How to clean hardwood floors

Q: I have hardwood floors in my living and dining room. I have yet to figure out how to clean them. Just looking across the floor it looks fine, but if I sit down on the couch I can see spots all over the floor. Some are footprints but a lot are just circle spots all over. If I scrape them with my fingernail they come up but the floor is still cloudy.

My floor has a shine and was installed after 2000. What would get the spots up? I have heard to use SOS pads, but I don’t want to harm my floor?

A: There are a number of good cleaners which are approved for polyurethane finishes. Bona Kemi ( makes Pacific Floor Cleaner. Basic Coatings ( makes Squeaky Cleaner. Boa-Franc has their own cleaner. Any of these can be purchased from local hardwood flooring retailers. Min Wax also makes a floor cleaner, ready to use for about $5 and can be purchased at Home Depot. It is in a yellow bottle. Swing Paints ( or make a cleaner called Bare Floor, and if not found at Home Depot, can be purchased directly from their web site.

Other products, including soaps, oil soaps, pine oils, swiffer etc., can leave a residue that both dulls the look of the finish, leaving it hazy and can also create adhesion issues when the time comes for a buff and recoat.

1 thought on “How to clean hardwood floors”

  1. Follow-up Reply: Craig~~
    Well I don’t even know how to thank you for your suggestion of Bona Kemi Hardwood floor cleaner, I don’t think I can begin to explain how bad my floors looked and I just kept putting Bellwood cleaner and Orange Glo and vinegar and water on them, not ever thinking I was compounding the problem!! We went through 2 gallons of Swedish cleaner, and at least 12-15 hours of very hard back breaking labor but finally my floors look great!!! The old product peeled off like a sunburn would, just came up in layers of “skin”!!! Mounds of old product, we finally broke down and used a car buffing with a soft sponge pad to help break through the layers of junk!! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my e-mail, I have been trying to get help with this for almost a year and you were the first person to really help us!!! I promise I will use nothing but Bona kemi on my floors forever!!!


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