How to Remove Haze from Engineered Hardwood Floors

One of the most prominent characteristics of hardwood floors is their shine. The shine brings out the wood's natural colors and showcases the beautiful grain patterns. 

But sometimes hardwood floors develop a haze that dims this shine. As hardwood floor owners and enthusiasts, we know how troubling this can be. 

Today we’ll discuss why this haze shows up, how to remove haze from engineered hardwood floors, and how to maintain the shine of your floor all year long. 

What this article covers:

What Causes Hazy Hardwood Floors

how to remove film from wood floors

Hardwood floors are gorgeous as long as they maintain their gloss or shine. But with buildup and time, this shine can be replaced by a milky and dry texture and look that most people refer to as a ‘haze’. 

This haze doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. There are four common themes we’ve noticed with hazy hardwood floors. 

A Build-Up Of Wax

One of the most common issues we notice is a build-up of wax. As you’ll notice with hardwood floors, less is always better. If the floor doesn’t require wax or has a finish that doesn’t take well to wax, it will cause a reaction and leave you with an unsightly haze. 

A Build Up Of Moisture

While hardwood floors do need a certain amount of moisture, too much can cause serious issues, including haze. 

If you struggle with moisture, we have comprehensive guides on how to remove moisture from hardwood floors and remove water stains from hardwood floors. This, and an air mover,  will remove any excess moisture from the room. 

how to clean cloudy wood floors

Harsh Cleaning Solutions

As with any floor, it needs regular cleaning. But hardwood floors can be a little tricky in this regard. Because of the hardwood finish, harsh cleaning agents can strip the floor of necessary moisture and leave a sticky residue behind. 

Luckily, there are methods for removing the sticky residue from hardwood floors. You can also check whether the cleaner will leave a sticky residue or a haze with a test. 

Spray the cleaner on a mirror and wipe it off with a cloth. If there are streaks on the mirror, then it will leave a residue on your floor which can turn into a haze.  

Finish Not Applied Correctly

If you apply a hardwood finish, make sure to remove all stains from the hardwood floors before applying the finish. If you don’t, the finish won’t settle correctly and you’ll be stuck with a haze problem. 

How To Clean Cloudy Hardwood Floors With Vinegar

how to remove hazy buildup from hardwood floors

Now that you know what causes the haze on hardwood floors, let’s cover how to remove the cloudy haze with vinegar. This is an easy method that you can also use to remove ink from hardwood floors and remove grease from hardwood floors. 

Step 1: Clean The Hardwood Floors

To make the cleaning process easier, it’s always a good idea to sweep your floor or run a vacuum cleaner over it. It will pick up all loose dirt and prevent outside contamination when cleaning off the haze. 

Step 2: Mix The Vinegar Cleaning Solution

Next, mix your vinegar-cleaning solution. Add equal parts water and vinegar to a bucket and mix it. The vinegar will remove the residue with its natural acidity without causing any damage to your hardwood floors. 

Step 3: Wipe Down The Hardwood Floors

Use a cloth or a flat mop to apply the cleaning solution to the floor. Take your time and gently wipe away the hazy build-up on your floor. 

how to clean cloudy engineered wood floors

While you want to get the cleaning solution on the wood, it’s important not to soak the wood with vinegar and water. This could lead to problems if the floor doesn’t dry correctly.  

Step 4: Rinse The Hardwood Floors

After you have removed the haze from your hardwood floors, take another clean, damp cloth or mop and run it over the hardwood floors. Rinse the cloth or mop thoroughly before repeating this one more time. 

When you have removed all the cleaning solution, take a clean, dry cloth or mop and dry up the floors as much as possible. You can also use water extraction equipment to get your floors dry without damaging them. 

how to restore engineered hardwood floors with haze

How To Clean Cloudy Hardwood Floors With Ammonia

The next method, which also works to remove glue from hardwood floors, uses ammonia to remove the hardwood floor haze. 

Step 1: Clean The Hardwood Floors

As before, take a broom or a vacuum and remove as much loose dirt and debris from your hardwood floors. 

Step 2: Mix The Ammonia Cleaning Solution

You can buy an ammonia cleaner at most stores or opt for Red Action, our professional ammonia remover. If you use Red Action, follow the instructions on the bottle but be sure to dilute the solution.

how to remove hazy residue from wood floors

If you are using a store-bought ammonia cleaning solution, mix one gallon of water with 8.5 fl ox of ammonia. Mix the solution well.

Step 3: Clean The Hardwood Floors

Use a cloth or a flat mop to apply the ammonia and water mixture to your hardwood floors. Work the solution over the haze until it is gone. Make sure not to flood the floors with the solution and to only use enough to remove the haze. 

Step 4: Rinse The Hardwood Floors

After removing the haze from the hardwood floors, take a clean, damp cloth or mop and run it over the floors. Soak up all the cleaning solution. 

When that is done, take another clean, dry cloth or mop and dry the floor. Be thorough and use an air mover if need be. 

Tips To Prevent Hazy Hardwood Floor

how to remove haziness from engineered wood floors

Now that you have removed the haze from your hardwood floors, it’s important to take steps that will prevent the haze from appearing on your floors again. 

Here are some tips to implement for clean, shiny, haze-free hardwood floors all year long. 

  • Use neutral pH cleaners when cleaning your hardwood floors. 
  • Sweep and soft-clean your hardwood floors with a very lightly damp mop or a gentle cleaner. Try to keep water exposure during cleaning to a minimum. 
  • Remove excess liquid throughout the week. Don’t let any water or debris sit on your hardwood floors. 


Hazy hardwood floors can be a struggle, especially when your hardwood floors are your pride and joy. Fortunately, the above methods and some common household items are all you need to get your floor haze-free. 

If you are still struggling with your hardwood floors, give our professional cleaning equipment a go. TruckMountForums has all the epic cleaning supplies you could ever need.

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