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Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Last post Fri, Sep 18 2009 1:58 PM by Denise in Ark. 51 replies.
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  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 7:51 AM

    • Brandy
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    Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    Hardwood floors are beautiful to look at and reminders of times passed when these were common features in a home. But they are also expensive to maintain!

    I have tried various frugal methods of cleaning my floors and so far none of them have worked well. I read a tip in a Dollar Stetcher article to use tea to clean the floors. Has anyone tried this?

    Any other ideas I can experiment with?

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 9:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    When we had our floors refinished (allergies prevent wall to wall carpet in our house), the nice man who had been refinishing floors for 50 years advised us to use warm water and elbow grease. A little vinegar in the warm water also works but won't harm the finish. Because it's cheap and easy, that's what I use. I vacuum the floors or sweep the corners and then when I need to "clean" them, I get down on my hands and knees with my bucket and rag and wash away. After 4 years, even the high traffic areas are still beautiful.

    BTW, he also advised against using Swiffer type products on wood floors as  you can "push" around small rocks, sand, etc that can scratch the finish. He suggested vacuuming. But sometimes I do sweep with a soft indoor broom.

    We really love our floors and I hope you enjoy yours, too!

    Erika
  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 9:52 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    I have mopped with just water but I worry that it will only lift dirt. We have young children and pets and I like a little sanitising power in there.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 10:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    I understand the need to kill germs--we have 2 boys and a dog. I feel pretty good about the vinegar killing germs but being safe for the finish and safe for all of us.

    I guess if you want something stronger Murphy's Oil Soap is safe for wood. Our refinisher told us we didn't need to use anything like special cleaners to clean but he didn't say whether Murphy's would harm the finish. I think it is safe for wood floors. I have seen it on sale and think it would last a long time.

    Erika
  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 11:32 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    The vinegar is fine for cleaning as it is what I use for other things but I can't use it on this flooring. It's not kind to whatever it was sealed with.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 1:44 PM In reply to

    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    I use vinegar and water on my hardwood floors - a friend of mine who used to work for a carpet/floor cleaning company told me that the problem with most commercial cleaners is not that it damages the finish so much as that it builds up on the finish and can't be removed, so over time the floor dulls faster than it would otherwise and needs to be refinished sooner.

    I've never heard of a wood floor finish that couldn't be cleaned with vinegar - but if that's really the case, I'd used really hot water and a high quality mop.  What did the installer/refinished suggest instead of vinegar?

  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 2:07 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    I didn't have the floors put in. We are renting a home that has hardwood floors and I have no idea what it was originally sealed with or what the past tenants have put on it.

    When a vinegar cleaning didn't look so great on the floor, I did some poking around the net. Here are some of the sites that actually advise against vinegar:

    "Vinegar is not the answer"

    "The lower  PH  cleaners (more acidic like vinegar)  will work on dissolving hard water and mineral deposits. So this makes vinegar a good rinsing agent but a poor cleaning agent"

    Vinegar will take out the shine of hardwood floors.

    Since I like vinegar, I like none of this nor the fact that it isn't working well on the floor.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 3:59 PM In reply to

    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    I read the info from the links you provided. That's really interesting about vinegar! I don't use vinegar very often (or very much when I do). Like I said, I just use water and a clean rag. Otherwise, I vacuum and sweep. We only have hardwood in our bedrooms, living room and dining room. We have vinyl the the bathrooms and kitchen and I use ammonia and water on those floors.

    Erika
  • Wed, Apr 2 2008 8:04 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
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    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
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    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

    My kithen and bathrooms have stone flooring. Another type that vinegar can't be used on but I can use plain old soap and water on those thankfully.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, Apr 3 2008 9:56 AM In reply to

    Re: Cleaning Hardwood Floors

     I have used both the swiffer wet jet and Murphy's wood oil soap on my parquet floors.  When using the Murphy's, I just damp mop with a sponge mop.  In my opinion, the end result is better with the sponge mop and the Murphy's.

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