My wood floors are dull, dull, dull

osita70January 28, 2005

From the bit of research I have done, it looks like it might be due to the Murphy's oil soap. Or maybe it is just from heavy use - small house, 4 people, dogs, cats, etc. The places that don't get walked on a lot still have that shiny look, while the rest is very dull.

We sweep every other day and mop once a week. We have been using a wet mop (though really squeezed out) with a little bit of murphy's mixed in. Is this what has caused the dulling?

Any recommendations on what I should be cleaning with instead? The floors really are dirty after a week - so a little spot mopping won't work for us. Also, is there something I can put on to get the shine back (not wanting to sand or refinish the floors - looking for something easy.)

I have cross posted this in flooring - hope that doesn't offend anyone.

Thanks for any suggestions,


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I suspect your floors were waxed at one time and the Murphy's is dulling the wax.....or you have a shellac finish and it is water damaged.
Find an out of the way place....and use a Q tip and wet it with shellac thinner and see it it dissolves the finish. if may have to put another coat of shellac down....if you have urethane or varnish, cleaning the floors with a petrolium based cleaner should do the trick. There are cleaners in a pressurized can that put a little bit of cleaner ( comes out like mousse for your hair) on your floor and then you wipe it up with a towel...or a flat floor cleaner with a removeable terry cover.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 5:33PM
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Murphy's oil soap is not for wood floors. Get Bonkemi floor cleaner and then Bonkemi Restore. And it all comes with a applicator. Worth every penny and your floors will look brand new. Bonkemi is online and you can order online.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 2:44PM
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If you just want a quick shine, you could try Trewax One Step or a similar product (I got something at a janitorial supply called On and On.) It's a wipe-on acrylic finish that makes the floors shine like glass and lasts a good long time, months in places where there's no traffic, weeks in traffic zones. My friend calls it "mother-in-law wax" because you mop it on before your mother-in-law comes to visit.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2005 at 8:40PM
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Don't use acrylic wax on a wood floor! a matter don't use it ever on any floor....unless you are planning on selling and doing it just for show.
It builds up....and you have to use nasty stuff th get it off.
There are many cleaners made for hard wood not to get one that is water based unless you know what the finish on your floors is.
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 10:20AM
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If you get down real close to the floor, you may be able to see that the surface has a zillion tiny scratches on it. This happens with wear. Can't be helped. There are wax or wax type products that can be put on that will keep you from having to refinish soon. They usually will eventually cause a build up and then you strip it off and redo it. It's a pain in the whatzit, but cheaper than refinishing.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 4:57PM
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Ahhh Bonkemi to the rescue. This is a swedish floor care company that has products that I discovered on the flooring site. Best ever. Just washed and "restored" my wide plank pine soft wood floor. It looks like it was just poly'd and when I wash it no scuzzy stuff on top of the wood. Just shiny and clean! You can find them on line and also most flooring stores carry their products. Get the applicators for each process!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 7:39PM
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Here is a link to the Bonakemi site. They list retail dealers by zip on one of their pages.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonakemi

    Bookmark   February 14, 2005 at 9:10AM
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I love the Bonakemi products for our (very well worn) wood floor! We purchased the cleaner and refreshener from Restoration Hardware (see link below) and have been extremely happy with them. We purchased a bank repo home with very worn wood floors. We don't have the $$$ at this time to refinish them, so I tried a few products and the Bona products were by far the best. The cleaner lifted a lot of grime off the floors and the refreshener left a nice shine. I highly recommend it!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona products at Restoration Hardware

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 1:32AM
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Do any retailers carry bonalemi, such as Lowes, HD, or other hardware / home improvement stores?


    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:18AM
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Some of the DO IT stores carry it. I've never seen it at Lowes or Home Depot.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:10AM
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I used Quick Shine on our wood floors in the kid's rooms...I was very happy with the result. I'm refinishing the first floor floors now....I'll look for the Bonalemi products.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 2:11PM
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Linens and Things carries the Bonakemi.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 7:32AM
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Thanks to y'all, I picked up some Bona hardwood cleaner and a microfiber pad today at Linens n things. I removed the bottle from my swiffer wetjet and stuck the microfiber pad onto the head. Voila! The floors look so clean and, well, un-messed with. Natural, like new.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 6:59PM
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Try Holloway House Quick Shine - was recently highly touted in our newspaper. Kroger Grocery supposedly carries it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 3:16AM
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Our hardwood floors are 50+ yrs. old & have never been refinished so they were getting pretty dull in high traffic areas. My DH is badly crippled; not wanting to risk him falling, many waxes were out. I found RESTORE at Home Depot (about $15. a bottle.) Tried it on a small area to check for slippery-ness first & it passed the test.

Applied with a cloth wrapped on Swiffer, it's easy to apply & our floors look like they've just been refinished! Love this stuff.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2006 at 9:24AM
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I am new to cleaning hard wood floors. House is new. I was told the floors have been mopped with pine cleaner.
They look dull but they do not seem to be "damaged". What should I use to clean and is it possible to bring back the shine easily.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 11:17PM
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