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How to maintain hardwood floors

Posted by cynnamama (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 3, 08 at 22:41

We have seen the same question everyone asked about how to clean the hardwood floors rather its engineered, pre-finished or solid. We have owned a business for 20+ years and this is what we tell our clients on our website. (business company anonymous)

Is it okay to use Vinegar and water to clean my hardwood floor?
Absolutely not! Vinegar has acidic properties which will eventually break down the finish. We recommend using the Bona Kemi Mop, all you need to do is dust mop and vacuum once in a while. If you'd like to mop, use the Bona Kemi Pacific Floor Clean Concentrate just a little bit in a bucket with water will do.

The reason we say no vinegar, is because hardwood floor businesses want/need you to return the call to get the jobs to have the floor refinished sooner.

Say, would you use:
Oven cleaner for shower stalls
Glass cleaner for toilet
furniture polish for glass
Think about it, yet common sense
use the right product to clean certain goods!

Our perspective with these cleaners
Murphys soap
Liquid Gold
should be out of business!

Hope this helps... :)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

Thanks! The Bona Kemi products always get good reviews.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

Ummm, okay, I may have read this wrong, but the way I read it, a mild vinegar/water solution is actually fine for your hardwood floors, because the floor refinishers only tell you no because they want your floors to wear out faster. Is this correct?
I am currently saving to have my floors refinished by a chemical stripping company that promises to have it done in a third of the time for half the price of traditional sanding/refinishing methods. Until then, the high traffic areas are bare. I use Murphey's to mop once a week. I do have to wet-mop because I have children and animals, dry-mopping would not do. What's wrong with Murphy's Oil Soap? I have not found the Bona Kemi products in stores.
One final question. Once my floors are sealed, can I use Quick-shine types of products on it to help the finish last longer?
Sorry if I sound like a Doof (LOL!) but I have never had hardwood floors before and I am really, really clueless as to their care.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

Bona Kemi is not sold in stores (even Lowes or Home Depot). It's made by a Swedish company, you can buy it on line. I used Murphy's soap in the past, it smells great but I find it leaves a dull,streaky somewhat "gummy" finish on floors. I don't like it. I now use Bona floor cleaner and their refinisher on my hardwood floors.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors


I was also a bit confused by the OP. What's wrong with Liquid Gold? That was recommended to me for use on my hardwood floors. They are parquet and not sealed with a coat of polyurethane. I was under the impression that Bona Kemi products can only be used on finished or sealed floors. Hence, wouldn't be very good on my floors. Am I wrong?

Also, I found Bona Kemi products at Ace Hardware stores.


RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

My floor manufacturer (Bellawood) says no water. However, I have Bon Kemi spray and a microfiber cloth -- dry mopping does not work on my floor! My kitchen floor has drip marks and smudges and dry mopping would never work.

So... I dampen the microfiber cloth and spray the Bon Kemi and wipe the floor down. Works nicely.

Bon Kemi can be bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

From what I've read, Murphy's reacts with the poly and prevents subsequent coats from sticking- so you can't just screen and recoat the floor to refresh it, you have to actually sand down and remove all of the old poly.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

Surely there is something besides Bona that is acceptable to clean the floors with? I refuse to use's hard to find around here and very expensive for me to use, since I have heavy traffic downstairs and need to really use a lot of cleaner. Plus I would have 2000 square feet of hardwoods to clean every week.
I actually have been using the Minwax hardwood cleaner and it's not bad. My floors are pretty much stripped, because of my small children and extremely heavy traffic. I'm having them redone in the next few years.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

why not a steam mop?

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

For those with hardwood floors I just purchased a microfiber mop from Norwex. I just installed new hardwoods throughout my home and couldn't readily find the product Mannington recommended. You just use water to clean. It cleans beautifully and is chemical free. It removes more bacteria than bleach. Check it out.

RE: How to maintain hardwood floors

I've been a professional cleaner for 17 years (and still with most of my original clients!) and the absolute best and cheapest thing to clean with is a splash of clear or lemon (not sudsy) ammonia in warm water. Using just a splash in a bucket of water will not harm the floors--I have homes that have not have the floors redone in the time I've cleaned for them and they are still beautiful and unharmed. The key is to use very little water. For me, the best tool is a mop called the Sh-mop (lots of places sell them---you can google to find them). Rather than a sponge to wring out, you get removable terry cloth covers to use. I wring them out so they're just wet enough to pick up dirt and sticky spots, but not so wet that they leave the floor with any standing water. When one gets dirty, you put another one on the mop so you are never cleaning with dirty water. Plus, they save a lot of time because the cover much more surface than a regular mop. I hope you find this useful!

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