How to Really Get Grime off Hardwood Floor

Updated on April 12, 2013
J.M. asks from Melrose, MA
12 answers

My 5x week mopping does nothing for yucky stuff under kitchen table. The Swiffer doesn't cut it. thoughts? Thanks

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answers from Washington DC on


You are mopping it too much. No hardwood floor should be subjected to 5x per week of cleaning...

Dry swiffer it.

Sounds like you are going to have to back off the cleaning....really. Use vinegar and water to remove the build up.

If the shine is gone - because of the over-cleaning...have someone come in sand them down (if they are real hardwood) and put a new gloss shine on it.

If you do the vinegar and water to get the gunk off - you can use the Orange glow product like this:

and it should help. STOP mopping every day. Dry swiffer and wet wash ONCE a week, IF EVEN..

good luck!!

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answers from Detroit on

Are you really mopping 5x a week? What are you mopping with? Is it possible that you mopping too often with cleaning products and causing more build-up?

We have hardwoods too and while I dry swiffer almost daily, I only mop sporadically, and that is with a bucket of warm water with 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar added (I also add a few drops of some kind of essential oil, like orange or lavender, to cut the vinegar smell). A couple of times a year we will steam clean the whole thing. For small spots I just use Nature's Miracle Hardwood Floor Cleaner (it's for pet stains, urine, etc. - we have a puppy still trying to housetrain - but works great on everything) - spray it on the area and wipe it clean with paper towel.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My sister had this problem, I brought over my floormate and it took it all off! I used either the solution that they sell, or I used Vinegar and Water. I can't remember which one, but those are the only 2 things I put in my floormate. I LOVE that thing. If you are cleaning that often, maybe you should invest in one. You can find them at a regular store for under $150 or used on craigslist for much less. I personally hate swiffers, wet or dry, and don't use them except for dusting, but then again, I have a floormate so I don't need one. It does sound like build up though.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I've found that the Swiffer wet mop leaves a sticky residue. I suggest you stop using that and as others have said, remove the build up of yucky stuff with vinegar and water or with Murphy's Oil soap. Then just dust mop or of there is food and liquid wipe it up with a damp mop. You can add white vinegar if you're wanting to sanitize the floor. Products build up and cause the yucky stuff.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, you are not alone in mopping more than once a week. If your kids are anything like mine, it is necessary. But 5 x is a bit much. We do skip the mopping when possible. I do buy swiffer wipes so my kids can get busy mopping if needed. Like others have suggested, use vinegar and water to cut down on buildup. It really helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I use an old-fashioned mop and Pine Sol, with really hot water. Once a week should suffice, and then you can sweep or vacuum on the other days.

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answers from Rochester on

Seriously mom is an OC cleaner, diagnosed and everything, and she doesn't clean her hardword floors five times a week. ONCE a week mopping (on her hands and knees), sweeping in between.

It does sound like cleaner buildup, and I honestly hate the wet Swiffer products for this. Sweep, dry Swiffer. Try cleaning it with diluted vinegar for awhile, and slow down!! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I use Bruce's hardwood floor cleaner and the applicator mop/pad that goes with.
I wouldn't use it 5x per week though .
For under our table , we use damp paper towels daily.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Are you mopping with a swiffer? Maybe you're actually leaving MORE residue behind.
I have had hardwood floors, and kids, and cats and dogs, for YEARS and the only thing I do is sweep a few times a week and mop no more than once a week, with a VERY diluted solution of Murphy's Oil soap and hot water. My floors of course have some scratches and show a little wear and tear but there's no grime.
Soap and other cleaning products cause a lot of build up on wood, and actually ATTRACT dirt, so less is more!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have a shark and I LOVE it! When asked by my husband what I wanted for Christmas 2 years ago-I listed it as my number 1 choice. He was horrified at the idea of getting me a "mop," but getting it for me was one of the best decisions he could have made! ;-) Grime, spills-none of it phases me. As far as I am concerned, it is worth the money as you don't have to continue paying for disposable mop pads and cleaning solution. You just throw the pad in the washing machine and it is ready to go again! :-)



answers from Boston on

Try a steam mop - they're pretty amazing!



answers from Portland on

I love my shark steam mop! It works great if you have a trouble spots just sit it on the area for a few seconds and it mops away. I love that it is all natural vs chemical. In 6 months it pays for itself. I will never go back to my swifter mop.

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