Is Murphy’s Oil Soap Bad For Hardwood Floors? Find Out

is murphy's oil soap bad for hardwood floors

After spending a lot of money on a beautiful hardwood floor for your home, the last thing you want is to ruin everything with a simple cleaning mistake. Hence, it is necessary to be very careful when it comes to choosing your hardwood floor cleaners to avoid spoiling your expensive floor

Murphy’s oil soap is one of the most popular oil soaps for hardwood floors. However, despite its popularity, it has continued to be a topic of debate among its consumers. Is murphy’s oil soap bad for hardwood floors? Yes it is safe to use on all finished hardwood floors, laminate, vinyl and even ceramic tile.

The seemingly unending debate is probably because different people have had different experiences with the product. While some consumers think that murphy’s oil soap is simply the best, others have complained about their battle with removing murphy’s oil soap residue.

Read: can you use vegetable oil on hardwood floor?

Is Murphy’s Oil Soap Bad For Hardwood Floors?

Murphy’s oil soap is a type of cleaning agent produced in America by Colgate-Palmolive. It is mainly made of potassium vegetable oil. It also contains propylene glycol, sodium EDTA, surfactants, fragrance, and water.

One of the reasons for its high demand is because it does not contain any strong detergent like bleach. Its naturally gotten content has contributed to the market rush, especially with many harmful cleaners on sale.

Murphy’s oil soap comes in two forms. One is a concentrated liquid type that is stirred in water before use. The second is a diluted liquid in a trigger spray bottle.

But is murphy’s oil soap bad for hardwood floors? Generally, experts warn against the use of oil and wax-based soaps on hardwoods.

Read: Easy Homemade floor cleaner with olive oil

Not necessarily because of the wood, but because of the polyurethane finishing with which they can react and destroy it to create sticky and oily residue. The residue then results in a slippery and cloudy floor.

However, producers of murphy’s oil soap have maintained that despite the name of their product, it is oil-free and leaves no residue on floor surfaces.

Most hardwood floor manufacturers strongly kick against the use of oil soaps. Some of them withdraw their warranty if any damage is done to the floor after the use of oil soap.

Still, deciding whether or not murphy’s oil soap is bad for hardwood floors proves difficult due to the contrasting testimonies of consumers.

Consumers who say that murphy’s oil soap ruined their floors are opposed by those who think they did not use the product according to the manufacturer’s direction. Another popular reason is that they had previously used an oil soap, and the effect became apparent after using murphy’s oil soap.

Also, they are often asked questions like have the soap expired? Or is this the first time you notice the residue?

If you would like to use murphy’s oil soap, you may want to strike out the question of whether or not you used it correctly. This article provides you with information about the proper usage of murphy’s oil soap.

Read: Can you use fabuloso on hardwood floor

How To Use Murphy’s Oil Soap For Cleaning A Hardwood Floor

For the concentrated liquid form

  • Move furniture and other items that may cause obstruction to one side of the room
  • Pour a gallon of warm water into a pail and add 1/4 cup of murphy’s oil soap and mix together thoroughly
  • Immerse a mop or clean cloth in the mixture and squeeze to drain the excesses.
  • Begin to mop the floor with the wet mop or cloth
  • Repeat the process of immersing and squeezing the mop or cloth as you carry on with the cleaning throughout the room.
  • Do not worry about rinsing. The product is designed to dry on the floor

For the diluted form

  • spray the liquid directly on the hardwood floor
  • Clean up with a wet mop or clean wet cloth
  • You do not have to rinse.

If anything goes wrong, and you notice oil residue on your floor, discontinue use immediately and clean the already deposited residue.

Read: Homemade vinly floor cleaner

How To Remove Murphy’s Oil Soap Residue

The following steps will guide you in removing murphy’s oil soap residue

  • Move items and furniture that may obstruct you to one corner of the room. Do not drag them to avoid scratching the wood.
  • Pour cool water into a bucket
  • Immerse your mop or rag into the bucket of water, then squeeze out the excess water
  • Mop the floor with the rag or mop.
  • Dividing the floor in a 4-by-4 foot will make it easier for you. You can as well divide it into smaller sections.
  • Dry the floor with another rag immediately. This time, use a dry rag.
  • Repeat the process as many times as possible on the same section to altogether remove every residue.
  • Continue through different sections until you have cleaned up the entire room.
  • Change the water and rag as often as possible to avoid smearing the floor with residue all over again.

Read: Can you use windex on hardwood floor?

Other Uses Of Murphy’s Oil Soap

It might also interest you to know that apart from cleaning hardwood floors, murphy’s oil soap is used for a wide range of things

  • Murphy’s oil soap is used for polishing and cleaning horses’ saddles and bridles
  • It is used in cleaning black powder weapons after use. It produces a reduced quantity of slime after clearing black powder weapons because it is made of vegetable oil and not petroleum oil.
  • Also, it removes residue that accumulates on vehicle hubcaps and wheels from the disc brake
  • Murphy’s oil soap effectively dissolves water-based inks, such as Crayola marker ink, from acid-free paper.
  • Among artists, murphy’s oil soap is used to clean paint brushes
  • Murphy’s oil soap can also be used as an insecticidal soap spray for the garden when diluted to about 2-4%
  • It is a wonderful lubricant to utilize with water when hurling clay on a potter’s wheel.
  • None wood surfaces like ceramic tiles, vinyl, cars, and laundry stains can be cleaned using murphy’s oil soap.

Read: Can you use pine sol on hardwood floor?


It is essential to make careful choices when it comes to cleaners for hardwood floors. One wrong choice can cause you so much damage that it will cost a lot to fix.

The debate; is murphy’s oil soap bad for hardwood floors may not come to an end as different consumers continue to give various reports.

However, to be on the safe side, you can try the product on a small area of your room where traffic is low then observe for oil residue. If that area of your floor becomes sticky, quickly apply the steps in removing murphy’s oil residue explained in this article, and know not to use it on your expensive hardwood floor.

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