Firstly you must determine if cleaning is what is needed. Or do you need re-finishing.
You can’t clean a wood floor that has little or no finish. Because, you are not cleaning the wood, you are cleaning the finish.
Therfore, if you can see dirt in the grain no amount of cleaning is going to remove this.
It has been my experience when someone asks about cleaning there wood floor. What they really need is there floor refinished.
That being said there are many products claiming to be wood floor cleaners. The industry leader is POLYCARE by BONA-KEMI.
My personal red flag is where it says on the bottle “if swallowed drink 3 glasses of water.” I ask you, how many cleaning solutions do you have that only require you to drink water if ingested? There are no ingredients listed on the bottle. Leading me to believe, other than water, what is really in the bottle for ten dollars.
There is also a product by BRUCE flooring with similar qualities. How about CITRUS ORANGE CLEAN. Again no ingredients. I think other than citrus and distilled water there are no other ingredients.
Therefore another ten dollars spent for little or no results.
What about MURPHY’S OIL SOAP or SWIFFER WET JET. Both leave behind an oily sheen. Giving the appearance of cleaner floors. The problem comes when you do decide to re-finish. They will prevent you from screening and coating your floor do to the oily residue. They make the job much more difficult and costly. But they will buy you more time between re-finishing.
Remember the manufactures know any chemicals left behind WILL prevent simple refinishing or screening of a wood floor.
What about a FLOOR STEAMER?
Are you kidding me. Wood and water. Really? Think about this scam. Forcing water into the seems of a wood floor. Wood is a fibrous and porous material. It will absorb the water and blacken the joints. Which is a mold build-up.
What about water with a little vinegar? Manufacturers have gone to great lengths to prove the vinegar breaks down the properties of wood.
But really. How often do you wash your wood floor? I think it would take an awful lot of vinegar and many washings
Ace wood floors specialists work on 500 to 600 houses annually and we have yet to see a floor damaged to vinegar disease!
I use a slightly dampened cloth on my wood floors. Seems to do the trick.