Mopping Wood Floors - Newbie Help please?

pbx2_gwMarch 11, 2014

We have a 1 year old house that we dust every other day.

But we'd like to give it a good mopping.

Never have wash wood before - am a newbie to this stuff.

What are some good safe products to use on red-oak hardwood floors? matted finish.

I've done a search but there seems to be conflicting feedback from plain old soap & water to store bought stuff to only for the trades chemicals.

Appreciate the help.

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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

When I had my wood floors installed, the owner of the store told me to never use anything on wood floors except a dustmop and when I just had to wet mop them use nothing but water.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:10PM
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I use Bona products. They make a cleaner for hardwood floors.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:24PM
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When I was shopping for a new home they all had the newer things like granite, wood floors, marble, etc. and I started asking the clerks who sold the stuff. They all said "no chemicals, soap and water only".

I edited this because can't find the preview and submit icons. What am I missing out on???

This post was edited by EmmaR on Wed, Mar 12, 14 at 14:18

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:08PM
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Murphys oil soap, diluted

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:26PM
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We rehabbed our home last year and installed new oak flooring. Our flooring guys told us to only use water and soap- like plain dish soap. They specifically said to stay away from Murphy's Oil.

I use plain Palmolive and water in my RubberMaid Reveal now, used a Swiffer Jet Mop before. They are great because you only put out a little water, so there is never any standing/pooling water on the floor.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:07PM
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Thanks all - looks like again the feedbacks run the gamut.

When you mop damp with any of the items mentioned, do you have to go over the same floor area again to dry or buff it?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:36AM
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Did your guys say why they nixed Murphy's? It seems like a fairly gentle cleaner, I'd like to know why they said that.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:42AM
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I used water and a rag on my oak floors... no issues. Sometimes i'll use a dish soap (grease), but for dust i use just plain water. I'm a dust nazi (i wipe them 2 or 3 days a week/hands and knees).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 2:26PM
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We installed Anderson hardwood (veneer). We were told to use Bona cleaner only.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:15PM
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I've used Murphys. It smells nice but it leaves an oily un-shiny finish. Now I stick with Bona products-they make both a cleaner and a shine product.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 9:15AM
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We were also told not to use Murphy's, the reason being it can cause a build up, making your floors dull.

Our flooring guy (25 years in the business) recommended polycare floor cleaner (we can get it locally, but it's on amazon too). It works well, has a pleasant scent that's not chemical or perfume. Also, I bought a spin mop, which works well for hardwood because it ends up being more of a damp mop than wet. Too much water is bad!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 7:56PM
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I read somewhere that you should not use murphy's oil on cabinets.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:14PM
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I was told no Murphy's or orange cleaners because they contain oil. That will affect any attempt at refinishing in the future, preventing new finish from adhering, and possible softening of the current finish. Might not be a problem if you have to sand fully to new wood (but I'm not certain of that) but if you want to rebuff and reapply another coat of finish, oil causes problems. If you look online, you will also find lots of complaints about using Bona long term, then being sold their "refresher" to try to fix the problems.

I've used a weak solution of distilled white vinegar in water to clean floors, recommended by 2 different floor folks in 2 of my homes.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Sorry if I missed it - haven't mopped in like never - but do you have to dry mop or buff after using any of these solutions mentioned above or do you just let it air dry?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 1:18PM
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Haha, I just had my red oak floors refinished and my contractor seems to be one of many who says not to use Murphy's Oil Soap or any other specialty products. Just damp mop with water mixed with a little vinegar. He told me Murphy's Oil Soap is a major sponsor of the hardwood flooring trade associations (not surprising) yet no flooring experts think customers should use it. Maybe Murphy's should revamp their formula if their product is really not doing hardwood any favors.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Wooden floors can be easily damaged so I suggest that you don't take any unnecessary steps. For me I call a cleaning service every two weeks and they clean them for me. I guess they also give free cleaning tips and advices if contacted. Maybe you should try that. It is the Sunrise Cleaning Service in Ontario who does the house cleaning for me.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 2:35AM
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Diluted water & vinegar for my flooring : Lauzon engineered wood.
The link below describes the process.

Here is a link that might be useful: Using warm water & Vinegar

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Most hardwood floors have a finish on them, as do cabinets. Even if the finish is "matte," which I like, it's still a finish. So when you are cleaning, you are cleaning the finish, not the wood. We vacuum the floors to get all the dust and grit, and then spray with Bona and use one of those microfiber covered "mops" to rub it in one direction. Floors look great. We spot clean with Bona when needed, although in the kitchen we might clean a spot with soapy water and then dry it thoroughly. You won't need the buffing stage if you stick to Bona. It even says it is a finish restorer I think.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:54PM
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I just tried "Wood Wash" made by the makers of Liquid Gold on my very dirty kitchen factory-finished wood floors. My kitchen floor tends to get dirtier around the cooking area and getting it really clean has been a chore. I generally use a Hoover Floormate first, then Bona the floor. This "Wood Wash" did an amazing job with much less work, Got all the greasy dirt and muddy dog printss up and left a nice shine. No rinsing and no streaks. I used a quarter of a cup in a clean bucket with a gallon of hot water. Wrang the mop out very well and to just damp.
I did buy a new sponge mop with a natural sponge in it made just for hardwood floors - Libman, I think. Anyway, this stuff gets a big thumbs up from me, especially if you have hardwood in your kitchen or if you have issues with muddy footprints from kids or furkids!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:20AM
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