Is Murphy's Oil Bad for Wood Floors

Is Murphy’s Oil Bad for Wood Floors?

Is Murphy’s Oil Bad for Wood Floors? Murphy Oil Soap is not only safe to use on all finished hardwood floors, ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl flooring but it also helps extend the life of these surfaces by being 98% natural.

Murphy’s oil is an American based product widely used for cleaning purposes. This oil has been manufactured and marketed by Colgate-Palmolive. Murphy’s oil is made from potassium hydroxide and vegetable oil with no biodegradable phosphate. 

Murphy’s oil formula contains all natural ingredients and does not have any acidic properties like ammonia or bleach. Murphy’s oil manufacturers and their customers believe that this oil is safe to use on wood floors. 

Is Murphy’s Oil Good or Bad for the Wooden Floor? 

As per some independent contractors, if you are using oil based products on a wooden floor, it might not be a good idea because these products could ruin your wood floor’s finish. 

These products could react with the floor finishing and destroy polyurethane seals over wood surfaces or it may develop an oily residue, which may cause your floor to be cloudy or slippery.  

This will also become challenging at the time of recoating your floor in the future because the oil soap quickly penetrates into the finish. The oil will never allow it to adhere to the new finish and you may require replacing or sanding into the wood. 

Once you apply oil-based soap to the wooden floor, you will find some weird effects like a dull finish, footprints, or a sticky residue.

Oil based soap can build up oil on the floor and form a slippery layer that could be dangerous for people. Usually, wood floor manufacturers recommend not to use oil soap on your wood floor. 

Moreover, if you do so, the warranty will become null and void. This means you are responsible for any damage if you go against the manufacturer’s instructions. Therefore, you need to follow manufacturer instructions at the time of cleaning your wooden floor.  

Where You Can Use Murphy’s Oil

  • If you want to clean and polish your wooden furniture, Murphy’s oil is a good choice.
  • It also helps to clean horse accessories like bridles and saddles.
  • Paint artists use diluted oil to clean brushes after clearing excess paint. 
  • Gardeners use murphy oil as an insecticidal spray. You can add one tablespoon of oil into one gallon of water and shake well to combine them. Your insecticidal solution is ready for spray. 
  • It is also mostly used for cleaning black powder weapons after use. 
  • You may use it on a non-wood surface as well, like on cars, ceramic tiles, paint, laundry stains, and vinyl.

The Murphy’s Oil manufacturers have claimed that this formula is ideal for cleaning finished wood surfaces like cabinets, wood paneling, bookcases, wood floor, tables, and chairs.

How to Use Murphy’s Oil

Murphy’s oil is available in a concentrated liquid state and can be mixed with water and pre-diluted in a spray bottle. Here you can find how to use Murphy’s oil to clean wood floors according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Add a gallon of warm water into a bucket and pour ¼ cup of oil.
  • Mix the content well.
  • Dip the mop in the bucket and wring it out excess water.
  • Now you may start your moping around the room. 
  • If you have a ready-made solution, you can squirt the solution on the floor and follow up with a wet mop.

Murphy oil formulated in that way, once you use it then leave it on the floor to dry it does not  require rinse .

Murphy’s Oil Residue on Wood Floor

When using a floor cleaner, we always expect its satisfying outcome. But, things might surprise you as the result may be the opposite – a dull or sticky surface. 

Make Sure You Understand the Product

Suppose you applied any oil cleaner on your wood. All of sudden, it exhibits a cloudy appearance. This means the wooden floor finishes react with the product’s ingredients, which may lead to permanent damage. 

In case, if you have been using this product for a long time, it will begin to form a sticking layer.

Many independent contractors and users have complained about dull and streaked surfaces. 

However, manufacturers of Murphy’s oil recommend you should ask these questions beforehand, to avoid such issues: 

  • Did you read and follow the instructions of the manufacturer? 
  • Did you use any other product before this? 
  • Is it your first time?

Why Oil Soap Products Might Damage the Wood Floor?

Many flooring companies do not recommend using any oil soap product on the floor. That’s because there will be high chances of a residue forming. 

If you are using the product without following the instructions or using an expired product, the result would not be according to your expectations.

