I cleaned a hardwood floor 5 different ways, the most effective way was the easiest & everything you need is just $25 | The Sun

Sometimes, less really is more.

That's what one home expert learned when she tried five different mopping methods to clean hardwood floors and the easiest one was the clear winner.

Cleaning expert Ashley Abramson is also a mom of two, so when she moved into a new home, she wanted to do everything she could to keep spills from staining her hardwood floors.

Writing for The Kitchn, Abramson said she set out to "pinpoint the absolute best method for cleaning," and tried five different methods: castile soap, Method Squirt and Mop, Murphy Oil Soap, a Swiffer WetJet, and plain white vinegar.

She judged the five methods based on speed, cost, results, and ease of use.

The worst method, she found, was mopping with white vinegar. "Hands-down, this was my least favorite method," Abramson wrote.

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She mixed a water-and-vinegar solution in a spray bottle, then got to work with her mop.

Even though it was easy enough, Abramson was disappointed by the end result.

"The floors were clean enough, but not shiny when I was done. I was not impressed," she said.

Mopping with castile soap and Murphy's oil soap were both more effective than cleaning with vinegar but took more time.

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In both cases, Abramson had to mix her cleaning solution in a bucket, which was laborious.

She found that castile soap provided a gentle, effective clean, but required more elbow grease as she mopped.

Meanwhile, Murphy soap was the best method for deep-cleaning, but that wasn't enough for Abramson.


"While Murphy and a mop made my floors look awesome, it also took way more time than other methods because I had to fill the bucket," she explained.

Using Method's Squirt and Mop Wood Cleaner was a lot more fun.

"The whole process was extremely satisfying," Abramson said. All she had to do was squirt the cleaner onto the floor and mop it away – and it smelled incredible.

"My only critique is that while the cleaner made the floors shiny and removed the layer of surface grime, it wasn’t super powerful at wiping away stuck-on gunk," she explained.

Swiffer WetJet proved to be the winner of Abramson's experiment: it required no mixing, no spraying, and no filling of the heavy mop bucket.

"The battery-operated mop releases just the right amount of cleaning solution to get the job done, leaving the floors clean and polished-looking," Abramson said.

One limitation of the Swiffer WetJet was similar to the other methods she tried. It just wasn't suited for deep-cleaning.

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"I had to scrub pretty hard to get a bit of sticky residue from the floor," she said.

But the other factors made the method a winner in terms of cost, convenience, and effort.

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