I've been cleaning my hardwood floors with all sorts of cleaners for the past 2 years and this has created a thin whitish film covering the floor that I can't wash away. I've tried scrubbing with a dry cloth as well as with plain water, but it won't go away. I've read that lots of people have used white vinegar, but I am a little suspicious about it.

I would like to know how can I get rid of this film as well as how can I prevent it from happening in the future. What is the proper way to clean the floors to preserve the shine they came with?

I've also read about Murphy's Oil Soap. Should I try this as well?

3 Answers 3


If you use cleaners like Mop & Glo or Orange Glo on your floors than yes you will get a cloudy white film build up. The reason being is that these products have oils in them, that when used over and over again will build up and take away the shine. Answer

Yes it can be too much of a build-up or simply the type of product you are using. Go a hardwood dealership and ask them what you can do about this as there are special products for cleaning hardwood floors.


  • I did go and they recommended the same thing which did nothing but add to the buildup.
    – slybloty
    Jan 1, 2013 at 22:01

Don't use Murphy's oil soap or anything else that can build up. If you use a pure cleaner (I like Bona's), it will leave the floor clean.

If, at some point in the future, you wish to refinish the floor, if it is in good shape you can have it "screened" (lightly sanded with a sanded screen) and then simply refinished.

If you have used a cleaner that builds up, screening is not an option; the floor will have to be sanded before it is refinished.

  • How can I properly remove the buildup right now?
    – slybloty
    Jan 1, 2013 at 23:23

I've ended up scrubbing the whitish film built up with water and vinegar and a rag. Then, to prevent future built up I've only used Bona's cleaner, which does a great job.

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