Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?
    Whats the best way to clean hardwood floors? What commercial or natural product do you use?I think I used to use vinegar and water, is that good? What are your methods, whats the best way to remove grease from hardwood floors? Do those steam cleaners work well? If so what brand do you recommend?

    • ANSWER:
      My entire house is is hardwood floors and I am well…. NUTS! when it comes to things being clean and shiny!!
      I have used most of the stuff out on the market. Do not use the Swifter wet stuff it just leaves a film and the steam cleaners really just pushes the dirt around at least that is what I have found. The best method vinegar and water and a good clean sponge head mop. The true method to bringing out the shine is to wipe the floors dry, I have a bunch of old towels that I just throw on the floor and with my two feet and sometimes hands buff the floors dry. I have a very light wood in my home and when the sun streams through the glass doors off the back of my house you see a brilliant shine. Best of luck

  2. QUESTION:
    Best way to clean hardwood floors?
    What is the best way to clean hardwood floors? It seems I have tried everything and there is always a film left over the floors taking away the shine. My floors are original bamboo floors. Thank you.

    • ANSWER:
      Most wood floors can be kept clean by first sweeping or vacuuming with a floor nozzle to remove most of the surface dust and dirt, then damp mopping with clear water (dip a sponge in clear water, squeezing it out so that the mop is barely damp, almost dry). Use very little water and rinse your mop thoroughly after each use since excess water can dissolve protective coatings, alter the color of the wood and raise the grain to roughen the surface.

      If your floors are not dirty enough to need mopping every week, then you should not do it, as it will wear the floors faster, not to mention waste your time. Simply sweeping is often all they need.

      If need to restore the shine to your wood floor after you get it clean, try damp mopping it with 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons furniture polish in a gallon of warm water. Vinegar is also useful for removing any soap residue or build-up, but should not be necessary every week.:)

  3. QUESTION:
    Any tips on cleaning hardwood floors besides the high priced cleaners in the stores?
    Those cleaners were prolly not around years ago, so what did our parents, grandparents use to clean hardwood floors?

    • ANSWER:
      Vinegar and water cleans almost everything under the sun. If you would like a commercial product, try Murphy’s Oil Soap. It’s designed to clean wood without damaging it.

  4. QUESTION:
    What is the Best way to clean Hardwood floors??
    Anyone know the best way to clean hardwood floors without stripping them??

    • ANSWER:
      Hot water and vinager

  5. QUESTION:
    What do i use to clean hardwood floors?
    My family and I just installed hardwood floors. I was wondering how do i clean my house? Whats the best simple way to clean hardwood floors?

    • ANSWER:
      Wood floors are not meant to be washed down. Murphy’s oil soap is the worst thing you can use on your floor. If ever the floors need to be refinished there is where you will see the problem. Once the sealer is applied it will separate like oil and vinegar. Solution for this? Floors will have to be re-sanded. So save yourself the trouble in the future! What i recommend to all my clients with very expensive wood floors is a product called Bona X http://www.bonakemi.com/shop/products.asp

      It is the only thing that you should use on your floors. Never use vinegar or anything that has a ammonia base. Your floors will bleach and ruin the sealant

  6. QUESTION:
    What’s the best way to clean a poly-stained hardwood floor? Are there any “natural” methods that work well?
    Years ago I read about using black tea to clean hardwood floors. I’m wonding if anyone has tried this? I would like to use products I may already have at home such as: tea, vinegar, etc.

    • ANSWER:
      I’ve never tried anything that I already have on my hardwood floors. I always just use Murphy Oil. It leaves my floors looking and smelling so clean, with just a little bit of shine. AND it’s not sticky or slippery.

  7. QUESTION:
    What is the best thing to clean hardwood floors with?
    I need something that will clean my hardwood floors without leaving a nasty streaky look!! Any suggestions??

    • ANSWER:
      I use Apple Cider Vinegar and water. Mix the two in any ratio you want. Then mop and scrub with this mixture. Don’t over-saturate the mop…you want damp, but not dripping wet.

      Apple Cider Vinegar contains tannins, which condition the wood while it cleans. It makes hardwood floors absolutely glow. Plus it’s non-toxic and can be used as often as you like.

