Hardwood floors can add warmth and elegance to any home. But keeping them looking shiny and new requires regular cleaning and care.
When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, two popular products often come to mind: Murphy’s Oil Soap and Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. But which one is better for cleaning and caring for your hardwood floors?
Here is an in-depth comparison of Murphy’s Oil Soap and Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner to help you decide.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Aspects||Murphy’s Oil Soap||Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner|
|Type||Multi-purpose household cleaner||Specialized wood floor cleaner|
|Formula||Plant-based oils||Water-based + polymers|
|Cleaning Ability||Effective on dirt/dust||Specialized for wood floors|
|Floor Protection||Safe for sealed floors||Extra protection + shine|
|Residue||Light oil residue remains||No sticky or dulling residues|
|Ease of Use||Very easy||More involved application|
|Cost||$ – Budget-friendly||$$ – Moderate price|
|Availability||Found everywhere||Hardware/home stores|
|Scent||Light lemon scent||Unscented|
|Safety||Natural ingredients, follow directions||Non-toxic for sealed floors|
Overview of Murphy’s Oil Soap
Murphy’s Oil Soap is one of the most well-known and commonly used household cleaners.
It has been around since the early 20th century.
Murphy’s Oil Soap can be used to clean and polish finished wood surfaces throughout the home, including hardwood floors.
Some key features of Murphy’s Oil Soap:
- Made from plant-based oils and other natural ingredients like coconut oil, palm oil, and vegetable oil. Does not contain harsh chemicals.
- Lightly cleans dirty hardwood floors and leaves behind a glossy finish.
- Comes as liquid soap or wipes for convenience.
- Relatively affordable and available at most grocery and hardware stores.
- Works on all types of sealed, finished wood floors.
- Leaves behind a fresh, lemon scent.
Overview of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Bona is a company that specializes in hardwood floor cleaning and refinishing products. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specifically formulated for cleaning hardwood floors.
Some key features of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner:
- Water-based formula that is safe for sealed hardwood floors.
- Cleans dirt, dust, and grime without leaving behind residue.
- Contains polymers that provide a protective layer and a shiny finish.
- PH neutral formula will not damage or dull floor’s finish over time.
- Concentrated formula to be diluted with water for use.
- Available in spray bottles or refill pouches.
-Specialized hardwood floor cleaner from established brand.
-More expensive than general household cleaners like Murphy’s Oil Soap.
Key Differences Between Murphy’s Oil Soap And Bona Wood Floor Cleaners
Now that we’ve provided an overview of both products, let’s compare them in detail across some key factors:
- Cleaning Effectiveness
When it comes to safely cleaning dirty hardwood floors, both Murphy’s Oil Soap and Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner are effective options.
Murphy’s Oil Soap has a mild, plant-based formula that can lift away dirt, dust, debris, and grime from hardwood floors without damaging the finish. It leaves floors clean with a light, glossy finish. The lemon scent also leaves floors smelling fresh and clean.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specially formulated for hardwood floors. It is designed to clean floors thoroughly without leaving behind a dull, sticky residue.
The water-based formula lifts dirt easily and rinses cleanly. The polymers leave a protective layer that keeps floors shiny.
So in terms of cleaning power, both are good options for routine cleaning of hardwood floors. Bona may have a slight edge as it is a specialty wood floor cleaner. But Murphy’s Oil Soap also gets the job done.
- Protecting Floor Finish
An important consideration when cleaning hardwood floors is protecting the floor’s finish over time.
Murphy’s Oil Soap contains plant-based and natural ingredients that are safe for sealed hardwood floors. With regular use, it should not damage or degrade a floor’s finish. It leaves a shiny, polished finish.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specifically designed to be safe for hardwood floor finishes. The pH neutral formula will not degrade or damage the finish with repeated use. The polymers in Bona help protect and rejuvenate the finish.
So both options are safe for use on sealed hardwood floors. Bona offers polymers for added protection and shine of the floor’s finish.
- Residue Buildup
Residue left behind by floor cleaners can lead to dull, dingy, or sticky hardwood floors over time.
Murphy’s Oil Soap does leave behind a light oily residue after cleaning. This gives the floors a temporary glossy finish. But it could lead to residue buildup over time with regular use. This may require periodically deep cleaning the floors to remove residues.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specially formulated to not leave sticky, dulling residues after cleaning floors. The water-based formula rinses cleanly leaving the floors shine. No heavy buildup occurs with regular use of Bona.
So for homeowners concerned about residue buildup, Bona would be the better choice over Murphy’s Oil Soap.
- Ease of Use
When cleaning hardwood floors, you want the process to be as quick and easy as possible.
Murphy’s Oil Soap as a liquid or wipes is very easy and convenient to use. Simply sweep or vacuum floors first. For the liquid, mix with water in a bucket or spray bottle. Then mop floors with the soap solution. For the wipes, simply wipe down floors. No rinsing required.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner requires slightly more effort as it comes as a concentrate. You need to dilute the concentrate with water in a bucket before mopping. Floors will also need to be rinsed afterwards to remove residue. This makes the process a bit more involved.
Overall, Murphy’s Oil Soap in wipe form is the quicker and more convenient option for cleaning hardwood floors. The liquid version also requires minimal steps.
When choosing a floor cleaner, the cost is an important factor for many homeowners.
Murphy’s Oil Soap is a budget-friendly option. The liquid soap costs just a few dollars for a bottle. The wipes are similarly inexpensive for a canister. As an all-purpose household cleaner, it provides good value.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is pricier since it is a specialty cleaner designed for hardwood floors in particular. Expect to pay $10-$15 for 32oz of the concentrate. However, the concentrate does make multiple gallons of cleaning solution.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner may be the pricier choice, but it delivers professional-grade cleaning tailored to hardwood floors. For homeowners who want the best for their hardwood floors, the cost may be justified.
