Cleaning unknown greasy spots on finished hardwood


Old 08-31-10, 09:24 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: US
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Question Cleaning unknown greasy spots on finished hardwood

We noticed some greasy spots on our hardwood stairs - what's the best way to clean them, considering we don't even know what exactly they're from? They look like drops of water, but definitely have an oily/greasy texture. They're solid hardwood stairs with a water-based finish, although it was done maybe 10 years ago, and I don't know how much/any of the finish is left. Thanks!
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Old 08-31-10, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: usa
Posts: 272
if the finish is gone you usually would see a variation in the finish. Take water and put a drop by the area. If it repels, it still has a finish on that area. If not, it will get darker as the wood absorbs the water. Hope it still has a finish, if not that's another story. Since I haven't messed with wood finishes in a while, I'd tell you to get online and see what the wood manufactures say. Me personally, I'd try a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol, not the stuff you drink. Barely put alcohol on the cotton ball, squeeze it till moist. Go over it once, with light pressure, if you see residue on the cotton ball, when it will work, but wait for it to dry first and make sure the finish is not affected. I don't believe it will be but who knows. I know there are a lot of wood floor guys on this site, so if I'm all wet, they will have no problem stating the facts. Good luck.
Old 09-01-10, 08:01 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 18,832
If it's really an oil based spot, I would try WD40 first

If that didn't cut it, I'd switch to mineral spirits

In each case, apply the solvent to your rag, not the floor and don't saturate the rag, you want as little of the solvent as possible to hit the floor itself.

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