When you use the oil soap on a wooden floor, this oil will react with the polyurethane wood finish. That could also remove your recent application, which you have been using, and results in a dull surface. You need to discontinue this oil if your wood floor has changed to an awful appearance.

  • Remove this oil soap immediately
  • Wash the floor
  • Dry it thoroughly. 

You can change your cleaner now because if you continue to use this oil soap, it will penetrate the floor finish and make its way to the underlying wood.

How to Remove Murphy’s Oil from Wood Floor

If you noticed a residue or dull appearance on the floor and now consider removing Murphy’s oil after using it on the wooden floor, follow the simple guide below.

  1. It would be best to have an ammonia-free product like Windex or any other product; spray it to a small section about 2 to 3 feet.
  2. Leave that place for 3 minutes. 
  3. You can use a sponge, and scrub that area to remove the residue.
  4. Use the wet towel to clean that area so that residue will not dry.
  5. You need to repeat the process until all the residue is removed from the floor.
  6. Use a good cleaner for mopping your floor and completely dry it. 


What is the best thing to use to clean wood floors?

I’m sure you’ve heard that wood floors are best cleaned with a damp mop. But what if your wood floor is really dirty? What do you use to clean it then? This blog post will go over the different things you can use to clean a dirty or stained wooden floor, and which methods work best for different types of stains.

When you want to clean your wood floors without any harsh chemicals, there are a few options. One option is mixing water and vinegar in equal parts with liquid Castile soap that will produce an ecofriendly cleaner for the floor. Vinegar has natural antibacterial properties which makes it perfect as an all-natural cleaning solution while also being environmentally friendly since less chemical consumption means fewer toxic fumes released into the environment!

The process for how to use this mixture on hardwood or engineered hardwoods when they need cleaned doesn’t change much from regular cleaners; just saturate a rag or sponge mop in your homemade solution before scrubbing away at those grimy spots! It’s easy enough so even if you’re new to homekeeping like me, following

-Start with the most gentle method first and work your way up to stronger cleaning agents. This will help keep damage from occurring, but if you’re too afraid of damaging your flooring then just skip down to “Stronger Cleaners.”

-For a grease or oil stain: You can use denatured alcohol, which is available at any hardware store in spray form for about $0.50 an ounce. Spray it on the surface (only do this outside because inhaling denatured alcohol can cause respiratory problems), wait five minutes, wipe clean with a cloth rag that has been soaked in warm water and dish soap (a few drops per quart). Wipe again before adding more soapy water to make sure all residue.

How do I get my hardwood floors to shine again?

If your hardwood floors are looking dull and dirty, don’t worry. You can get them to shine again! There are a few things that you should be aware of before you start polishing the floor. Follow these steps to make your hardwood floor shine once again:

Dust off any dust, dirt, or pet hair from the floor. Use a vacuum cleaner brush attachment to make this easier and more efficient. If there are still stubborn pieces of dirt that won’t come up with just your vacuum cleaner then you can use an old toothbrush for some extra scrubbing power! Next, sweep up all debris such as leaves, pine needles, acorns etc. Rinse off any sticky spots on the floor using warm water and dish soap (or vinegar). You should also remove anything that might be stuck in the grooves by running it over with solvent-soaked string if necessary. Once finished cleaning your hardwood floors take out a bucket filled with hot water mixed in ½ cup white vinegar per gallon of water and scrub the floor with a long-handled mop, using your cloths to dry.


* It’s important to remember that any time you use vinegar the smell will linger for up to 24 hours so make sure it doesn’t bother anyone in the house! You can also try spraying water and/or scented oils around if you’re struggling with getting rid of the smell. * If there are still stubborn pieces of dirt that won’t come up with just your vacuum cleaner then you can use an old toothbrush for some extra scrubbing power! * Remember not to wet down hardwood floors too often because this tends to cause swelling which makes them lose their appearance and become more susceptible damage from things like scratches or dents *


To protect your wood floor, do not use any product in a hurry. Before using any product, do your research and take advice from experts about the product. You can easily find several  cleaner products in the market, but you need to carefully evaluate which one will be suitable for your floor.

As far as Murphy’s oil is concerned, it has mixed reactions from consumers when used on wood floors. So before using it, test it on a small section of your floor to avoid any problem.