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Is Murphy’s Oil Soap Good for Hardwood Floors?

Is Murphy Oil Soap Good for Wood Floors?

So, is Murphy’s oil soap good for hardwood floors? Find out if Murphy’s oil soap is good for cleaning your wood floors.

Hardwood floors add a beautiful element and give character to a home. There are many ways to protect and clean them between treatments, and you need to maintain them well. If you have wood floors, you may wonder, is Murphy oil soap good for hardwood floors? You are not alone!

We have wood floors in some parts of our house and we are always looking for products that can help us make our floors look their best.

So, join us as we uncover the truth behind Murphy oil soap (wood cleaner) and whether or not you should use it on your hardwood floors.

Murphy oil soap is good for cleaning hardwood floors once in a while. However, using Murphy oil soap on wood flooring frequently and for a prolonged period can lead to an oil build-up, leaving your floor looking dull and grimy. It is best to sweep and use water with dish soap for regular cleaning. Add an occasional non-oil or wax product for shine.

Bottle of Murphy oil soap on wood floor and text that says, "Is Murphy's oil soap good for hardwood floors?"

Caring for hardwood floors can be a tricky business. From attaching protective covers to the legs of your furniture, and cutting your pets’ claws to sweeping daily and selecting the best possible cleaner for mopping, knowing the best way to keep your floor in good condition can be challenging.

Luckily, we have invaluable information for you on this very topic. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about Murphy’s oil soap and your hardwood floors.

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Is Murphy’s Oil Soap Good for Hardwood Floors?

Murphy oil soap may be good for hardwood flooring, but it is not considered the best cleaning option for use on hardwood floors. The oil leaves residue on the floor and, over time, creates a dull and grimy appearance. It can damage hardwood floors, rendering them in need of complete sanding and re-sealing.

If you would like to use oil soap on your hardwood floor, it is recommended that you use it seldom and only on those that are sealed. Consider using it once a month or less frequently to avoid creating an oily build-up on your floor while benefiting from the soap.

It is important to note that when wet, Murphy oil soap brings out the color of hardwood floors. You may feel elated to see the original hues coming through and think the product has acted like a polish. After a few hours, however, you will find that the color returns to how it was prior to cleaning as the floor returns to its dry state.

Murphy oil soap does a fantastic job cleaning wood flooring, but it does not bring out the shine as polish does. It also does not buff or repair scratches and scuffs as polish would. It has a pleasant scent that lingers for an extended time, and the excellent job it does with the cleaning makes it worthwhile.

(You may also want to read this article on Murphy oil soap uses.)

Using Murphy Oil Soap to Clean Hardwood Floors

Murphy oil soap on wooden floor

Although it is not recommended for frequent use, you may wish to clean your hardwood floor using Murphy’s oil soap from time to time.

With frequent use, this product can leave an oily build-up that may need removing, so it is best to use it infrequently.

To use Murphy’s oil soap on a hardwood floor, dilute a quarter cup in a gallon of warm water.

Thoroughly sweep the floor with a soft broom to remove all dust and debris from the area. You can vacuum the floor as well. Use the vacuum’s attachments to remove dust and particles between floorboards and corners.

Soak your mop in your Murphy’s oil soap and water solution. Squeeze it out and ensure that it is damp and not wet. Excessive amounts of water damages wooden flooring, so it is vital that you do not wet your hardwood floor too much during mopping.

Wearing clean shoes, socks, or walking with clean, bare feet, mop your hardwood floor from the furthest corner toward your exit. Use sideways, sweeping movements, and ensure that you cover the entire space.

Rinse the mop after every few sweeping motions, and remember to remove all the excess water after every rinse. Repeat the mopping and rinsing process until the entire room has been mopped.

Give the room a few minutes to dry before checking on the state of your floor.

You should be happy with the result since Murphy oil soap typically leaves hardwood floors clean, shiny, and smelling wonderful.

Do not walk on the floor while wet, as your feet will leave prints that will tarnish the end product.

Caring for Hardwood Flooring

A woman sweeping a wood floor.

To maintain your hardwood floor, you need to care for it and treat it like the beautiful feature of your home that it is.

Here are some vital tips on caring for your hardwood floors, including Murphy’s oil soap for those who wish to use it.

#1. Sweep Daily

The best way to care for your hardwood floor is to keep it free of dust and debris. Every piece of dirt on your floor is a potential scratch risk. Looking at it that way, sweeping daily will feel like an investment instead of a chore.

Use a soft-bristle broom and consider vacuuming, too, if you want to get to the dust between the floorboards and the corners.

#2. Protect Your Floor from Furniture Legs

Most companies provide furniture protectors when they install hardwood floors, but they are also available at many hardware stores. Purchase the size that fits your furniture, including any on wheels. Your best option is the self-adhesive type since they stay on well.

Keep a few spare covers in your home if any fall off, or you purchase a new piece that needs to be covered.

Here are more tips on protecting hardwood floors from scratches.

#3. Trim Your Pets’ Claws

Dogs and cats should have their claws trimmed regularly if you have hardwood floors. Those paws can scratch floors during games of “fetch” or “chase.”

Schedule their trims into your diary to avoid forgetting until you see scratches appearing on your beloved floors.

#4. Mop with Warm Water and Dish Soap or Vinegar

Your regular mopping go-to should be warm water and dish soap or vinegar for hardwood floors.

To use warm water and dish soap, combine a few drops of dish soap in your warm water bucket. Soak your mop in the bucket and squeeze it out to remove excess water. Mop as usual.

To use vinegar, add about a fifth of a spray bottle of white vinegar and fill the rest with water. Shake it well. Spray the solution onto the floor before mopping.

If your floor appears dull after mopping, consider drying it with a towel. The drying motion acts as a buffer, bringing back the floor’s natural shine. If you notice streaks left by the water and soap or vinegar, try using distilled water instead of tap water.

How Often Should You Use Murphy Oil Soap on Hardwood Floors?

It’s best to use Murphy oil soap no more than once a month (or even less frequently) on your hardwood floors to avoid having an oily build-up.

Does Murphy Oil Soap Make Floors Shine?

Murphy Oil soap can make floors shine, but not like a polish and the shining doesn’t really last as long either.


Murphy oil soap is advertised as safe for wood use and is an effective cleaning agent for hardwood floors. Be aware that when used often for an extended time, it can ruin your hardwood floors, leaving them dull and with an oily build-up. When this happens, your floors need to be treated. It is best to use oil soap sparingly to get the benefits of the clean and avoid possible damage to your floor.

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A bottle of Murphy oil soap on a hardwood flooring and text that says, "Is Murphy oil soap good for wood floor?"

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