We wear socks only in the house, and no matter how I clean the floors, our socks are dirty from the floors.

anon42599
Post 72

The best way to keep harwood floors looking great is to use water and a vinegar solution *only* to clean. Use a damp mop and wipe with a soft cloth to create a shine. No matter what you do, the finish will have to be redone eventually. Never use orange glo or any other hardwood floor product because it will build up and you will have to either add wax or refinish the floors.

anon41323
Post 71

I did everything that everyone else did. The Orange Glo, Pledge and Swiffer for hardwood floors. The miracle fix - Windex! I sprayed it on a rag and cleaned plank by plank one at a time until the wax build up came off and a clean rag would glide across the floor. Thank you Windex!

anon40135
Post 70

Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques. It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.

Dirt and Grit: - Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floors' worst enemies. They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage.

Water and Other Spills: Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen.

Hard Cleaners: Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.

Furniture: Lift the furniture to move it — avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.

Dents: Vacuum with a brush attachment – don’t use vacuums with beater bars.

Sun: Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays.

anon39326
Post 69

Use windex. i tried and it looks pretty good. use a mop with windex and before it dries use a dried mop to polish. Do it like 3 times and you will see the shine of your finished floors.

anon38927
Post 68

Does anyone use the HAAN steamer on their poly sealed hardwookd floor (it is a Bruce Floor) I have tried bruce, orange glo, murphys soap. Floor looks horrible.

anon38373
Post 67

I am now confused. I used to use swiffer and it worked pretty good, then I used bruce but didn't like it too much. Someone suggested to use the steam mop and now my floor looks like unfinished wood. Orange glo (what the maid used) before I used the steam mop made it look good initially but had a residue behind. Now my wood floor is only a year old and looks as if it's years and years old. Please help with suggestions as to what I should do.

anon38308
Post 66

I sweep or use a dry Swiffer on my hardwood regularly, and to really clean the floor and make it shine I use Allura spray cleaner (I get it at Walmart) with a dry cloth mop pad (the kind you can remove and throw in the laundry). It leaves a beautiful shine, and I have never had a problem with streaks or residue.

anon38135
Post 65

I have ARK Engineered hardwood floors color Brazilian dark cherry. Currently I use a damp towel and then dry with a beach towel. It only looks good until someone starts walking on it barefoot then you see foot prints all over the place. I would like to have a nice shine on my floors. Any recommendations...Thank You

anon37618
Post 64

I used orange glow and I ruined my poly-wood floors. After reading different sites i used windex the last weekend and my floors look wonderful like a glass. If you want to see the difference you have to work so hard. I sprayed the windex on my floors and then I wait like a 3 minutes and then i grabbed a towel and cleaned with my hands 10 times each little part, I could see the build up coming out, then I sprayed windex again until i did not see any build up and you can tell that it is working when the towel runs easy on the floor. it was amazing!! a lot of people say do not spray the windex on your floors because it can damaged the poly but in my case worked wonderful, you must repeat the proces maybe 2 or 3 times at the same area. do not get tired of the long process because you will see the shine again. I spent hours in my floors. *Use windex*! the process has to be repeated again and again until you see the shine again

anon35851
Post 63

I would use this hardwood line of cleaners

anon35850
Post 62

I have new wood floors with a polyurethane finish and I always have a dull residue after washing the floor and then walking on it. I bought Orange Glo and that was a big mistake. My floors have not looked the same since. Orange Glo stinks!!! I will now try vinegar and water and see if that will have better results. Wish me luck.

anon33584
Post 61

I have Armada wood floors. I use Bruce hardwood cleaner and it works great but for a very short period of time! As soon as you walk on it, especially barefoot, it shows marks all over it! Is there something I can do to prevent footmarks and such?

ersm540
Post 60

I recently refinished the Doug Fir floors in my 1915 Craftsman. I use water and a bit of vinegar at the recommendation of the floor guy and am always satisfied with the result...clean, nice shine, no stickiness. The trick seems to be dusting/sweeping the floors really well before using the water/vinegar mix and then using a dry towel to "polish" the streaks and whatnot away.