      Once in a while I also add a couple teaspoons of Lemon Oil to the mixture…but you could use just about any Essential Oil. If you do add oil, stir the mixture often to keep the oil mixed.

      I used to use Murphy’s Oil soap, but it left a dull residue, so I switched to this method after hearing about on HGTV.

      You might consider using a Microfiber mop, too. Microfiber + apple cider vinegar will get rid of those streaks you’ve been getting. You can buy microfiber mops just about anywhere…Target, Walmart, Home Depot, even Dollar General.

      Good luck.

      -

  8. QUESTION:
    what is the best way to clean hardwood floors?
    we are tearing up the carpet and refinishing the natural oak floors in our new home and since i have only ever had carpet i need to know the best way to clean the floors because i am a neat freak lol…i would like to go with some sort of vaccum because i am afraid a broom with scratch the floors, doesnt swifer make a small vaccum? would that work? also i know you cannot mop them so how do you actually clean/disinfect a hardwood floor?

    • ANSWER:
      I would use a shop vac to vacuum up whatever the carpet left. Then I’d dust it with a microfiber dust mop. There are various cleaners for hardwood floors. I do not like the oil soap ones. Lowes and Sams sell some industrial hardwood floor cleaners–I’d mop the floors using one of those following directions. Then I’d use the Orange Glo Every Day Floor Cleaner and mop that you can buy at Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc.

  9. QUESTION:
    How should I clean my hardwood floors?
    I’ve been doing online research trying to find out whats the best way to clean my hardwood floors. I’m getting all kinds of answers like “use vinegar” and then at another site I get “don’t use vinegar!” I just want to know what people are using. This is for like a weekly cleaning, not a major wax job or anything like that. Normally I mop my vinyl and slate floors with water and Pine-sol; is this a save option for my hardwoods? Wet mop or slightly damp? Help! Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Do not use vinegar! Murphys Oil Soap is for wood. Never use products on wood unless it says safe for wood. Murphys cleans great and smells good too.

  10. QUESTION:
    what to clean Hardwood floors with?
    what can you use to clean hardwood floors?
    that you can find around the house

    • ANSWER:
      mop and a broom. Use swiffer! Works everytime!
      or you can just use:
      1)Hot Water
      2)Wipe (Tissue, Toilet Paper, Sponge)
      3) Add a little bit of soap in the hot water. Put the hot water in a bucket. Wipe your floors. The floors will be shiny and clean!)

      I haven’t seen any bugs or insects. You febreze and spray everyday around your house to avoid odors and tons of dust!

  11. QUESTION:
    What is the best sweeper or mop to clean dust and dirt from hardwood floors?
    Single guy wanting to know the best mop or sweeper that makes it easy to clean my hardwood floors in my house.

    • ANSWER:
      Buy the Shark, I just did and did a great job cleaning my hardwood floors. Good Luck

  12. QUESTION:
    How to clean hardwood floors that are sticky?
    I have a hardwood floor with polyurethane protectant. I have the darndest time trying to get it clean when the kids drop juice or soda on it. I have used hardwood floor cleaner on it and that hasn’t worked. Please help?

    • ANSWER:
      I will tell you that vinegar and warm water is the very best thing to clean hardwood with. I have cleaned homes with hardwood for years and this is the best. I have tried all products, new and old and nothing cleans like vinegar!

  13. QUESTION:
    The best way to clean a hardwood floor?
    I’m buying a home which has hardwood flooring covered by carpeting. I’m going to tear up the carpeting and inspect the flooring. If the flooring is in decent shape, what should I probably be prepared to do? Are there any tricks to thoroughly cleaning hardwood flooring? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      A mop or swiffer will usually do the trick. But once you clean it you’ll want to protect it with a clear epoxy coating such as one of those on this page:

      http://www.superfloorcoat.com/hardwood.asp

  14. QUESTION:
    How do i get streaks of my hardwood floor?
    I cleaned my hardwood floor with clorax bleach . And since I have done that u see all these streaks on it . I have mopped over it a million times with water and I dry it will a towel afterwards. So any suggestions on what to use to get rid of the streaks .

    • ANSWER:
      Unfortunately, the bleach has probably eaten away at your floors finish. Your only hope now is to have what is called a buff and recoat done on the floors. This involves buffing the floor and applying a fresh coating of a wood floor finish. It usually costs about per square foot.

