cleaning oak hardwood floors


Old 04-30-02, 04:43 AM
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Question cleaning oak hardwood floors

What is the best product to use to clean oak hardwoods that have a satin poly finish? Some people say use a damp mop and other say end dust??
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Old 04-30-02, 08:01 PM
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Cleaning hardwood floors

It is always best to follow the recommendations of the manufacturers. If you have a prefinished wood floor, most manufacturers tend to offer recommended cleaning products that are pH neutral. If you have a wood floor finished in your home, it is best to follow the finish manufacturer's recommendations. If you purchase a commercial wood floor cleaner, make sure the label specifically states that it is "safe for polyurethane finishes." Do not use household cleaners, abrasives, or products that contain waxes, oils, or silcone. Waxes, oils, and silcones tend to build up and soften and dull finishes over time. Avoid furniture polishes and waxes, Murphy's Oil Soap (a vegetable oil cleaner) and any product that is not labelled specifically to be safe for "polyurethane" despite the claim to be safe for all floors.

The National Oak Flooring Manufacturer's Assoc. does not frown upon 1/4 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of water. They state that damp mopping is safe for hardwood floors. This means using a mop squeezed nearly dry. Cleaner is best sprayed on the mop, not the floor. Do a section at a time. Toss down an old terry towel and rub back and forth in the direction of the wood grain, using your foot, to remove streaks and excess moisture. Never apply cleaner directly to the floor.

Do not use steam cleaners on hardwood floors. Wipe up all spills immediately as standing water and liquids will damage wood floors. Place mats inside and outside doors to catch grit. Grit is what they make sandpaper out of. The grit will sand off the finish. Place felt protectors on furniture and never scoot anything on floors. If you use vacuum, use brush attachment and not beater bar. Frequently running dust mop in high traffic areas will keep grit damage at bay. Depending on the amount of traffic, damp mopping should not be required more often than every two to three months. Over mopping and cleaning will tend to dull finish. Place runners and rugs in high traffic areas such as at entries, in hallways, in front of sink and stove, or wherever feet tend to contact the wood floor the most frequently.

Never wax a polyurethane finish. Wax will interfere with the refinishing process, causing stains and finishes to not properly adhere.
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