Murphy Oil Soap

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May 19, 2006
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Biodegradable. Cleans wood like no other product. Has multiple uses. Cheap.

Cons:Old fashioned scent.

The Bottom Line: This ancient product can't be beat for cleaning wood and wax build-up. It also has other uses around the house and yard.

When I moved into my new house, I had to tackle something I haven’t had to in years. I have new wood flooring in my kitchen and hallways. Looks great but I didn’t think about what the waxing and cleaning process would entail. Before I moved in, I had them professionally waxed but it wasn’t long before scuff marks and dirt started to build up on them. Not that I wasn’t cleaning them, I mopped and babied them but I was using the wrong products. That’s when I got serious and bought some Murphy’s Oil Soap.

The Product:

Murphy’s Oil Soap has been around for eons, over a hundred years. It comes to us from the Colgate/Palmolive Company, originally founded in the early 1800’s. They are manufacturers of toothpaste, dog foods, deodorants, laundry products and more and such household names as Soft Soap, Speed Stick, Science Diet and Irish Spring.

This product is biodegradable and contains a principal natural ingredient, Potassium Soap of Vegetable Oil, combined with sodium EDTA, propylene glycol and fragrance. It comes in a no frills, transparent, 16fl oz, plastic bottle with a screw off cap. The cleaner is a translucent pale tan color with a unique, pleasant fragrance. I paid $3.99 for it at Walmart Superstore.

Colgate/Palmolive’s Claim:

Surprisingly, I found out that this product is not just for cleaning wood. It is actually a household cleaner that takes care of a multiple of tasks around the house and yard:

Safely cleans inside the refrigerator without harming the enamel
Cleans the kitchen floor (tile, linoleum/vinyl, or wood!), cabinets, cupboards, countertops, and even the kitchen sink
Easily removes dust and build-up on countertops and fixtures
Safely cleans painted surfaces
Cleans walls and doors around light switches and doorknobs
Safely and gently cleans cribs, highchairs, playpens, toys, vinyl mattresses, and mats. It leaves no harmful residue behind -- only its fresh smell.
Clean walls and painted furniture
Makes a great pre-spotter, especially on organic stains like grass, blood, and soil. Just apply Murphy's directly to the stain, rub into the fabric, and wash as usual. Cuts through grease, lipstick, and ink on fabrics. For tough stains, spritz thespot and let soak for a few hours.
Removes dirt and mildew on outdoor furniture
Safely cleans plastic and wicker

My Experience:

You learn something new everyday. I have bought this product in the past to clean my cabinets and furniture but I didn’t realize just how many uses it has. My floors were my immediate problem. This product is meant to clean away wax build-up so I use it about once every two weeks to get rid of scuff marks and built up dirt ground into the wax. Using it more often would mean I would have to rewax the floor sooner and I hardly want that yet.

Using the product is simple, you mix a quarter cup of the product to a gallon of water and mop as normal. To me, Murphy’s is to wood flooring as ammonia is to linoleum flooring, a complete makeover. Dirt and scuffs are removed easily and even in-ground dirt comes up without much elbow grease. As expected, I was pleased with the result and will continue to use this product to keep my wood floors looking fresh and new.

I have also used this product on my bathroom floors which are tile. It really gets into that grout and cleans it up nice and white. This product does not leave any residue like some products. It just seems to give it a good washing. I am really pleased with the results in my bathrooms too.

I can also attest to it cleaning wicker furniture. My neighbor, a friend of mine, has wicker patio furniture that collects some grime, being outside. We took to it with a couple of soft scrubbing brushes and a bucket of this product. It made a believer out of my neighbor too when she saw just how much of a difference it made.


I expected the great results I got on my wood flooring and that is why I went out and bought Murphy’s Oil Soap in the first place. Maybe it is my ignorance but I always associated this product with wood and wood only. However, I have also found other uses for it that I wasn’t familiar with that really surprised both me and my neighbor.

The only downside to cleaning the whole house with this product is the old fashioned scent. I will definitely use it for my floors, wood and tile and for any other major use it may come in handy for but I prefer my anti-bacterial cleaners for the kitchen and bathrooms.

I recommend Murphy’s Oil Soap as a multi-purpose cleaner and if you, personally, like the scent, it may be the only one you need. Myself, I have found no other product that will clean wood to the extent that this product does.

A word of warning: this product cannot be used on unfinished wood and if the finish is worn or weak, it is recommended that you spot test it first.

For more information, go to: http://www.colgate .com

Or Call: 1-800-486-7627

Other Household Products:

Goo Gone
Dry Cleaner's Secret
Suavitel Fabric Conditioner
Glade Glass Scents Home Fragrancer
Clorox FreshCare
Carpet Fresh No Vacuum Foam Carpet Refresher

Thank you for reading

Recommend this product? Yes

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