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Old 07-26-2007, 08:24 PM
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 22,617,323 times
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I have Murphy oil soap but how do I get the floors clean/germ free? hardwood seems to require alot of maintenance, unfortunately, and I have a lot of it in my kitchen!!

Thanks for any ideas.

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Old 07-26-2007, 08:36 PM
186 posts, read 260,503 times
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I always spit shine it.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:55 PM
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It depends on the finish. If you're talking about the urethane, or similar, coverd hardwood or engineered floors of recent vintage, don't use oil soap and or excessive water. Instead, use a cleaner made especially for hardwood floors with that kind of finish. You spray it on and wipe it off.

I would also expect more maintenance with hardwood in a kitchen. Although it looks good, there's lots of reasons to not use it in such a wet and food preperation-type area. I think you may have discovered that situation.

BTW, if you do wet mop hardwood, you'll eventually have problems. It will get in the seams between the wood and do all kind of bad stuff. It all depends on how wet you get it, how often it gets there, and how long you keep it wet. I wouldn't do it.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:57 PM
Location: Prospect, KY
5,288 posts, read 17,076,616 times
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I think hardwood floors are very low maintenance. Most hardwood floors have a finish on them to protect the wood - you can damp mop hardwoods with a slightly damp (not dripping) sponge mop...I dust mine once a week with a swifter and then use a slightly damp sponge mop afterward - the floors drive in seconds...A couple times a year I use a hardwood floor cleaner that our flooring man gave me when he refinished all our hardwood floors. I can literally clean my hardwoods faster than I can vacuum the same floors if they had carpeting on them and they don't have to be shampooed like carpet and there is no padding to collect bacteria, germs and mold...most of our hardwood floors are almost 60 years old and they look great - love our hardwoods.

I have been cleaning my hardwoods with a slightly damp mop and a swifter or dust mop for many years and have no problem - you can't leave standing water on hardwoods or they will warp.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:59 PM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 20,402,402 times
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Best way to clean hardwood floors--cover them with carpet. Our first house had hardwood floors--NEVER again.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:01 PM
1,174 posts, read 6,031,591 times
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Originally Posted by North Carolina Native View Post
Best way to clean hardwood floors--cover them with carpet. Our first house had hardwood floors--NEVER again.
Heehee, isn't it funny how people can have the same experiences and come to different conclusions? I can make the same statement with just a little change. "Best way to clean carpet--replace them with hardwood or tile. Our first house had carpet--NEVER again."

I agree with the other post. Hardwood is so much easier to keep clean than carpet. Carpet is a filth magnet, without question!

I also agree that a real dry damp mop can work fine if used properly. It just has to be used as described. It needs to be so lightly wet that it almost dries instantly when it's used, otherwise you won't like the longterm results.

However, you need to be even more careful if it's not solid hardwood. If you have engineered wood, where only the top is hardwood and the remaining layers are cross-glued layers, any water than gets in there can loosen the glue and aid delamination. It's not as forgiving as solid hardwood so delamination (and warping) is what you want to avoid.

BTW, is your wood floor new and if so, do you know the manufacturer? If so, the company probably has a recommendation for you.

ON EDIT: Here's a link to a hardood floor comapny maintenance recommendation. Click here to get to the site.

Here's another one where they recommend, at most, to use a very dry mop. It mentions water as being the enemy of wood floors. Click here to get to this site.

Finally, here's another site that mentions not to use "oil soaps" (i.e., Murphys)as cleaners on hardwood floors. Click here for this one.

Last edited by garth; 07-27-2007 at 12:18 AM.. Reason: Added link
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:06 AM
598 posts, read 2,460,629 times
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Home Depot has a wonderful cleaner for hardwoods made by Zep.

Spray it on, go over it with a soft cloth (I used a Swiffer with a microfiber cloth). I was going nuts trying to keep the floor clean with three dogs. After a year of barely-damp mopping followed by drying with a cloth, I thought the floorboards were developing squeaks and loose areas.

This cleaner leaves a mirror shine with a lot less work.

The Zep glass cleaner is wonderful, too. Not one streak.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:09 AM
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
738 posts, read 3,450,455 times
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swiffers are your friend

My wife and I have hardwoods in the kitchen, and we were having a hard time keeping the floors clean. Now we have it down to a science. Of course we vacuum first, then we use our swiffer wet jet, which shoots out a spray of cleaner infront of it... then use the swiffer to clean it up. Then we change the swiffer cloth on the end, and spread a small amount of this special wood cleaner/sealer that we have (if you want I can look up the brand), and use the swiffer to spread that out again. The sealer makes water bead up on contact (like waxing), so whenever there is a small spill or something, we can wipe it up before it bothers the wood.

We do this every couple weeks, and the wood floors look great. I generally vacuum it once a week though, just to get the crums and stuff out of the corners.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:23 AM
Location: on an island
13,367 posts, read 39,430,807 times
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I always heard that a slightly damp mop was okay, and did use one on our hardwood floors for 18 years with no problem at all. But that was in Colorado, I might have to be more careful here.

I also heard to never use Murphy's Oil Soap. I use an electric broom, then water-based cleaners, but I might try Zep.

I am pretty disappointed with our engineered wood floors. If it had been up to us, we never would have installed them, but it was out of our hands.
These floors show every single little scratch.
We have every carpet we own on the floors, and I am frantically trying to find decent carpet runners.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:34 AM
1,408 posts, read 7,119,821 times
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I LOVE hardwood floors especially because i have 2 dogs. I agree with the person who said swifter is your friend. I go through a box a week. LOVE THEM!!! As for cleaning i use those wet cloths and murphy oil soap on my floors. a barely wet sponge is the key. i never use my vacuum on my hardwoods though because i was told once they scratch the floors. i should say my hardwoods are original to my 1950s home don't know if this makes a difference but i've never had any problems using either the wet cloths or oil soap on them.
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