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How to Remove Haze from Hardwood Floors?

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Are your formerly gorgeous and gleaming hardwood floors looking a little hazy? If so, don’t worry, You are going to learn, how to remove haze from hardwood floors and rid of that cloudy look.

How to remove haze from hardwood floors

How to remove haze from hardwood floors?

First you can start by using amonia-free Windex cleaner and spraying it on your haze area of your floors. Cleaning it with non-scratch scrubber and microfiber mop. If this does not help, use amonia. Recepie in my article.

Before all, let’s look at how it got there in the first place so that you can choose the proper technique. Moreover, if you know why it’s cloudy now, once you’ve gotten rid of it, you can be sure it won’t come back.

Why Does My Hardwood Floor Look Cloudy (Hazy)?

Utilizing cleaning products that leave residue could be the source of your problem. Our eyes and ears are flooded with propaganda on the radio, the TV, and now social media as well, it’s no surprise this is a common culprit of haze on your floors. 

Spray a window or mirror with some of your cleaning product and wipe it up, did it leave behind streaks or signs of residue?

How diligent are you about changing the mop cloths or mop heads regularly while cleaning?

Dirty mop cloths or dirty mop heads won’t be doing your floors any favors. The grime that they carry and spread over your floors while damp just might be leaving a buildup.

change the mop cloths to prevent hazy floors

Tip: When damp mopping your hardwood floors, you should be switching out the cloth for a new one probably for every room. If your rooms aren’t large, then at least check the condition of the cloth before setting it to use in a second room. 

Do you damp mop your kitchen first and then move throughout the house?

Similar to the necessity of changing out the mop cloth between rooms, if you’re mopping your kitchen first and then dragging it through the house, that could be your problem. Kitchen floors are notoriously the dirtiest in terms of germs, grease, and food stains. 

Tip: Save the kitchen floor for last.

Check my related blog post: How to clean old hardwood floors without refinishing? And Is it safe to use Murphy Oil Soap on my wooden Floors? 

Did you wax your floor?

Wax was how people treated their hardwood floors prior to the arrival of polyurethane sealants to the industry in the 60s. If your hardwood has a polyurethane finish, then you really shouldn’t be waxing the floor. Alternatively, if you have an unsealed hardwood floor and therefore appropriately use wax, don’t allow water to come into contact with it as that will leave white marks.

Tip: Avoid using any oil based soaps and furniture polish on finished hardwood. They’ll cause similar problems to wax because they are products that will leave a buildup.

How much cleaning solution are you using?

Even if you’re using appropriate cleaning products, too much of it can leave a cloudy residue.

Haze on Hardwood floors - to much cleaning solution

Tip: Meticulously follow the instructions provided by the cleaning product manufacturer. A little bit will go a long way.

Have you recently refinished your hardwood floor?

If the layers of stain and finish weren’t properly dry between coatings there could be air bubbles from trapped vapors creating a milky or hazy look.

How to Get Rid of the Haze on your hardwood floors?

You can get rid of the cloudy appearance and haze on your floor with patience, the proper product, and your own time. You need a product to cut through the residue in order to remove it from the finish that is protecting the wood. There are two different products you can try. You can work with an ammonia-free glass cleaner, or you can turn to ammonia.

I recommend first working with the ammonia-free glass cleaner. You’ll need:

Step by step instructions:

  1. Remove furniture and rugs from the room.
  2. Dust mop your floor being sure to remove all dust and debris.
  3. Spray your ammonia-free glass cleaner of choice on an area.
  4. Let sit 10-20 seconds for the cleaner to work on the residue.
  5. Take your scrubber and gently scrub the area.
  6. Immediately after scrubbing, wipe up the lifted residue and cleaner with your microfiber cloth.
  7. Repeat section by section until finished.


  • Test an area first that is usually covered.
  • Work in small sections, two feet by two feet.
  • Wipe up the moisture and residue with your microfiber cloth thoroughly, leaving no moisture behind.
If the ammonia-free glass cleaner doesn't work, but you are positive the hazr appearance is residue and not trapped vapors in the finish, there is one more thing you can try - Ammonia.

You will need:

  • dust mop
  • gallon bucket
  • microfiber damp mop
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup ammonia
  • cleaning gloves
  • mask

Instructions for ammonia based cleaner::

  1. In a large bucket combine 1Cup of ammonia to 1 gallon of water.
  2. Remove furniture and rugs from the room.
  3. Dust mop the floor thoroughly to remove all dust or debris.
  4. Soak your mop head or microfiber mop head cloth in ammonia and water solution.
  5. Wring out the mop head or mop cloth thoroughly until there are no drips.
  6. Damp mop a section of your floor.
  7. Take a dry microfiber cloth and by buff up the ammonia water solution in circular motions.
  8. Repeat damp mop and microfiber cloth buffing and drying section by section until finished.


  • Open a window in the room, or turn on the exhaust fan.
  • Wear gloves and mask.
  • Test an area first.
  • Damp mop in sections starting away from the door, so that as you complete a section and move on, you work your way to the door. 
  • In areas with more residue, use a moderate pressure while buffing.
  • Don’t walk on the floor for an hour after finished.

Warning: Using ammonia can be effective but is harmful even when diluted in this way if it comes into contact with your skin, or eyes. Please use with caution; gloves, mask, and ventilation. Never mix ammonia with bleach.

What if White Haze is Due to Problems in the hardwood floor Finish?

If you’ve determined that the haze or cloudy look on your floors is due to trapped vapors or air bubbles in the finish, no amount of cleaning is going to fix it. You’ll need to sand and refinish the floor.

Additionally, if the white milky look on your unfinished hardwood floor is due to water exposure on the wax, you can try to buff them away or strip the floor and re-wax or finish with polyurethane.