Wood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, and unlike carpet, messes tend to be quicker to clean up. Though sweeping and mopping are easier feats than carpet cleaning, it’s still important to do it right. So can you use Pine-Sol on your wood floors?

You can use Pine-Sol on wood floors. While Pine-Sol is safe for wood floors, it’s recommended that you dry mop before attempting to use any moisture. Dilute the solution with the water and try to use a minimal amount.

In the rest of this article, I will discuss the ins and outs of cleaning your hardwood floor. I’ll also explain the key to using discount cleaners like Pine-Sol during your cleaning routine.

Is Pine-Sol Safe to Use on Wood Floors?

You want to take care of your wood floors, not only because they can be expensive to replace, but because they just look better when they are thoroughly cleaned. Of all the surfaces and materials in your home, the natural composition of hardwood or even synthetic wood floors is probably the most fragile. So you might understandably be unsure about discount cleaners like Pine-Sol.

Pine-Sol is safe to use on wood floors in small, diluted amounts. Make sure to check the label for the dilution ratio before putting it on your hardwood floor. Use a minimal amount of water and Pine-Sol mixture, as dry mopping is the best cleaning method for hardwood floors.

The Pine-Sol website suggests vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting your floor beforehand. Then, dilute a cap full of Pine-Sol with a gallon of water. Be sure that the mop you are using is free of mold, mildew, or clinging debris. Apply small amounts to the floor and mop away. Avoid putting a sopping wet mop on the floor by wringing it out before use.

What Pine-Sol Does to Wood

The key ingredients in Pine-Sol are a cleaning agent, ethoxylated undecyl alcohol, and pine oil. None of these ingredients are considered particularly harmful to hardwood floors in small amounts. Truly, the true danger when cleaning your hardwood floors is adding too much moisture.

The ingredients in Pine-Sol are rated a D by the EWG because some chemicals have potential risks for acute toxicity. This, along with the dangers of putting too much moisture on a wood floor, is an important reason to follow the cleaning instructions on the back of the bottle directly.

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The Importance of Avoiding Moisture on Hardwood Floors

Some of you might be wondering why using a high-moisture cleaning method on your hardwood floors can be so deteriorating for their longevity, after all, won’t they simply dry?

Hardwood floors, even if synthetic, are usually made of natural materials. This makes it different from tile or carpet, made of either cloth or sand and clay. Tile is great at deflecting moisture, which is why it’s used in bathrooms. But the hardwood floor doesn’t work quite the same.

Too much moisture can damage the structural integrity of the floors, not to mention produce issues such as dullness. Standing water can also get through crevices in the planks and begin to mold, making it nearly impossible to get your floor clean.

For this reason, experts suggest avoiding moisture on hardwood floors completely or limiting it greatly. You should be dry mopping your floor, sweeping up messes, and using towels to absorb any spills immediately.

Like the Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Mops (Amazon), most store-brand mops with rechargeable pads offer dry pads for hardwood floors. If a mess ends up turning into sticky residue, you may be better off using a damp cloth or paper towel and drying immediately.

Mopping your floor with water is okay, but only occasionally. It’s best practice to use whatever floor cleaner your hardwood installer suggested, but if you must use a discount cleaner, just make sure to check out the back of the bottle of dilution ratios. Additionally, wring out your mop before using it.

The Effect of Pine-Sol on Wood

The bottom line is that Pine-Sol won’t destroy your floors as long as you are using the right dilution formula and only using it occasionally, like once weekly or monthly. If you use Pine-Sol or any other liquid cleaner on your floors daily, it can damage your hardwood. Additionally, soaking your floor with water and leaving standing water to dry will also damage the floor’s integrity.

You should still practice dry mopping methods and sweeping. You can also use floor rugs or runners to protect the extra vulnerable parts of your hardwood floor, like the kitchen area under the sink or the front door, where people walk in with their muddy shoes.

Try to notice where a little extra backup would be needed, and consider purchasing a rug for that area. This Kitchen Floor Mat is machine washable and non-slip, which may be a good fit for protecting your floor.

If money isn’t an object, you should aim to use the cleaning products recommended to you by the installer of your hardwood floor.

How Do I Clean My Hardwood Floors?

Hardwood floors are an investment and an expensive one at that. Taking care of them is tedious and may take a little more time, but it’ll be worth it if you don’t need to get your floors replaced. Cleaning them is a part of general upkeep, especially in a house with a family, so how can you do that without damaging your floors?

You can clean your hardwood floors with dry mopping methods or small amounts of a diluted solution. Typically, hardwood floor manufacturers have a certain formula they recommend for their brand. If you’d like to use a discount cleaner, like Pine-Sol, just make sure you dilute it properly.

As mentioned above, dry cleaning methods are preferable. Below, we go into some details about what these look like.

Best Dry Cleaning Methods for Hardwood Floors

To clean your floors, you should try one of the following methods before turning to the mop:

  • Sweeping
  • Vacuuming
  • Dry-Mopping
  • Using a toothbrush for tough stains
  • Using a moist rag

Dry cleaning your floor will protect it from standing water and mold growing between the crevices.

The Importance of Using the Right Mop

If you do need to use a wet floor cleaner to clean your floor, you shouldn’t just use any old mop. Some mops grow mold and bacteria, and others just plop large amounts of water down on the floor.

Using a mop with an automatic wringer is ideal, or buying a wringer will help you rid your mop of extra water. Mops with replaceable pads sometimes sell their brand of hardwood floor cleaner, like Swiffer’s version called Swiffer WetJet Wood. This cleaner is already put into the pads, so you don’t have to worry about excess.

Make sure that whatever mop you use, you wring it out thoroughly before getting started on cleaning. Otherwise, you will just be pushing around dirt and creating standing water puddles on your floor.

Following Your Floor’s Manufacturer Instructions

Using the brand of floor cleaner that your manufacturer suggests is best practice, as they know more about what went into installing your floor and how that might react to different cleaners. To figure out which cleaner your hardwood floor installer suggests, you can simply give them a call or check your hardwood floor handbook.

Dry cleaning methods should protect your floors from everyday crumbs and build-up, and more intense cleaning should rid your floor of grime or any stains. You should only clean your floors with this hardwood cleaner once every couple of weeks or once weekly if you have a super busy home. Most hardwood floor manufacturers also recommend a quarterly waxing done by a professional to keep your floors shiny.

Most discount cleaning products are safe but aren’t as delicate as the hardwood floor cleaners from the manufacturer. Regardless of what hardwood floor cleaner you decide to use, make sure to use best cleaning practices and pay attention to the instructions on the back of the bottle.

Natural Cleaning Methods for Hardwood Floors

There are also quite a few wives tales about natural cleaning remedies for hardwood floors if you try to avoid chemicals. Some suggest using vinegar, vegetable oil, and essential oils diluted with water to make your chemical-free cleaning remedy. Just be sure to do your research before committing to this method, as there’s literature both for and against these methods. 

Conclusion

You can use Pine-Sol on your hardwood floors as long as you are using the dilution instructions on the back and not using it in excess.

Remember to only use a little bit at a time, as too much moisture can damage hardwood floors. Putting too much Pine-Sol in your solution can make you sick, as large amounts become toxic.

Additionally, too much water on your floors puts them at risk for standing water. Dry mopping methods are best, and using the suggested floor cleaner from the manufacturer every few weeks is even better.

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