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Most wood floors can be kept clean by first sweeping or vacuuming with a floor nozzle to remove most of the surface dust and dirt, then damp mopping with clear water (dip a sponge in clear water, squeezing it out so that the mop is barely damp, almost dry). Use very little water and rinse your mop thoroughly after each use since excess water can dissolve protective coatings, alter the color of the wood and raise the grain to roughen the surface.
If your floors are not dirty enough to need mopping every week, then you should not do it, as it will wear the floors faster, not to mention waste your time. Simply sweeping is often all they need.
If need to restore the shine to your wood floor after you get it clean, try damp mopping it with 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons furniture polish in a gallon of warm water. Vinegar is also useful for removing any soap residue or build-up, but should not be necessary every week.
Use only cleaning, buffing and oiling products that are recommended by your oiled floor manufacturer. Sweep an oiled floor with a soft broom frequently because any dirt can actually get ground into a wooden floor. Wipe up spills and any mess right away. Mop either dry or damp everyday. Avoid scratching with a vacuum by using the brush accessory.
For wet cleaning of an oiled floor plain water. If you want a little extra cleaning power, use only a capful of liquid oil soap per eight cups of water. Dip and wring the mop. Take care not to leave too much water on the floor. A soapy mixture can strip oils from the wood.
Your floor will appear dull after a damp or wet cleaning. You can buff after a damp cleaning. Wait for the floor to dry sufficiently after a wet cleaning before buffing. Use rotary buffing equipment or do the buffing by hand. When buffing or re-oiling by hand,
The ideal solution for removing a urine stain from a wood floor is to sand and refinish it, since it is very difficult to match up the floor finish once you have treated a urine stain in the wood. However, you can still try. To remove urine stains and odors from your wood floor, first blot the area with an absorbent cloth to remove any excess urine. The newest technology uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area to remove the stain and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product such as PAWS - Pet Accident Washup Solution on the soiled area, and then allow it to penetrate for approximately five minutes. Wipe clean. Another option to try is to wipe the stained area with cool water; blot dry. Next, blot the stained area with undiluted white vinegar. Wipe again with cool water and blot dry. With either of the above methods, do not saturate the wood or allow any liquid to stand on the surface for any length of time. Wipe with cool water and blot dry.
If the stain remains, you can buff with super fine 000 grade steel wool and floor wax. Rub with the grain of the wood. If the spot begins to blend with the finish, continue the wax and steel wool treatment until the appearance of the wood is restored. If the stain persists, place a paste of either pumice powder or rottenstone and vegetable oil on the spot. Using a clean, soft, absorbent cloth, gently rub the paste into the spot, following the grain of the wood. When the stain is removed, rub the surrounding area of the wood gently with the abrasive and oil paste to prevent spotting.
If the stain is still visible, the urine has probably penetrated the finish and marred the wood, in which case it is necessary to remove the finish and refinish the surface. You may be able to use super fine 000 grade steel wool and a small amount of mineral spirits to remove urine stains, but afterwards you will have to refinish the area by waxing and buffing and even then it will be difficult to match the treated area with the rest of the floor.
To remove ground-in dirt from linoleum, Armstrong makes a great product called New Beginning. It's a floor stripper and cleaner and is great for removing tough ground-in dirt, especially if left to sit on the soiled area for a while to penetrate the dirt. Also, when cleaning that area, make sure to use a soft bristle scrub brush, not just a cloth or a mop. You may want to follow New Beginning with Armstrong's Shinekeeper Floor Polish to keep the finish looking new after using the floor stripper.
To remove pet urine stains and odors from wood floors, you can use a product such as PAWS Pet Accident Washup Solution. Spray PAWS on the stain and let PAWS sit for a few minutes. Blot the area with a clean absorbent cloth to remove as much moisture as possible. Cover the area with baking soda and let the baking soda sit overnight to absorb any remaining moisture. In the morning, sweep up the baking soda. However, if the urine has deeply penetrated the wood, there will be no choice but to sand it down and refinish. This may be best left to a professional.