  15. QUESTION:
    What is the best cleaner for hardwood floors?

    I have hardwood floors throughout my house and I would like your opinions on what the best hardwood floor cleaner is and what makes them really shiny. I use orange glo and the shine doesnt last long at all.

    • ANSWER:
      Hi, It is important to regularly remove dirt and debris from your wood floors as it can wear the finish. I usually vacuum with a hard floor brush. If I don’t feel like pulling out the vacuum I use a broom or swifter.

      I damp mop only when it looks like it needs it with only a slightly damp mop rinsing the mop regularly. I just use warm water as we like going barefoot and I like natural products. Do not use ammonia based or oil based soaps as they dull the finish of your floor. Once in a while I use a 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water. I attach a towel to my swifter and quickly dry mop it if it is cold out and it is not drying quickly.

      It is also good to use preventative maintenance such as felt pads on your furniture. Area rugs should be placed in high traffic area and at entrances to help trap dirt. An area rug placed by your sink helps with water being splashed. Any spills should be wiped up right away. Hope this helps.

      http://www.hardwoodlaminateflooringguide.com/cleaning-hardwood-floors.html

  16. QUESTION:
    What is the best cleaner for hardwood floors?
    I have hardwood floors throughout my house and I would like your opinions on what the best hardwood floor cleaner is and what makes them really shiny. I use orange glo and the shine doesnt last long at all.
    any other suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      You should never use one of those liquid self-shine products on hardwood floors.After awhile there will be a build-up especially in the corners.
      The best way to clean the wax buildup is with Tri-Sodium-Phosphate – TSP – and then use a good paste wax put down with a buffer.”Butches
      Paste Wax” is a good one. 9/25

  17. QUESTION:
    How do I remove streaks from my hardwood floor?
    Tried everything over the course of the last 6 weeks. Cleaned with hardwood floor cleaner (Holloway House), vinegar/warm water, Murphy’s Oil Soap. Still streaks! What can I do to remove the streaking?

    • ANSWER:
      The first thing you need to know is what type of finish you have on your floor. If the floor was purchased sometime in the last 7 years it is most likely a urethane/aluminum oxide finish. If this is the case the first thing you need to do is stop using any polish, oil, soap, or water on the floor. All of these products will ruin the finish of your floor. What you need to do is go to Home Depot and buy some large pails of acetone. Pour some acetone on a clean white cloth and wipe down the floor with it. Repeat this process over the entire floor, the acetone will not damage the finish of the floor. You may need to do this several times in order to completely strip the floor of all the other products you have been using. After you have completely cleaned the floor start using Bona Cleaner for your regular cleaning. This is a product that is specifically made for urethane finish floors and should remove the streaks. It can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes, or any specialty Flooring Store.

  18. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?
    I have dark hardwood floors and cannot get them clean! I recently tried Orange Glow and it did nothing… so today I tried Murphy’s Oil and now I think I stripped the floor! Please help.

    • ANSWER:
      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.There are many hardwood floor cleaners available, but a neutral cleanser (neither too low or too high a pH level) and water will do the job just as effectively

  19. QUESTION:
    When I cleaned dog poop off my hardwood floor, why does it still smell?
    I cleaned the hardwood floor by picking up the dog poop and cleaning the area with a combination of clorox cleansing wipes and mr. clean floor disinfectant cleanser. Why does the room still smell a little like dog poop?

    • ANSWER:
      Either there is still poop stuck in very small crevices of your floor or it’s simply that lovely odor that’s lingering in the air. Try opening up the windows, airing out the room and see if it still smells after a couple/few hours.

      Good luck! Seriously!

  20. QUESTION:
    What is the best thing to clean hardwood floors with?
    I am renting a place that was built in 1912, it has the original hardwood floors in it. The clear coating I guess its sealer has flaked off in quit a few spots. What would be the best thing to clean the floor with that would be safe for my animals. Ive worked in an old building that I had to clean the floors with vinegar and water but it left it dull looking. Any suggestions Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Try using Apple Cider Vinegar and water, instead of white vinegar. Mix the two in any ratio you want. Then mop and scrub with this mixture. Don’t over-saturate the mop…you want damp, but not dripping wet.

