I used Murphy’s oil soap on my floor

I used Murphy’s oil soap on my floor – does it have to be sanded?

Almost all wood floor companies will say that if you used Murphy’s oil soap on your floor, then it will have to be sanded-we don’t say that. We can refinish your floor with the Worn Wood Magic process even if you been using Murphy’s oil soap on your floor.

Let me explain what the issue is and why the Worn Wood Magic process can restore your floor instead of having to sanded down to bare wood and start over.

Murphy’s oil soap is great for what it was designed to do: it was designed to be used to clean paste waxed floors. Paste wax is a very old school traditional finish for wood floors. It is soft and never hardens completely. To look good, it has to be buffed frequently. Way back when, paste wax was just about all that was available. There are still a fair number of traditional homes that have paste waxed floors, and for them using Murphy’s oil soap according to directions is the right thing to do.

Paste wax is oil-based, and so is Murphy’s oil soap. Murphy’s oil soap is meant to interact with the soft oil-based paste wax, using its oil soap properties to clean the surface of the paste wax.

The important words to remember here are “oil soap.” It is a product meant to work on soft paste wax. It is not supposed to be used on anything else.

Modern wood floors have hard finishes, not soft paste wax finishes.
To clean the top of a hard wood floor finish (usually some form of polyurethane) requires using a cleaner that doesn’t leave a residue. Murphy’s oil soap, being an oil soap, leaves a residue – an oil residue. And every time Murphy’s oil soap is used on top of a hard polyurethane floor, it leaves more of a residue.

This oily residue is a tricky thing, and the buff/screen and recoat companies can’t handle it. They know that if they cannot confidently remove every tiny bit of the oily residue left by Murphy’s oil soap then whatever they try to put on top of the floor is not going to bond. And if a floor finish doesn’t bond then that is a major problem.

However, the Worn Wood Magic restoration process removes the oily residue from Murphy’s oil soap and removes everything else that could be a problem for having additional coats of finish to bond to the hard polyurethane finish underneath. Ours is an intensive process and we’ve proven time and again that it works great on top of floors that have been cleaned at one time with Murphy’s oil soap.

We use the top of the line Bona water-based polyurethane products on your wood floor-they look great in your floor will be restored and will last for years. We recommend that you use the Bona cleaning products on your wood floors also.

I’ve seen people post online that when they tried using the Bona cleaning products on their floors that it seemed to leave some kind of residue. That’s not what is happening-the Bona cleaning products are trying to remove a residue that’s already existing on your floor, and that’s what makes the residue start to show up, usually as some sort of white film.

If you see this happening, then you need to give us a call so that we can remove the residue and restore your wood floors to beauty and to a point where they can be easily maintained again, using the Bona cleaning products.

So yes, if Murphy’s oil soap has been used on your wood floor all is not lost – your floor does not need to be sanded, we can restore your floor with the Worn Wood Magic process.