Overall for affordability, Murphy’s Oil Soap is the cheaper floor cleaning option.
Being able to easily purchase a floor cleaner at local stores is another consideration for many homeowners.
Murphy’s Oil Soap is widely available at any grocery or hardware store.
You can easily find it at retailers like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc.
The recognizable yellow label makes it easy to spot on shelves.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner may not be as ubiquitous. As it is a specialty cleaner, it is more likely to be found at hardware stores, home improvement stores, or janitorial supply retailers. Not always stocked at regular grocery stores or mass retailers.
So Murphy’s Oil Soap definitely has the edge when it comes to accessibility and availability at a wide range of local stores.
The scent leftover after cleaning hardwood floors is something to consider if you are sensitive.
Murphy’s Oil Soap has a light lemon scent that leaves floors smelling fresh and clean. Some people enjoy this scent in their home after floors are mopped. But those sensitive to scents may find it overpowering.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner does not have added fragrance. It simply leaves behind a clean scent from the floor itself without artificial perfumes. This makes it a good choice for those who prefer no lingering scents on their newly cleaned floors.
If you want a fresher scent, Murphy’s Oil Soap provides that lemon oil smell. For fragrance-free, Bona is the better choice.
When using any cleaning product on household floors, safety is paramount.
Murphy’s Oil Soap contains plant-based and naturally derived ingredients.
The formula is safe for sealed hardwood floors.
However, some users have reported reactions to the citrus oils in the product.
It is also not recommended for unfinished wood. As with any product, precautions should be taken and directions followed.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specially formulated to be non-toxic and safe when used as directed. It is designed specifically for sealed hardwood floors so it will not damage or interact with floor finishes.
The brand has a reputation for safety. But as with any chemical cleaner, proper precautions are still advised.
Both cleaners are considered safe options when used properly on sealed hardwood floors. Those with sensitivities may prefer the fragrance-free and specialty formula of Bona. But Murphy’s is also a plant-based cleaner that has been used for decades.
- Environmental Impact
Many consumers today care about the environmental footprint of cleaning products in their home.
Murphy’s Oil Soap touts its plant-based and biodegradable formula. The ingredients break down easily without harsh chemical residues being left behind. This makes it an environmentally friendly cleaner.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is also water-based and biodegradable. It uses greener chemistry without volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Bona is recognized as a safe and environmentally responsible brand.
Both Murphy’s Oil Soap and Bona can be considered green floor cleaners. They limit their environmental impact through their plant and water-based formulas.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There are a few reasons why Murphy’s Oil Soap may not be the best choice for hardwood floors:
1. Leaves an oily residue over time that can attract dirt and dull floors. Requires periodic heavy cleaning to remove residue buildup.
2. The citrus oils may damage or react with certain wood floor finishes, especially if used excessively.
3. Not formulated specifically for wood floors. As a multi-purpose cleaner, it may not provide optimal protection.
4. Frequent use can lead to streaky build up in floor grain that requires scrubbing to remove.
5. Does not contain polymers or protective sealants found in specialty hardwood floor cleaners.
While it can be used safely if directions are followed, there are some downsides to using a general household cleaner like Murphy’s Oil Soap versus a cleaner designed specifically for hardwood floors.
Some of the best oil soap cleaners for wood include:
1. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Wood Floor Cleaner – plant-based oil soap that cleans without wax buildup.
2. Method Wood for Good Natural Wood Cleaner – non-toxic and biodegradable formula.
3. Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner Oil Soap – cleans and protects.
4. Orange-Glo Wood Cleaner and Polish – vitamin-enriched formula.
5. Fuller Brush Wood Cleaner – plant-based oil soap with no synthetic perfumes.
When choosing an oil soap wood cleaner, look for ones without synthetic fragrances or dyes, that clean gently without excessive oils, and contain natural ingredients. Always spot test first.
Some top options for mop soaps specifically formulated for hardwood floors include:
1. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner – water-based and residue-free.
2. Zep Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner – won’t leave hazy residue.
3. Method Wood for Good Hardwood Floor Cleaner – plant-based and non-toxic.
4. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hardwood Floor Cleaner – safe on polyurethane finishes.
5. Dr. Woods Raw Walnut Hardwood Floor Cleaner – all natural plant oils.
The best mop soap for hardwoods will be pH neutral, foam-free, and won’t contain harsh detergents. Avoid multi-purpose cleaners and go for one designed specifically for hardwood floors.
Some top residue-free wood floor cleaners include:
1. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner – water-based formula and polymer protection.
2. Zep Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner – proprietary residue-free formula.
3. Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner – breaks up dirt without leaving film.
4. Method Wood for Good Hardwood Floor Cleaner – plant-based and rinses clean.
5. Black Diamond Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner – foam-free and pH neutral.
The best residue-free wood floor cleaners will have “clean rinsing” on their labels. Opt for water-based cleaners instead of oil-based ones. Always check that the cleaner is safe for your specific wood floor finish.
Both Murphy’s Oil Soap and Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner are effective for cleaning sealed hardwood floors. Murphy’s Oil Soap is very affordable and easily accessible, but can leave behind residues over time.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specially formulated for wood floors, leaves no residues, and offers extra protection, though at a higher price point. Ultimately, Murphy’s Oil Soap is a budget-friendly cleaner good for occasional use while Bona is ideal for wood flooring care and maintenance with its specialized formula.
Homeowners should consider how often they want to clean and care for their floors, residue buildup concerns, and cost when choosing between these two popular wood floor cleaners.