Murphy OilI admit it, I used to be a regular Murphy’s Oil Soap user.

Those commercials with the older ladies polishing the wooden pews and floors of that big ol’ church packed a powerful, underlying one-two message. Your mothers and grandmothers use Murphy’s Oil Soap religiously, and so should you! Or, how about this one: If it’s good enough for God’s house, it’s good enough for yours!

So I smiled when I came across a blog post written by a young professional woman who was in a cleaning frenzy for her parents’ impending arrival. The thought of her mom (the Queen of Clean) inspecting her new digs, had this woman reaching deep into her artillery of cleaning supplies to zap that dust, destroy those germs, and leave that tell-tale spit-and-polish look.

Murphy’s Oil Soap was one of her big guns.

In fact, don’t your mothers and many of your friends (and possibly you) all use Murphy’s Oil? It’s as ubiquitous as Windex. The problem, as I’ve learned since having my floors refinished, is that Murphy’s Oil leaves a residue buildup that eventually dulls the wood floor finish (as does Mop-n-Glow). Just the opposite of what its advertising would have us believe.

Here’s what the professional wood refinisher told me: To maintain finished wood floors use a neutral pH cleaner, like Bona, made specifically for this. (I’ve also checked out floor maintenance web sites for corroboration, and they all agree.) The general consensus of the pros is: If you don’t want to track down where to buy Bona, just use a glass-cleaning formula without Ammonia. Or a splash of white vinegar and a squirt of mild dish washing liquid in a bucket of water will do the trick if you make sure to dry the floor well after mopping.

Armed with this new information, I’ve kicked the Murphy’s Oil Soap habit. I invite you to join.