Cleaning unfinished wood floors

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  #1  
Old 05-30-13, 07:47 PM
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Cleaning unfinished wood floors

I've been trying to read through some other similar threads, but I can't find the answers I'm looking for.
I live in an old house, with unfinished wood floor in the kitchen. And yes, when I say unfinished I do actually mean it has no polyurethane, no sealer, no oil finish, no nothing. Just plain old wood slats. It was once covered with linoleum but someone tore it up before we got here and there are still pieces of it stuck to the floor that are darn near impossible to get up.
Anyway, I've always had a hard time cleaning the floor. I've just in the last few days learned that water was not good for raw wood (something I didn't know!)
So what is the best way to clean it? Most people just mop or swiffer their floor, but I can't do that because the floor absorbs water. So what do I do? How do I keep it clean? You would think after living here and having this floor for 2 years, I would know, but not many people seem to have raw wood floors in their houses, so the answers are hard to come by.
I should also mention that half the floor is really smooth and easy to sweep but the other half looks like it was once outside like a porch or something, so its a little bit more weathered and rough. So that side is harder to sweep and there are larger gaps between the wood slats.

And yes, before anyone says anything...I do plan on finishing the floor but that will be a project for a later date.
But until then, what can I do?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 05-31-13, 03:16 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Raw wood is not a good surface for every day use. I can't help it.....you need to apply a finish, or make plans to tile the area. Without a proper finish, any advice on cleaning would not work, as the surface will absorb your cleaner and water, as you have found out.
 
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Old 05-31-13, 05:11 AM
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Probably the best way to clean unfinished/raw wood is with sandpaper ....... but if I was going to go thru the trouble of sanding - I'd apply stain and/or poly too
 
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Old 05-31-13, 06:00 AM
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With staining or polying the floor, there are bigger gaps between the slats in half the room. Is that going to be a problem?
We refinished the wood in one of our rooms and the sanding was a disaster and such a mess. Is there a way to sand my kitchen without is being a mess? Could I just not sand it? Seriously, we had the shop-vac attached to the sander and it helped a little, but of course, there was still dust everywhere. As is to be expected when doing any sort of sanding.
Please don't think I'm being whiny, but my husband does the work but doesn't clean the mess and its left to me. Having everyday chores on top of having to dust and wipe my WHOLE house down, doesn't sound fun to me(and I have a toddler). So I'm thinking anything that makes the least mess possible is for me!
Is there a special seal or poly that I could use without sanding?

Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 05-31-13, 09:21 AM
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Poly may or may not adhere well to the wood floor without sanding. Any stains/grime left sealed over the wood will be there to stay. It's highly recommended to sand between coats of poly to insure the next coat will adhere to the previous coat. It also makes for a nicer finish.

Probably the best way to limit the amount of dust cleanup would be to plastic/tape off the room, mainly to keep the dust in that room and not let it float throughout the house

How wide are the gaps between the boards? got pics? http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 11-12-13, 03:25 PM
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Cleaning naked hardwoods

All these pros are making it sound so complicated. Rent a small 12 buffer and get some spray wax. Use a white pad and spray buff your floors, they will be great, no sanding or poly necessary. The wax will keep the water off and also keep the grooves and beauty of the natural floor. Polish with a pink pad if you want a high gloss. You don't have to do all this other stuff. After its waxed you can lightly mop it (like using a spin mop that's almost dry) to keep it clean.

Just a mom with 78 year old naked hardwoods.
 
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Old 11-13-13, 10:59 AM
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Wovenwoman: That may be a fine way to protect the floor but how do you plan to address the cleaning it needs now first?
 
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Old 06-02-14, 02:06 PM
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cleaning unfinished wood floors

Hey, this is a great thread, and a great forum.
I'm glad I've found someone else with the same concern I do.
We're working on an old house (I mean, like pre-Civil War, saved from the wrecking ball). There is no hope...no money...to ever bring this place up to livable conditions. But, it CAN be used for public group meetings in our little community. Something of a clubhouse or place for nonprofits who that can't afford to rent a meeting room.

Our floor is old plank boards, mixed with some newer pine boards that were evidently put in to patch here and there. Old iron nailheads can still be seen sticking up 1/8" here and there. Gaps between some of the planks may be 1/4" to 1/2" in some places. Dirt in those gaps just doesn't vacuum up the way one might like. And, of course some of the boards are not even with the adjoining boards. Over the years, workers have left not only "dust and dirt," but also lime and concrete powder as well as stains here and there. Rain coming in beneath the doors and elsewhere has left its tell-tale stains as well. But, the floor is solid and safe to walk on and use.

So, what to do about such a "floor"? The first thing we had to acknowledge was that our floor is never going to be finished. Lack of funds will assure us of that! So, we have swept and vacuumed....and swept and vacuumed...several times. Still, we can see foot prints where we've walked on the "cleaned" floor.

So, we have read and read so much advice about the need to sand, the need to avoid water, the pros and cons of mineral spirits or vinegar over Murphy's oil soap, the need to consider properly finishing the floor. And, then, we sat and talked.

Bottom line? The lack of funds, and the unprobability of ever using this place as anything more than what it is, tell us to go ahead and use a mild diluted oil soap.

If anyone out there can holler and say, "Don't do it," we'd sure like to hear why not.

I suspect that you're in much the same place, but for the fact that you DO plan to finish your floor someday. (We DON'T).

What we've read from the manufacturer and others suggests to us that a one-time washing isn't going to create the problems of residue "build up" that floor finishers worry about.

Wishing you good luck with your effort! Hope this is of some help or comfort.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 02:35 PM
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If your plans are to never finish the floor, I see no reason NOT to clean it with Murphy's. You may also want to look at the Orange brand of floor cleaners and finishes. Readily available at most box stores or wallyworld.
 
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