      Apple Cider Vinegar contains tannins, which condition the wood while it cleans. It makes hardwood floors absolutely glow. Plus it’s non-toxic so it won’t hurt your animals.

      Once in a while you can also add a couple teaspoons of just about any Essential Oil. This will add extra glow. If you do add oil, stir the mixture often to keep the oil mixed.

      I used to use Murphy’s Oil soap, but it left a dull residue, so I switched to this method after hearing about on HGTV.

      You might also consider using a Microfiber mop, too. You can buy these just about anywhere…Target, Walmart, Home Depot, even Dollar General.

      Good luck.

      -

  21. QUESTION:
    What is the best product to use to clean hardwood floors?
    I have hardwood floors throughout my house. My dog has started having accidents due to his age. What do I use to clean them that will not destroy the poly/shine finish?

    • ANSWER:
      One cup of vinegar to a gallon of warm water is the safest and best way to clean your hardwood floors. The vinegar will also neutralize the urine.
      Murphy’s Oil Soap is to be avoided as it does nothing to neutralize the dog urine and leaves a residue that may make a buff and recoat impossible in the future.
      Having been the owner of an older dog (Boxer) I have been through this too, hardwood is infinitely easier to clean than carpeting for accidents.^

  22. QUESTION:
    What’s the best way to clean hardwood floors?
    We recently had our hardwood floors refinished and want to preserve them. Is there one particualr cleaner/polisher that is recommended? I checked at our local hardware store and there seems to be a pletheora of products but not sure which one to use for general cleaning that won’t cause build up or cause the finish to erode. Thank you

    • ANSWER:
      I just found a product that works well. It is Bona Swedish Formula hardwood floor cleaner. You spray a small area of floor with the cleaner, then wipe it with a swiffer-like floor cloth. I bought a kit that included the swiffer-like item (the cloth can be removed for laundering) and the cleaner. Its is recommended for finished floors, with a unwaxed finish.

  23. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to clean hardwood floors?
    I have two puppies, one is in the proccess of being potty trained, he does well during the day, but at night, he tends to urinate and poop upstairs on my hardwood floor. I know not to use bleach on hardwood floor, but I don’t know any other way to clean them. I also need to get rid of the animal smell in my house, any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      Glenn is absolutely right.. The cleaner MADE for hard wood flooring is the best.. Along with the dust mop those type need.. Bruce and Bona put out a good kit for 20$… NEVER soap and water… soap will leave a residue on the floor unless rinsed well. And you do NOT want to use excess water on wood. The residue left will attract dirt.. You don t use soap and water on your fine wood furniture why on your nice hard wood? A kennel for the pup will help potty train them and keep messes contained. My dogs love a nice quiet spot of their own GL

  24. QUESTION:
    Floor cleaner that will clean tile & hardwood floors?
    I’m looking for something that will clean tile and hardwood floors — are there any products like that? Will Pine Sol be okay or are there better products? Not looking for anything super expensive, just need to clean the floors!

    thx!
    Thanks Dana — personally, I like the smell of Pine Sol and it’s made with Pine Oil… so, it’s pretty natural, IMO.

    I don’t like the “all-green-clean” stuff, either, and I have a B.S. in Environmental Science & Studies.

    • ANSWER:
      Pin Sol, Spic and SPan, or you could be a moron and buy a “Green” Cleaner if you like to pay more for a product just as toxic and worse on the environment. Then there will be the idiots that tell you to use vinegar and water, but since vinegar is a toxic acid it will damage your floors and poison your family! SOrry I just wanted to save you from all the uneducated, misinformed “Natural” cleaner crowd that frequents Y/A!!

      Hey I have the same degree! Any luck finding work????

  25. QUESTION:
    What’s the best tool to use to remove dog/cat hair from a hardwood floor?
    Our dog and cat shed everywhere, and the only places that we aren’t able to keep clean are the hardwood floor in the living room and the Pergo floor in the kitchen. We’ve tried everything from our vaccuum cleaner to a Swiffer to a dust mop, but we can’t ever pick up all of the hair. What has worked for you?