For scuffs, I use an old nylon sock for linoleum and hardwood. They come right up.

anon31819
Post 59

Do *not* use Rejuvenate!! I used it almost a year ago and the floor looked beautiful until it needed to be wet mopped again. I am *still* trying to get some of it off!! It flaked and got stuck in the cracks between the floor boards. It was like peeling skin after a sunburn! It has left streaks on my floor for over a year that I still haven't been able to completely get off! I regret using it!

Lynner
Post 58

Need to remove dull film on new hardwood, any suggestions. Have tried water and Bona, but the film returns.

anon29727
Post 57

Never, never use vinegar on hardwood floors!! I sell hardwood for a living and know this. Use a mild dishwash detergent (ivory snow) nothing with citrus in it. And use only one drop in the bucket of water.

barbree
Post 56

While cleaning is easy, there are a few things to avoid:

* Don't use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.

* Don't use steel wool or scouring powder.

* Don't wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.

* Don't use any type of buffing machine.

Most important: Find out who manufactured your hardwood floor. They will tell you exactly what type cleaning products you need to use. You can also contact their technical division for correcting floor issues. They are very helpful and want your floors to last a lifetime!

anon29159
Post 55

Lots of good answers on this site. However, does anyone have experience removing the residue left on hardwood floors by the rubberized pads that go under area rugs? Any help would be appreciated!

anon29147
Post 54

After having our floors refinished and sealed, the floor contractor said Windex is all I should use. It's always been beautiful and we touch up every couple years with that floor shine that has polyurethane in it.

anon29100
Post 53

We replaced the old carpeting in our house with hardwood gunstock oak flooring polyurethane finish. After the long hard time of installing it with just me, my husband and a quite skilled friend who does carpentry, my new floor looks great but there is some glue left and small spaces esp with those corner areas. What is the best recommended cleaner for cleaning a the floor for the first time? What is the best transparent glue-like or quick-dry liquid sealer/patch that will not ruin the natural look of the wood floor? Please help!!! Thanks...

anon28740
Post 52

Has anyone tried using the "Shark Steam Mop" on hardwood floors that are sealed with a water based sealant that was applied by the home builder?

anon28733
Post 51

We bought a 49 year old house 6 years ago that has the original hard wood floors in the living room and top floor with 3 bedrooms and hallway, that had been recently refinished and ceramic tile throughout the rest of the house. They told us to use 1/3 cup white vinegar to a gallon of warm water on both our hardwood floor and ceramic tile.

For the hardwood floors (has poly/seal on them), I ring out the mop very well, wash a small area then immediately use an old beach towel to dry, then continue on. My floors still look great. I vac my floors weekly, but only wash hardwood floors about once every 3 months. 2 adults, 2 teens with friends, and no pets, they still look great! We do take our shoes off at the door, most of the time!

anon28640
Post 50

I used orange-glo & swiffer wet on my new bamboo floors. The orange-glo left a waxy build up on the floors. How can I remove the build up? Can I use a steam cleaner on the bamboo? Please help me.

anon28211
Post 49

*zep zep zep*...Worked, worked, worked!

anon26500
Post 48

I have had pre-finished hardwood flooring in my living room for 7 years now and all I have ever used is Avon bubblebath with warm water and a very good mop that can be wrung out quite dry. Easy and safe!

anon26443
Post 47

I use Zep Hardwood floor cleaner. Spray and damp mop, easy and effective.

misj309
Post 46

Sounds like a broken record, yet my floors are a mess. I too used orange-glo and pledge wood cleaner. I would do just about anything to get my shine back. Has anybody ever used Mineral Spirits? If so, how much? I have a good size great room and dining room to clean.

anon25007
Post 45

i would like to warn everyone about any swiffer product!!! it left a nasty film on my floors. what a mess it left. also orange glo. that is another mess. thanks for all the helpful hints.

anon24980
Post 44

I found that Stanley Steemer has a new process of deep cleaning hardwood floors. They have a machine that removes residues that are left behind by oil soaps and other heavy duty cleaners.

