Hardwood Floors & flooring

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals

by Anita Alvarez

toddler crawls on wood floor

Depending on the type of material and the cause for treatment, numerous reasons exist for wanting to know how to clean hardwood floors without harsh chemicals. For one, certain toxic ingredients can be a hazard to babies and toddlers who actively crawl and play on the floor. The use of harsh chemicals can decrease your home's indoor air quality and even eat into the floor as well. Cleaning solution manufacturers routinely include harsh chemicals like petroleum, ammonia and diethylene glycol, where as natural cleaners employ ingredients found in nature, such as citrus solvent, isopropyl alcohol and baking soda. Consider ways to clean hardwood floors with natural cleaners that perform just as well, if not better.

How Not to Clean Your Wood Floors

It's generally not safe to use harsh chemicals in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that household cleaning solutions routinely contain toxic chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and enough of them can decrease the quality of your household's indoor air. Certain products can also create a thin film on the floor that, for children who spend a lot of time sitting and playing, can make parents uneasy.

But household occupant safety is not the only thing to consider: Chemical cleaners are also hazardous to the floor's health, leaving behind a residue that obstructs its natural beauty, dulls the finish and interferes with future refinishings. Flooring constructed from an organic material like wood, in particular, is highly susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh chemicals. If there is an area of the floor (even a very small one) where the finish has been compromised, synthetic chemicals like phenol compounds and other abrasive sanitizers cited by Cleaning Specialist Magazine can weaken it further, seeping into the wood and ultimately damaging the grain. These substances can also weaken the finish, putting undue stress on the seal that will eventually wear out. Ultimately, your floor won't have adequate protection against wear and tear, moisture and more.

Doing It Right

There's a better way to remove dirt and grime from wood flooring without risking your home's indoor air quality or your children's safety. With a natural product like Murphy® Oil Soap, you can safely remove dirt, keep floors looking like new and not have to compromise your commitment to your family's health.

Natural cleaners often work just as well as chemical cleaners without the harsh side effects. Natural cleaners effectively remove dirt and grime and don't leave streaks, and they won't eat away at the finish or drive your indoor air quality down. Learn how to clean hardwood floors with safe cleaning solutions, and enjoy the perks of great-looking floors, better indoor air quality and a non-hazardous playroom for your little ones.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.