Disinfect kitchen wood floors??

kat123April 11, 2010

We have hardwood floors in our kitchen. While it looks great, I don't like not being to clean/disinfect the wood foors. Do any of you know of any product or have good ideas on how I can get my wood ktchen floors germ free? Thanks for any and all help and suggestions.

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I don't think any floor can ever be germ free. But why can't you clean them? What kind of finish do they have?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 3:32PM
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Germs make you healthier. Our extreme cleanliness in the US is thought to be a possible cause for asthma, allergies, and some immune related diseases.

But, I use a very dilute detergent to clean my floors.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    April 11, 2010 at 9:45PM
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I'm talking about REAL hardwood flooring, not something like Pergo, etc. How can this type of flooring be cleaned properly in the kitchen. I'm not germ crazy, but do take pride in a clean home and especially the kitchen and the kitchen floors. So again I'm asking, do any of you have an idea how to really clean real hard wood flooring in a kitchen besides just dry moping or sweeping? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:17AM
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Again, what kind of finish is on them? You are cleaning the finish, not the wood (unless it is worn through).

Have you looked at Bona products?

I use a neutral floor cleaner applied sparingly and dried right away. I wipe up spills immediately with damp paper towels. I'm sure it's not germ free, but really, this is something intended for feet, not food.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 9:38PM
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Hi kat, I do understand what you're asking. We have engineered hardwood floors throughout our first floor, not solid, but real wood just the same. Cleaning it has been an issue. It's manufactured by Bruce who strongly says, use NO WATER, NO VINEGAR, NO STEAM MOPS, but only use our cleaner, Bruce Hardwood cleaner in the spray bottle. So I used it for months, never really thinking the floor was getting as clean as it could. And then it started to build up and the floor became tacky to the touch. Ugh. I switched to Bona which was better and that's where I am now. I would love to go over it once with a steam mop but I'm afraid to do it even once. My neighbor also has engineered hardwood and did use a steam mop...her floor looked beautiful...and she said that the mop head was filthy. But after using it a few times she stopped because she was afraid of ruining the finish, and she's now back to wondering what to use. I told her to try Bona. So all I can recommend at this point is Bona hardwood floor cleaner. If you find something that works, please post.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 2:21PM
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I don't have a steam mop so don't know how much water they put out. I don't think the problem is in destroying the finish. I believe the NO WATER thing is CYA for them so you don't flood it causing the wood to swell.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:15PM
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I did e-mail Bruce to ask about using a steam mop. Their reply was that the heat could be a problem for the finish, eventually damaging it. And, of course, water and wood don't mix. I'm not sure how much water comes out of the steam mop either...some mops work better than others. I had a friend who said she only dry mopped her floor and never used cleaner. There's no way I can do that in my house, especially in the winter. People don't like to take off their shoes, a big reason being that that our floor is glued to a concrete slab which tends to be very cold in the winter (and always very hard and unforgiving). So shoes stay on and my floor gets dirty.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 8:54PM
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I worked for Bruce and have seen people ruin their floors by wet mopping. I don't think the steam mops would be a major issue if used occassionally. What I saw was in restaraunt settings like a Starbucks where the cleaning crews would wet mop and get it too wet but an occassional steam mop would not infuse a ton of moisture into the wood imo.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 11:52AM
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I've always damp mopped my hardwood floors. They are solid wood with an old finish, so probably no poly. So, I'm sticking with water and a mild diluted detergent.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 5:47PM
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Kat - Are you planning to lick the floors?

If not, just wipe up spills promptly and occasionally damp mop with vinegar and water, or mild soap and water. And keep the floor well-waxed and buffed.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    April 17, 2010 at 7:19PM
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Lazygarden, no offense but unless your a mind reader you have no idea what type of hardwood floor she has or what the finish is. Following your advise to keep her wood 'waxed' would ruin most any urethane finished floor. These forums are fun but if you followed all advise you'd soon be in trouble.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    April 17, 2010 at 10:51PM
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Our floors are a dark stained oak with a polyeur. top coat.
Since we have little grandbabies, I think it's important to keep the floors clean. When we had the floors installed, we were told "no water"! Our decorator has hardwoods through out his home and they use Bona products which are very good. I still wish there was some tpye of "green" product out there that could be used as a disinfectant.
Possibly lazygardens recommends her tongue!! CLG7067, some germs are good and some can make you extremely sick and even kill you!