I had been using an oil soap with a mop. Immediately after it was cleaned you could see a difference, but I could still see the dull, milky look on the floor a few days later. Their process removing that dull look along with other scuffs that I had.

anon23641
Post 42

I have had engineered wood floors for almost 6 years now in the living room, dining, kitchen, halls and family room. I find the best way to take care of them - and have not seen it mentioned here - is mineral spirits probably once a year. Soft cloth, pour small amt mineral spirits and rub. Goes pretty fast. Works great, takes off all black marks. Not great for "sugar" based spots. In between I vac and dry mop couple times a week, and use Murphy's diluted and almost wrung dry towel just on spots occasionally.

anon23597
Post 41

I've just installed a beautiful wood floor over most of my lower floor. I've tried a couple different cleaners that have been recommended on various sites. The vinegar/water solution is commonly mentioned, but I think it makes the look a bit dull (my finish is a natural matte look). It's not a permanent dulling and can be buffed out easy enough. It seems to be a result of various particles being left on the surface. Plain water seems best.

I tried a steam mop (SHARK). It works okay, but after the light dust/dirt was initially removed from a small area, I found that I was soon just smearing the dirt around the rest of the floor, leaving obvious streaks. I tried rinsing the pad frequently. Helped a bit, but still not as good as just a plain damp pad/towel, rinsed frequently.

Lastly, I tried several vacuum cleaners. I have the Dyson Animal, which is awesome for carpet, but a quick disaster for my wood floor. Even with the bare floor setting, the front ridge of the unit is very low, and the small plastic wheels and front edge tend to collect grit particles and it actually scratched my new floor; heartbreaking every time I walk over those scratches! Tried the Electrolux Oxygen (canister) and it had the same problem as the Dyson. The best vacuum for my wood floor - absolutely hands down - is the Bissell "Versus" (light weight and less than $80). It does not have a beater brush, just soft rubber. The V-shape of the head gets right up to the base board and under the drip-eve of my kitchen island. And, the Bissell is super powerful, to where you can actually see fibers and pet hair being sucked into it from a foot away. And, absolutely no scratching.

Good luck.- OCD Floor Guy

anon21865
Post 40

I have only used vinegar and water on my hardwood floors for years. The trick for a beautiful shine is to dry it with a couple of old towels. I use one under each foot.

captainjl
Post 39

I have tried the orange glo, bruce, murphy's as well and the only CLEANER and POLISH I have found that works at all is the Palmetto Floors Cleaner and Polish. Their cleaner is great, but the Polish is my favorite. It makes my urethane coated floors look Brand NEW! I get so many compliments and tell everyone about it. I haven't found another product like it. they only sell online right now -

anon20724
Post 38

I have been on various websites trying to find out how to remove the film from my woodfloors, yes I have used orange glo, DO NOT use this product it will leave film on your floors after reading different solutions I went back to my Bruce floor cleaner, I have tried the vinegar and water this did not work either I do have Bruce-Tarkett floors the only that has seemed to work was the Bruce floor cleaner in the green bottle I purchased at Home Depot and just got on my hands and knees and cleaned and am going to do this for the next few days and see if it continues to work it seems to have removed the film....I will repost in a few days I hope this helps others.

anon20210
Post 37

I have used orange glo, pledge and oil soap and now have a residue on my wood floors how can I remove it so I can use the bruce spray for wood floors???

anon20194
Post 36

I recently bought Rejuvenate (Linens & Thngs or Home Depot) after seeing my neighbors floors. It made them look shiny and new. It is very easy to apply, dries quick, and not expensive. I would recommend it for anyone with hardwood floors that need a little pick me up.

anon18289
Post 35

It makes a difference whether your floors are new (polyurethane finished) or old (not refinished)! Water is dangerous to use on old floors because they are not sealed and the water will dull the floor and warp the boards. I have both types. One my poly floor I use 1 c. Simple Green in a gallon or so of water with a Libman mop- the kind you twist to wring. Works like a charm, environmentally responsible and easy- can't beat it. For the old, I use a squirt of lemon oil on a dust mop. Wear socks and watch your step in case you get a concentration of oil in a spot and it is slick until it absorbs.