You should be able to remove the Kool-Aid stains on linoleum by applying equal parts vinegar and water, leave it on for several minutes, then wet with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Rinse again with the vinegar solution, then rinse again with plain water. If the stain remains, try cleaning with a liquid abrasive cleaner.
You should be able to remove the varnish from linoleum with paint thinner or turpentine. You may find the finish altered somewhat, and may need to apply wax on the area of the floor to restore shine after. To be safe, test it on a non-visible area to ensure that you do not cause more damage.
Although there are many products on the market that claim to remove rust stains, they are often for non-porous enameled surfaces and the formulas themselves are quite caustic and/or abrasive. This is a problem when you're dealing with porous surface like linoleum.
A 'porous surface' is a surface that has microscopic holes or pits in it- despite the appearance of a smooth surface to the naked eye. When rust, or any other kind of agent, settles into these pits and holes, it can be nearly impossible to get it back out- without ruining the finish of the surface.
If you're not particularly concerned with ruining the finish, you can try an abrasive, such as Comet and a heavy duty nylon scrubbing pad, to loosen up/break down as much of the rust deposit as you can. With repeated and regular scrubbings over a period of time, the stain may begin to fade or lessen.
If you are concerned about the finish, some will recommend everything from vinegar and a toothbrush to a paste of baking soda and a soft wet rag as non-abrasive ways to save the finish and get the stain out. If these methods do not work for you, it may come down to replacing the number of tiles affected.
When floor cleaning ceramic tile floors, use a simple solution of soap and water. The trick is to use a rubber scraper - the kind they use at gas stations to clean the windows on your car.
You can also find specialty cleaning products that whiten grout and tiles to give your bathroom that sparkling shine.
If you have carpet tape or residue on your wood floors, try to remove as much of the carpet tape as you can before hand. You may find scraping with a dull edge, such as a plastic scraper helpful. Once you have removed as much as you can, you have a few options at to how to remove the remaining tape and glue. Several things should work, such as vegetable oil, WD-40, Goo Gone, De-Solv-It, Avon Skin So Soft, or a pre-soak laundry spray. Saturate the tape, and let sit for at least an hour. The tape should then slide right off, with a few areas possibly needing a second attempt.
You should be able to remove the newsprint stains on your linoleum by making a paste out of baking soda and water, and applying to the stain. Let sit for 1/2 hour, then use the paste to scrub the floor. If that doesn't work, try using a laundry pre-wash spray on the areas.
To remove oil stains from wood floors, wash the stained area with mineral spirits. If that does not seem to be working, you could also try using Naptha. Depending on the finish on the wood, you could also use paint thinner, but I would recommend trying this on a non-visible area first to ensure that it would not damage the finish.
To get old wax off of a hardwood floor, one must first determine what kind of finish is on the hardwood floor. To do this, rub your finger across the floor.
Smudge or no smudge?
If there is no smudge, it is a sealed surface. If it does smudge, the floor has been sealed with a penetrating seal like an oil finish or a lacquer/varnish and then waxed.
There are plenty of floor wax removers on the market for either case. Go with the most gentle product you can find.
To remove candle wax from linoleum, first chip off as much of the surface wax as possible, using a dull knife. Then, place several layers of paper towel over remaining wax, and apply a warm iron to draw wax into the paper towels. Replace the paper towels if they become saturated.
The most effective way to remove a wax build-up on linoleum is to use ammonia. This is pretty strong smelling stuff- so have plenty of ventilation- also DO NOT mix ammonia with bleach - it creates a dangerous gas. Mix approximately 1/2 cup of ammonia in a bucket of warm water, and wash as you normally would. This should leave your floors looking like new.
The yellow stain on your kitchen floor is likely due to the rubber backing on the rug altering the finish on your flooring. You may not be able to remove the stain without stripping the wax and recoating the floor. Before getting that drastic, try making a baking soda paste, with baking soda and water, and applying it to the stain. Allow it to sit overnight, scrub and rinse. You could also try hydrogen peroxide on the stain, or a weak bleach solution.
White or light vinyl may turn yellow from soil trapped between layers of wax; in that case remove the wax and recoat clean floor. Too much sunlight can also yellow a white vinyl floor.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|