When Your Hardwood Floor
Needs Extra Care
Your hardwood floor will eventually need extra care. It's here
that much controversy exists.
Some professionals recommend that you damp mop your hardwood
floor and others cringe at the suggestion. Just remember, if
your floor's finish is in good shape and mopping is done
correctly, the water won't penetrate even the oil and wax
finishes. You're cleaning the finish, not the wood, so don't use
water if the finish is in poor shape.
Damp Mopping: This is the fastest and best way to
deep-clean solid hardwood floors. Depending on how much use your
floor gets, you may have to mop it as often as once a week. Use
a neutral pH wood cleaner and water, or manufacturer recommended
products. Wet the mop and wring so it's about half-dry. Wet the
floor with the mop. Dip the mop into clean water, wring it as
dry as you can and mop over the floor again.
Heavy-Duty Mopping: If floors are property sealed, the
little extra water and cleaner required will not injure your
hardwood floor, but use common sense.
Vinegar: Often prescribed to clean hardwood floors --
does nothing for removing grease and soil.
If you can't restore your solid hardwood floor's luster with
deep cleaning or by simply buffing, you may want to apply a
maintenance coat. Waxing is an easy way to restore your hardwood
floor's natural beauty.
Though a controversial treatment for surface finishes, floor
polish or wax can give you a good-looking floor in a matter of
minutes. If you don't want to apply a wax to your surface
finish, consult a professional.
Pros: Wax can be easily cleaned, buffed and rewaxed to
make it look like its original condition. Wear and tear will be
on the wax, not the finish. It is easily stripped and reapplied.
Cons: Waxing may limit some refinishing and re-coating
options down the road. If not properly stripped, the wax can
cause adhesion problems when re-coating the surface.
Only wax a surface finish if the original finish is in poor
shape and you don't plan to refinish your floor in the near
Removing Stains In Waxed
No matter how careful you are a stain can still occur.
Water Stains: Rub the spot with No. 2 steel wood and
rewax. For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine
sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and
mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax.
Cigarette Burns: If not severe, the burn can be removed
by rubbing with steel wool moistened with soap and water.
Heel and Caster Marks: Rub vigorously with fine steel
wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.
Ink Stains and Other Dark Spots: Use No. 2 steel wool and
floor cleaner to clean the spot and surrounding area. Thoroughly
wash the affected area. If the spot remains, sand with fine
sandpaper, re-wax and polish. Stubborn stains may require that
you replace the affected area.
Chewing Gum and Wax Deposits: Ice until the deposit is
brittle and crumbles off. Pour floor cleaner around the stain so
the fluid soaks under and loosens it.
Alcohol Spots: Rub the spot with liquid or paste wax.
Repairing Wax Finishes: Rub fine steel wood in a puddle
of reconditioner or paint thinner and clean as you go. Apply wax
Always start cleaning at the edge of a stain and work toward the
center so it won't spread.
Removing stains and repairing surface finishes
Use steel wood or sand paper to remove one or two complete
layers of finish along the entire length of the board where
damage has occurred. Remove all dust. Apply the same type of
finish that was removed, being careful not to build additional
layers on top of adjoining boards.
Squeaks: When the air in your home becomes extremely dry,
your floor will lose moisture and contract. Conversely, when
humidity is high, your floor will absorb moisture and expand
slightly. As humidity stabilizes, hardwoods regain their
original dimensions. Air conditioning in summer and humidifying
in winter will keep your home's humidity comfortable for you and
your floor. Prolonged cycles of shrinking and swelling of your
hardwood floor may result in squeaks. They can be easily
Silencing Squeaks: Apply liquid wax, powdered soap,
talcum powder or powdered graphite between floor boards that are
rubbing together. If that doesn't stop the squeak, drive
two-inch finishing nails through pilot holes on both edges of
the board then hide the hole with matching color putty or wax.
If you need to refinish or replace your hardwood floor, give
Mayes Wood Flooring for best results.