anon17519
Post 34

I have hardwood floors and I have tried Murphy's Oil, Orange Glo, swiffer wet jet and Method (from Target). I have not had any luck with any of these products. They leave my floors looking dull and filmy. Just to let everyone know, do NOT use these products on your floors! I'm going to try Bruce's. Hardwood floor-companies recommend this product.

anon17333
Post 32

I have black stains on my wood floor in kitchen. May have something to do with water spilling. what can I do?

anon16753
Post 31

I recently bought a 50 year old house with beautiful, recently refinished hardwood floors in the hallway and "great room". This room is in the center of the house and includes the kitchen. Naturally, it's hard to keep the floors clean, especially in the kitchen. (I have 2 kids and cook a lot.) Today I discovered a great way to get them back to their nice satin glow. I dry-swiffered first (and got up an amazing amount of dust that I didn't even know was there). Then I soaked an old washcloth in white vinegar and water (about 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water, (but I did not really measure)) and wrung the washcloth out _really_ well. I fitted the washcloth into the swiffer mop and "mopped" the floor. Because it's low humidity today and I wrung the washcloth our really well the floors dried almost immediately. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes and my floors look and feel great. No need to buy expensive products, this really works!

rjohnson
Post 30

I use a regular old sponge mop for kitchen floors and a lavender scented product called fabuloso. Works for me!

anon16696
Post 28

I have very old hardwood floors, they have no shine left and definitely need to be refinished. I use "Bona" Swedish Formula and have been pleased with the results.

anon16173
Post 27

I totally agree that Orange Glo is disastrous on hard wood floors. But how do you get it off and get the shine back?

EQoverIQ
Post 26

i went out and bought the method wood floor cleaner and omop at Target that anon 15644 recommended. i have a polyurethane sealed wood floor with a satin finish (which i don't recommend by the way--looks great, but i have issues with scratching). it works like a charm! my floors look like they've been buffed, the microfiber cloth got up stuck on spots, and there's no film residue. it smells great and is environmentally friendly. it's also non-toxic, and packaged in a box made from bamboo! the sweeping pads that it comes with are made from corn-- cool!

anon15770
Post 25

I also used Orange Glo and it was disastrous. My beautiful high gloss Bruce wood floors are dull and I am ashamed for people to see them. I am working harder to keep them clean than I did with vinyl. I need help getting my "shine" back.

anon15644
Post 24

Floor type: Oak finished with polyurethane

Cleaner: Method Wood for Good floor cleaner (I have almond scent)

Mop: omop and microfiber mop pad - GREAT at getting out scuffs and dirt

Benefit: Biodegradable, non-toxic, great clean and soft shine - it's awesome.

Buy at: Got mine at Target

anon15344
Post 23

I use water a splash of vinegar and a little squirt of the stuff you use in your dishwasher to prevent spots on your dishes. Seems to work good.

anon14700
Post 21

I damp mopped my hardwood floors and now they have a film on them. I am sick!!! How do I fix this problem and what do I do to prevent this from happening in the future?

anon14597
Post 20

We recently moved into a house with hard wood floors. I have no idea if there is a poly finish. How would I find this out so I can properly clean them?

anon14042
Post 19

I, too, used Orange Glo and it is horrible. Has anyone ever tried using the wet swifter? My mother in law uses it, but I am afraid.

anon13976
Post 18

We recently moved into our new home that has hardwood floors through out. I have a rainbow vacuum cleaner that has a hardwood floor attachment. It's a wide head with soft bristles it works GREAT! for my hardwoods. This vacuum doesn't have a bag it is a water vac and it picks up great. I've had it 6yrs and wouldn't own any other vacuum. Plus I use it on my tile floors in the kitchen and bath too. As for cleaning I was using Murphy's oil soap until my sister-in-law said she was told by a refinisher it wasn't good to use oil products on hardwoods. When the day came that we may want to have our floors refinished the oil build up would make it a nightmare. They recommended hot water and vinegar also.