1 Like    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 1:50AM
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And then there was the lady I talked to the other day who wanted to put indoor outdoor carpet in her kitchen. When I mildly protested that you couldn't wipe up an egg or pancake batter spill, she sniffed her nose and said, "Well, it's all about personal taste isn't it? We'll just go to your competitor." LOL! Well, yes it is about taste, but there is such a thing as matching your taste to your lifestyle and cleaning requirements. If you are someone who MUST disinfect a floor, then you should have materials that are suitable to that process. Tile or vinyl comes to mind. Or, if you don't cook at all and only use the kitchen to heat up takeout in the MW, then carpet might be something that worked. In the average used kitchen, it wouldn't. And, in any location that needs to be disinfected, wood is a poor choice.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Live Wire Oak, actually wood was an EXCELLENT choice for our kitchen AND the for the kitchens of many HG readers, as well as, many of our friends.

Not only is it beautiful, it is very forgiving on bad knees, feet, etc.

Perhaps the word "disinfect" is what is causing grief with a couple readers. Perhaps just using the
word "clean....really clean" would have been less offensive and cause less sarcastic replies.

At any rate, wood we have and, yes, we "would install wood" again because of its beauty and incredible forgiveness.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Thanks susanjin, ruthie51, and kat123 for your Bona recommendation! WeÂre currently offering a promotion on the mop. Watch this short video about the Bona hardwood floor mop at  www.mybonahome.com/funmop , and then download an $8 coupon to be redeemed at local retailers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona Hardwood Floor Mop

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    July 7, 2010 at 1:56PM
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The Bona cleaner is mostly .... sit down ... WATER.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    July 7, 2010 at 3:03PM
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kat123...I feel your pain. While I am not a germ fanatic, and I am extremely protective of my gorgeous red oak hardwoods, a deep cleaning solution to use sporadically would be nice. For everyday use I have a $20 Dirt Devil stick vac that I love, and is easy to use even on the stairs. Great with pet hair! A couple times recently when I have had to mop, which isn't often, I have used Greenworks multi-surface cleaner. It is concentrated, and according to the bottle you can use on wood floors as long as they are not unfinished, unsealed, waxed, oiled, or worn.

But we have an older dog who has urinary problems occasionally and can dribble a bit on the hardwoods, and although we clean it up immediately, I would like to feel secure that these areas are CLEAN. I am considering a steam mop for occasions when she has an accident, or my young nieces are coming for a visit (about 2 times a year), but have come across so much conflicting advice. I was thinking that I would use one, and then follow back with a microfiber towel to make sure the floors and dried immediately. I would think occasional use and making sure the floors did not stay wet for any period of time would be just as healthy for the hardwoods as any other liquid cleaner (liquid is liquid is liquid and while water may be bad for hardwood, water is a liquid, just like any cleaner)

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    August 9, 2010 at 8:59AM
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Please use caution with all advise as its based on information provided in this forum which is not always accurate. One example would be that solid old wood with a shellac finish can not have any steam cleaner etc on it. The finish will cloud. Most homeowners call a laminate floor wood and while it is a type of wood floor...its a glued laminated product and not the same as someones 1910 oak/pine floor. I also agree about the word disinfect...that implies bleach type cleaning to most.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    August 9, 2010 at 2:05PM
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I have lived with oak floors for over 40 years and always mopped them. We had large dogs, kids and messy humans and the floors needed to be washed. I used the same cleaners I used on my tile...Mr. Clean, Pinesol, Lysol floor cleaners, etc. My floors were never damaged. They were scratched from years of heavy traffic and we had them refinished twice in 40 years. They still look beautiful.

I never thought twice about mopping. No matter what your floors, they need to be cleaned weekly. I cringe at the thought that people do not wash their floors regularly.

1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    August 11, 2010 at 1:07AM
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I vacuum and dust-mop the wood floors in my house almost daily, but in nearly 2 years have never wet-mopped any but the kitchen. The kitchen floor is spot cleaned as needed and mopped maybe 4 times a year. Cringe away! :)

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    August 12, 2010 at 8:04AM
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My solid wood floors have been DAMP mopped for years with a homemade water and vinegar solution using a microfiber mop. My biggest issue is that they stopped making the mop with the velcro pads. We changed the pad regularly and washed it.

    Bookmark   Thanked by kat123    August 16, 2010 at 3:51AM
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