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Don’t Clean Your Hardwood Floors with These 10 Things

Friday, Dec. 17th 2021

One of the most popular questions we get after we finish a deep cleaning hardwood job is “What should I clean the floor with now?”  For most finishes we recommend to vacuum or dust mop first then use a microfiber mop combined with a neutral hardwood floor cleaner. There are tons of products at the grocery store that may be horrible for your floors and we can’t list them all. As a general rule of thumb you want to avoid any products that talk about “polish, shine, refresh, restore” and any other buzz-words such as those.  You just want a PH 7 or neutral cleaner with the right formulation for today’s normal sand and finish floors or engineered hardwood. True PH neutral products won’t leave a residue on your floor.  Most products that use phrases like “polish” or “refresh” actually leave a very thin layer of acrylic finish on your floor which over a short time can look terrible. Here is a short list list of the most popular products you shouldn’t use on your floors that we deal with regularly unfortunately.

  1. Bona Polish. This product is the number one enemy of floors that we come across. Bona Polish is NOT a hardwood floor cleaner.  It is a cheap thin finish that you apply to your floors.  Over time and repeated use the film gets thicker and it scuffs and scratches easily making the floors look unsightly.
  2. Steam Mop.  A lot of water is wood’s worst enemy, more floors have been ruined with water than anything else. So injecting extremely hot water into a hardwood floor is a bad idea. It prematurely wears the finish and will break down the wood fibers. You can tell when a floor has been maintained with a steam mop as the finish usually starts to break down earlier than expected and the edges of the boards start to turn a dark color.
  3. Mop & Glo.  Similar to the Bona Polish, it leaves a film over the floor that has to be constantly maintained and will scratch and dull fast.
  4. Orange Glo. Same reasons as why not to use Mop & Glo.
  5. Pledge. Not only does this product put a film on the floor it also makes the floor very slippery.
  6. Pine Sol. Again, leaves a residue on the floor that can build up over time and be harder to remove. It’s also higher alkaline and can damage the finish over time.
  7. Dish soap.  Potential to leave a film on the finish. And designed to be rinsed with copious amounts of water like you do cleaning dishes. Not a good idea as we have stated prior.
  8. Vinegar.  All though vinegar does not leave a residue, vinegar is very acidic and todays modern designed hardwood floor finishes can’t stand up to repeated exposures of acidic applications and thus premature wearing of the finish coating could occur. It also smells bad and is not a great cleaning agent.
  9. Murphy Oil Soap. This is another product that leaves a residue behind that could cause failure of a finish coat application.
  10. Sponge mop. Do not use sponge mops or string mops to clean your floors with.  These types of mop products deposit too much water on the floor which could cause the floor to buckle or water stain with repeated use.

See our products page to order a product we know and have used for years but you won’t find it at the grocery store.

Posted in Hardwood Floors

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