Product Review: Cleaning with Murphy’s Oil Soap

Learn the negative effects of cleaning your floor with Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Oil soap is a commonly used, widely available wood floor cleaner. The most favored brand of oil soap is Murphy’s Oil Soap and it is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. With a big advertising budget, Colgate-Palmolive is working very hard to make Murphy’s Oil Soap a trusted household name. Besides, it has been around for a long time and is as widely used as Windex. In case you aren’t that familiar with the product line, the most popular wood floor cleaning products are the Murphy Oil Soap Original Formula and the Murphy Oil Soap Squirt & Mop.

Oil soap, like Murphy’s, is vegetable oil-based. Perhaps because oil soap is marketed as biodegradable, it is enough to make people think that it is a wholesome cleaning product. Especially with all of the toxic cleaning solutions available, many people are turning to natural alternatives. This is just one of the reasons that Murphy’s Oil Soap is in high demand. Regardless of the reasons that consumers choose oil soap to clean wood floors, it actually doesn’t have positive features.

Oil soap is actually harmful to your wood floors. Many floor manufacturers explicitly state that oil soap should not be used to clean wood floors. For example, the Bellawood Prefinished Hardwood Floors Certified 50 Year Warranty expressly states, “Do not wash or wet mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, delamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.” When you apply oil soap, you are leaving a residue on your wood floors. This residue will turn into streak marks. You are putting vegetable oil soap on your wood floors and leaving it on. All of your wood surfaces will have an oil soap coating on them. This makes the finish on your floors look dull.