anon13158
Post 17

Has anyone tried the Rejuvenate (they have infomercials)? I just bought it at Home Depot and want to try this weekend. Our hallways (high traffic areas) really are scuffed up.

anon13092
Post 16

I also tried Orange Glo cleaner and Polish and was horrified with the results. At first it looked good, but very quickly the nice sheen began to dull, and when I tried cleaning my floors a few days later, I ended up with a dull film over the entire floor. I was sick to my stomach when I saw the results. I tried many cleaners to remove the film : vinegar, murphy's oil, and finally after using Bruce Hardwood floor cleaner spray with a microfiber cloth a few times, I think the film may finally be gone. I still see a few area that I've missed. I wish we could undo all of the myths when it comes to hardwood floors. I'm still trying to find the perfect cleaning method and solution.

anon11694
Post 15

I have pre-finished hardwood floors, and someone told me to use Johnson's One-Step. Looks great for a day or two, but is very smelly and messy and then it gets streaked and looks dull. The floor I haven't used it on looks great. Question-how can I remove all the wax build-up from the Johnson's product and start from scratch?

anon9217
Post 14

What kind of vacuum should be used? I read that a regular vacuum with a beater bar will ruin the finish. I've looked at some "broom vacuums" but I am not sure another machine is the answer. Please comment.

anon9021
Post 13

I have ruined the hardwood flooring in my entire downstairs by using Orange Glo. If I could sue, I would. I have finally found a solution. It can be purchased at Home Depot. It's called DEP Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It takes a lot of back-breaking work, but it will restore the original shine.

Moderator's reply: thanks! i'm going to try your recommendation!

anon8533
Post 12

I bought a steam mop and it has ruined my sealed hardwood floors. They are all warped and coming apart from each other. I thought I should warn others, so they do make the same mistake that I did.

bigmetal
Post 11

i agree that Murphy's Oil isn't as good as you would think for cleaning hardwood floors. after mopping with the cleaner that came with my little mop/vacuum combo, i switched to plain water after seeing how dull my floor was looking! looks better, it's cheaper, and environmentally friendly!

anon7891
Post 10

I just finished reading a gigantic thread on cleaning hardwood floors and it came down to this:

1. avoid Orange Glo, Murphy's oil or products such as Fuller that claim to be good on "certain" hardwood floors.

2a. use hot water and vinegar (half cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of hot water) and either use a mop or clean it by hand.

2b. or if you have polyurethane, you can use Bruce's 1 Step.

anon6331
Post 9

I recently saw a steam cleaning mop that was advertised to clean sealed wood floors. Anyone use steam to clean their hardwood floors?

anon6179
Post 8

i redently had engineered hardwood installed throughout my house. i have been very pleased with a cleaning set i got from home depot. it is bruce hardwood cleaner. i got the spray and the cloth mop and am quite pleased.

anon4478
Post 5

I would recommend using a cleaning product that works with the type of finish you have on the floor. The finish brand usually also has a cleaning solution you can use to clean. (that's why the stuff at the supermarket doesn't work) You can get that from companies that sell hardwood floors or ask the person you hired about that. Hope this helps.

anon4470
Post 4

I just had my floor refinished and I was told to try vinegar and water from a spray bottle to clean my floor. I have found it to be tacky and now my floor looks very dull. Can I get my shine back?

anon3762
Post 3

After sweeping, I use a hardwood floor cleaner that was purchased from a vacuum cleaner store. It should be diluted 1:32 parts; I use a spray bottle and a dry mop with removable cloth pads that can be washed and reused. Seems to work better than any expensive hardwood floor vacuum cleaner.

anon3434
Post 2

How to remove scuff marks from hardwood floors.

anon3378
Post 1

I have tried multiple wood cleaners on my floor from Orange Glo, Pledge, Murphy's Oil Soap, etc ... I think I have used every brand in the market .

I always end up with a "residue" looking film on the floor ... the only way I seem to not get this is if I do it by hand which is not realistic to do every time ...

Advice ? HELP ! My floors are beautiful but I can't seem to keep them looking fresh and clean.

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