    • ANSWER:
      i bought a type of mop at home depot last year. the handle is bright yellow and the head is black. the head is just made of rubber, one side like a squeegie and the other side is rubber teeth. it picks up everything off of a hardwood or tile floor. i use it every day… they were sold on tv with a goofy name like magic mop… or something. i just checked ebay and found one… same color as mine… check out : http://cgi.ebay.com/Original-Dutch-Broom-Great-for-Pet-Hair_W0QQitemZ130061328933QQihZ003QQcategoryZ46305QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

      They are calling it an Original Dutch Broom…. it works… I got mine at Home Depot for …

  26. QUESTION:
    How can I REALLY clean hardwood floors that have not been cleaned in years?
    I just moved into an old house that was recently renovated. The all original hardwood floors had not been cleaned in years prior to us moving in. We’ve Swiffer-ed multiple times, vacuumed, and mopped with Murphy’s Oil Soap (and immediately hand dried with a towel) to remove the layers upon layers of dust and grime. But no matter what we do, the floors are still noticeably dirty from the years of build up and renovations. What can I do?

    • ANSWER:
      You will probably have to have them refinished to get that glow back.I know when I use to use the products you mantioned my floors looked worse and also had streaks.After talking to many floor specialist the only way I clean them now is with a Steam cleaner made just for hardwood floors..It’s made by Shark and sold at Lowes.I use just Distilled water and my floors are perfect everytime.They do sell Rejuvinators but once you use this you’ll never be able to clean them again the regular way as it leaves a wax coating,so be careful

  27. QUESTION:
    how to clean hardwood floors?
    I have old hardwood floor and after I clean them, they still look dirty, how can I go about cleaning them and making them healthy enough for two small children.

    • ANSWER:
      That dirt may well be just the patina of the floor. As wood ages it takes on a different look from new – the wood becomes more ruddy and the shine is a bit fuzzier. Dark spots appear in various crevices, etc. Antique collectors and lovers of old homes find this to be quite attractive. The only way to get ride of it is to strip. Don’t do that…old floors are beautiful!! If you are using a wood cleaner that contains silicone (like Pledge) your floors will look dull. The more silicone that is added, the duller they will look. Forget about that. Clean them well with a fresh mop and plenty of warm soapy water. Scrub them GOOD! The water will be grey and need to be changed often. After they dry, get another clean mop and a heavy dose of wood oil (a good brand with no added color or citrus) and apply this to the floors with your mop. Buff to a high shine. They will look great. Think about sweeping and polishing wood floors, not mopping them with a harsh liquid.

      Good luck!!

  28. QUESTION:
    What’s a sure way to clean AND shine hardwood floors?
    With two kids and a dog our hardwood floors are looking somewhat dull. When I use any of the commercial hardwood cleaners they seem to make it even duller. Vinegar is a great cleaner but does nothing for the shine.

    Does anyone have a great recipe to clean AND shine hardwood floors?

    • ANSWER:
      If they’re real hardwood floors, it’s the finish (most often polyurethane) that makes them shine. Cleaning with vinegar is great but, you’re right, it won’t shine them. If they were shiny at one point, you’ll need to reapply the semi or high gloss finish. Products like Pledge, Murphy’s Oil or other waxy cleaners will not give you the results you’re looking for. It will make them appear dull. (and actually trap dirt.)

  29. QUESTION:
    How to clean a stove with out using toxic?
    I have a small cleaning service and i am trying to find out how to clean a oven with out toxic oven cleaner and would to also find out the best way to clean hardwood floors. http://www.completelycleanhomes.net

    • ANSWER:
      To Clean hardwood floors whip up a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a recycled spray bottle, then spray on a cotton rag or the bottom of your hardwood floor mop. Then mop your floors, scrubbing away any grime.

  30. QUESTION:
    how do i clean my click hardwood floors?
    i think its laminate m not sure lol … its the stuff that looks like hardwood but its like 4 pieces and clicks together..see i bought pledge hardwood floor cleaner and now i have a white residue on my entire floor how do i clean it? how do i get the residue off and what product do i use to mantain it?

    • ANSWER:
      Honey save yourself a ton of time and money. All you need for hardwood or Pergo is white vinegar and water. Combine half and half in a spray bottle and you have the very best cleaner for wood floors or any floor really. You may have some residual streaking as the buildup from the Pledge comes off but don’t worry – after about 3 cleanings it should be totally gone.

      The smell goes away in like a half hour – less if you open the windows.


how to clean hardwood floor