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Ask the Experts: Frequently Asked Questions


Caring for Wood Floors and Furniture With Murphy's®


The experts at Murphy® Oil Soap have compiled a list of frequently asked questions on how to clean wood floors and furniture with Murphy's products. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, submit your own question!

  1. What is Murphy Oil Soap made from?
  2. Will Murphy's products leave a residue?
  3. Is rinsing necessary?
  4. How can a water-based cleaner be safe for wood floors, furniture, and other wood surfaces?
  5. Is Murphy Oil Soap biodegradable? Are the bottles recyclable?
  6. Can Murphy's be used to clean wood furniture?
  7. Is Murphy's safe for cleaning wood floors?
  8. Can I dilute Murphy Oil Soap and use in the spray bottle?
  9. Is Murphy Oil Soap safe to use if I plan to recoat my wood flooring?
  10. On what surfaces can I use Murphy Oil Soap products?
  11. How can I tell if my wood flooring has a finish or polyurethane coating?

  1. What is Murphy Oil Soap made from?
    Murphy Oil Soap is a safe, naturally gentle soap, specially formulated for cleaning wood floors, furniture, and other household surfaces. And it leaves your home smelling fresh and clean. Murphy's contains no harsh detergents, ammonia, or bleach.

  2. Will Murphy's products leave a residue?
    Murphy's leaves no residue at all! Be sure to use according to label directions.

  3. Is rinsing necessary?
    Because Murphy's leaves no residue behind, rinsing is not necessary. Be sure to follow label directions for best results. Always remove excess water.

  4. How can a water-based cleaner be safe for wood floors, furniture, and other wood surfaces?
    Murphy's is recommended for cleaning finished wood. It is not recommended for cleaning unfinished or waxed wood because the wood may be water-sensitive. Most wood flooring and furniture items have water-resistant finishes, and Murphy Oil Soap is perfectly safe for use on these types of surfaces.

    If you're cleaning antique wood furniture, be sure to use caution since the finish may be worn. Always test first with plain water in an inconspicuous place. Murphy Oil Soap should not be used on unfinished wood or on wood that needs refinishing.

  5. Is Murphy Oil Soap biodegradable? Are the bottles recyclable?
    Yes, Murphy Oil Soap is biodegradable, and it's possible to recycle the bottles.

  6. Can Murphy's be used to clean wood furniture?
    Murphy Oil Soap is great for cleaning furniture made with finished wood. If your furniture is waxed, remember Murphy's cleans away wax build-up, so if you'd like, re-apply wax after use.

    If you are uncertain about the integrity of the finish, we recommend test washing an inconspicuous area before using our product. When using Murphy Oil Soap Spray to clean furniture, spray the cloth and wipe rather than spraying directly on furniture.

  7. Is Murphy's safe for cleaning wood floors?
    Yes, Murphy Oil Soap is safe to use on all finished wood surfaces, such as wood floors finished with polyurethane. So cleaning hardwood floors with Murphy's is safe as long as the surface is finished. For extra cleaning convenience when caring for wood floors, try Murphy Oil Soap Just Squirt & Mop -- it's ready to use on wood flooring with no mixing or diluting.

    Remember, Murphy Oil Soap should not be used on unfinished, unsealed, or waxed wood surfaces because they may be water sensitive. Test an inconspicuous area with plain water before using Murphy Oil Soap. Discoloration or dulling indicates the wood may be waxed or needs refinishing.

  8. Can I dilute Murphy Oil Soap and use in the spray bottle?
    Due to differences in formulation, do not use Murphy's Original Formula or Just Squirt & Mop liquid as a refill for the Murphy's Spray.
    Murphy's in the House: Find the right Murphy's product for your wood floors, furniture, and other surfaces.

  9. Is Murphy Oil Soap safe to use if I plan to recoat my wood flooring?
    Yes! Tests show that new polyurethane coats adhere perfectly to wood floors cleaned with Murphy's.

  10. On what surfaces can I use Murphy Oil Soap products?
    Murphy Oil Soap is ideal for cleaning finished wood floors, furniture, and cabinets. You can also trust Murphy's to safely clean no-wax floors, tile, painted surfaces, laminates, marble, linoleum/vinyl, fabrics, and more! Murphy's is the safe all-purpose cleaner.

  11. How can I tell if my wood flooring has a finish or polyurethane coating?
    Most wood floors are coated with either a penetrating oil or a surface finish such as polyurethane. You can determine the type of finish on your wood floors by rubbing your hand on the floor. Do you feel a slight oily residue? If so, your wood flooring has been coated with a penetrating oil.

    If there is no oily residue and the wood floors have a shiny or glossy appearance, then it likely is coated with polyurethane. In an inconspicuous area, scratch the surface of the wood flooring with a coin. If the finish flakes off, a surface finish such as polyurethane was probably used. Learn more about wood finishes.


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