Cleaning dark wood floors

Rekha AnandkumarOctober 31, 2012

I think I have read every post and every tip to clean wood floors and still have issues with smudges and footprints.

I have tried Bruce cleaner 9recommended by installer), bad, left lots of residue, Bona whick I bought after reading review, still left the floors sticky and method cleaner, streaked and lots of residue.

At this time I just use warm water, somethimes with a few drops of vinegar (really very little, half cap with 4-5 cups water), sometimes with a dash of the method cleaner.

Still not very satisfied, should be a good solution that I dont know of....any ideas?

Also, what do you use to cover scratches? (Two boys, need I say more?)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Same process as you.... best thing I found was a steam cleaner. It was the ONLY thing I've used that didn't leave some kind of residue or streaks. If you go to the cleaning forum, there is probably a post on it, as they bring this up periodically. Amazon has some good reviews on the various options for steam cleaners.

We have very hard water here, so I've resigned myself to the fact that a steam cleaner only lasts about a year for us. The biggest difference between the various ones I've tried is whether or not it includes a trigger. On the one hand, not having a trigger is easier because you don't have to hold it down the entire time. On the other hand if you need to stop to pick something up, move something, etc. you can damage your floors by leaving the steamcleaner in one place too long while you do that. I damaged the laminate in the kitchen (twice, ugh!) doing just that. I don't know whether you could inflict the same kind of damage on hardwood -but I don't think it would be good for it. Another thing I really like about the steamcleaner is that I can go from the laminate in the kitchen to the hardwoods to the tile in bathroom.... it does it all!

The only real criticism I've heard from people is "Ohmygosh you can't put WATER on a wood floor!" The reaity is that there is some amount of water in virtually every cleaner, and because the steam dissipates very quickly, it is on the floor for precious few seconds.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rekha Anandkumar

I heard that steam cleaning is a no-no? that it pushes water into the seams etc, several people have reported damag to the flooring? I was actually thinking about buyingteh Shark steam cleaner, but did not after reading up...

Water I al less oncerned with, as you say everything has water and if I turn on all the fans, it dries up in an instant

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Surprised about the Bona cleaner. I have been using it on my very dark mahogany floors for the last 6 years and they look and feel like new.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

creksha, I've been doing it for years.... no damage here. I do it once a week.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rekha Anandkumar

Yeah, I read reviews for teh Bona before buying, but as soon as I clean with it, I get footprints. I suspect the type of finish on the floor affects this.

I might try steam cleaning...I will check the warranty first, may people mention that the warranty is voided if we use steam

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Have you ever waxed your floors? That would leave foot prints. Mine are dark also but no prints unless they're from the dogs with wet paws.

I wish someone would tell me an easy way to wash drool so I don't break my back. :)

You can buy special pens to color in scratches on the floor.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have very dark wood floors too. Though, mine have a matte finish. I only use one of those large flat head mops and just dampen it. Naturally, I have to dampen a few times when I'm doing all my floors.
I do sweep the floor first to get the dog hair, etc. off then I just use the mop.
You may have some residue left over from some of the cleaners you've tried - or if you have shiny floors and you may have to go over them w/a dry mop head to keep them from smearing.
I find my floors super easy to clean and they never show much except the dog hair..yuck..
If you know the brand, etc. you may want to check thier website for the mfg. recommendations. I would steer clear of any vinegar.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Meant to add - it could be your water. I would try bottled spring water or distilled water to see if it makes any difference.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Rekha Anandkumar

My floors were just installed. No wax, etc, prefinished. I only used Bruce once and Bona a couple of times, so I know its not the cleaning products. They are not very glossy, but not completely matte though.

Their recommendation is Bruce which made it super sticky!!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 11:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Phobie Privett

When I moved into my new house, I invested in a LadyBug steamer. I have LOTS of tile and dark hardwood. I dust mop or vacuum first and then steam clean. It dries almost immediately, no residue and they are UNBELIEVABLY clean. The steam volume is adjustable, so on the hardwoods, I turn it down very low and they dry almost immediately. I use RO water only in mine.

Every once in a while, (when I'm too lazy to drag out the steamer) I use a damp microfiber cloth and Pledge hardwood cleaner. It never streaks.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Phobie Privett

I also meant to mention that the more chemicals you have used on your floor in the past, the longer it will take to get it all of and be free of residue or streaks. No matter what the product says, I think they all leave something behind. That's one of the reasons I try to ONLY steam clean.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have very dark hand scraped floors, a matte finish. I've used Bona since they were installed 4 years ago, and occasionally a damp paper towel after i've fed the dog. The floor has kept the slight sheen it has always had, so don't feel this particular product has had any bad effects.

Crekha, I feel like I have 2 boys!LOL With 1 dog and 2 cats I have scratches, and I use one of those staining pens. It's really the fur that bothers me more than the scratches. I swiffer *every* day, and vacuumn every other day...ugh!!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With my hardwood floor (Mohawk Winchester Oak) I was instructed to wet a Schmop, wring it out really good, put it on the Schmop handle, spray it with Bona Mannington UltraClean Cleaner for Hard Wood and Laminate floors and then swipe away. I've been doing it that way for the past couple years and it works great. Cleans up the spots and the floor looks great.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:51PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Have rounded drywall corners, do I do rounded baseboard?
We are redoing the millwork in our 1995 house. We...
Do you like decor on the coffee table?
This relates back to our 'magazine house' discussion....
Wood filler when sanding isn't possible
My toilet paper holder is attached to my vanity. I...
Do all decorative vases need flowers?
Just moved and trying to decorate new home. I bought...
artificial Christmas tree; Frontgate? Balsam Hill?
We're thinking of going with an artificial Christmas...
Sponsored Products
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Tayse Rugs Rugs Sensation Black 5 ft. 3
Home Depot
Modern Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: LR Resources Rugs Allure Beige 8 ft. x 10 ft.
Home Depot
Westbury Natural Burlap Brass Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Purple Flowers Drum Vintage Chic Antique White Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Balta US Rugs Northern Territory Red 7
Home Depot
Abba Satin Silver White Twin Pull Chain Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™