Cleaning 50+ year old hardwood floors

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  #1  
Old 09-07-00, 09:12 PM
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I clean homes and find many different instructions given to my clients on the care of their very old hardwood floors. I read the post earlier about cleaning, not using oil soap and not using water. All my clients want some damp mopping with some type of water solution. These are very old floors that have not been refinished and have only a minute gloss one them. What do you suggest?

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Karen
 
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Old 09-08-00, 02:09 PM
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Karen:

I'm not very familiar with older floors as I deal strictly in installation of new HW floors, and what works for me may work well in your situation. All prefinished manufacturers sell their own floor cleaner, but I've found the use of Windex lightly sprayed into the floor works well. I suggest the use of a sch-mop@ and dampen the pad with the Windex then spray and wipe.

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Old 09-21-00, 02:26 PM
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Karen,

Lemon oil will temporarily feed the wood a little and will help with cleaning. It can make a floor slick, so use a terry wrapped mop to get up excess.

My favorite solution for cleaning an old floor is to apply Renovator, a product made to both clean and to reapply a little finish. You wipe it on, then take it off with coarse steel wool. It requires at least a few hours of drying time, however.

George
 
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Old 09-23-00, 01:11 PM
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Todays hardwood manufacturers usually sell a product recommended only for their floors. It is a pH neutral cleaner made specifically for polyurethane finishes. When "damp mopping" they recommend using a nearly dry mop. Because most folks tend to get mops too wet, you will see recommendations that wood floors not be damp mopped. A floor should be cleaned a section at a time and towel dried to prevent standing water. Poly floors should not be waxed. Older floors had a pentrating finish and were waxed. These floors can not be damp mopped. These floors are rewaxed with a floor a recommended floor wax recommended for this type of floor. The new wax dissolves the old wax and dirt, thus no buildup. If you are not sure whether you have a penetrating finish, try applying a little paint thinner in an inconspicuous place. It will dissolve the sealer and a lighter area will show when wiped away. On poly finishes, the urethane will bubble if a small amount of paint remover is applied. Not under any circumstances should wood be saturated.
patricia@www.twelvepole.com
 
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