Is Pine Sol Good for Hardwood Floors? [Safety + Residue Tips]

Hardwood floors can be cleaned by dry-mopping or vacuum cleaning, but there are times when you want to remove residue, buildup, and stains. Is it safe to use Pine Sol on wood floors for a thorough cleaning job?

Pine Sol is good for cleaning hardwood floors but only if they are finished or sealed with a protective coat. It is safe to use it even on engineered wood floors but can cause damage if the floor is worn out, oiled, or waxed. Rinse well when cleaning with Pine Sol to prevent leaving residue on the floor.

The manufacturers of this cleaning product describe it as a great removal agent for debris, grime and tough stains on hardwood floors.

Below, I’ll show you what you need to consider in terms of how safe it is to use Pine Sol on wooden floors and how to use it without leaving residue behind.

Is it safe to use Pine Sol on Wooden Floors?

Yes, Pine Sol is absolutely safe for use on wooden floors that have been sealed or finished. The product’s manufacturers- however- recommend that it shouldn’t be used on unsealed or unfinished wooden surfaces.

Additionally, while Pine Sol may have no significant negative effect on the wooden floor surface itself, the effects on humans, pets, and the environment in general- can’t be ignored.

Wooden floors are those that are wholly made of solid wood material. Common types of wood used for wooden floors include oak, cherry, ash, maple, and poplar.

Is pine sol good for hardwood floors

As per The Environmental Working Group, Pine-Sol has negative effects on health and the environment- with the potential to cause respiratory health issues to humans and pets. You should- therefore- ensure that no kids or pets are around when you’re about to use Pine Sol on your wooden floor.

Is Pine Sol safe for engineered hardwood?

Engineered hardwood is quite different from solid wood. Heat and pressure compression is applied to alternating layers of wood in order to make engineered hardwood, which is more structurally durable compared to solid wood. As such, it’s harder to leave behind scratch marks and scuff marks on this type of floor.

Pine Sol is safe to use on engineered hardwood flooring. Compared to other cleaning products typically used on hardwood floors, Pine Sol is relatively safer being as it’s a water-based cleaner. It offers various advantages over wax-based, oil-based, and ammonia-based hardwood cleaning formulas.

These are discussed below:

  • Pine Sol reinforces the finish on your hardwood floor, unlike wax-based and oil-based formulas that take away the glow when used on polyutherane wood surfaces.
  • Unlike oil-based and ammonia-based cleaners that eat away at the sealing and hamper the chances of future seals or finishes sticking to the hardwood surface, Pine Sol is great for use on sealed hardwood.
  • Finally, when used and applied the right way, Pine Sol doesn’t leave behind any residue that will leave you with an unsightly hardwood floor surface. Wax and oil-based cleaners- on the other hand- leave behind a hazy residual substance. Removing this residue may be costly, as you may be forced to sand and refinish your hardwood floor to its original look.

Precautions when using Pine Sol

Still, you have to take some precautionary measures when using Pine Sol on your hardwood surfaces. Here’s an overview of the things to look out for when using Pine Sol as your hardwood floor cleaning agent:

  • Concentration– unless you’re trying to get rid of very tough stains, Pine Sol should be diluted and not be used in its concentrated form.
  • Application tool– when applying concentrated Pine Sol directly on tough scuff marks on wood floors, you should work the agent in using a soft sponge to avoid scratching your hardwood surface.
  • Water pooling– always ensure to mop away as much standing water as possible, as it may warp or streak your hardwood surface.

Pro tip: Applying concentrated Pine Sol directly to a hardwood surface to remove deeper stains may cause the sealing to peel off- requiring you to sand and refinish your hardwood floor.

How to Use Pine Sol to Clean Hardwood Floors

To properly spruce up your hardwood floor using Pine-Sol, follow the steps below:

  • First off, sweep up the floor using a good dust mop for wood floors to remove dust and lose debris.
  • Next, pour one gallon of water in a bucket, then add a quarter cupful of Pine-Sol to the water and stir the mixture.
  • Soak up a mop with the mixture, making sure to wring out excess water.
  • Mop the entire hardwood floor, then dry it using a second dry mop. You should always ensure to mop along the wood grain.
  • If you’re trying to get rid of very tough stains such as dark water spots, you might want to apply the Pine-Sol directly to the floor using a sponge- instead of adding it to a water-based solution first. You can then use a soaked up and wrung mop to remove the cleaner from the floor surface.
  • Keep a dry piece of cloth or dry mop on standby to dry mop the floor once you’re done.


Water-based cleaners like Pine Sol are only recommended for use on hardwood floors that have been sealed, as they can cause damage to unsealed hardwood surfaces. As such, before you use Pine Sol on your floor, you can always test your hardwood surface to ensure it’s been sealed.

A great way of testing for floor sealing is by pouring a drop of water on the hardwood surface and observing whether it pools atop the surface or absorbs right into the hardwood material.

If the water-drop beads on the surface, it means that your hardwood floor is properly sealed and you can proceed to clean it with Pine Sol. However, if the water soaks into the wood, it means that your surface may have never been sealed before, or the old sealing may have worn off.

1 thought on “Is Pine Sol Good for Hardwood Floors? [Safety + Residue Tips]”

  1. Thank you so very much for this helpful article!!! I was using the Murphy’s Oil Soap for our new floor, and it left a sticky residue after the very first application. It discouraged me from mopping again, so I’ve only been sweeping for the past week without mopping. I’m so happy to know that I can go back to my beloved Pine-Sol, which we previously used when we had tile. It’s got a wonderfully great aroma that’s very welcoming to come home to. ? THANK YOU!!!!!!!


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