how do you clean your hardwoods? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What's your regular routine? I read steam mops are a no no and that's all I use because I have tile now, but I'm moving to house with all hardwoods. Sweep/vacuum? Then what?

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Old 04-29-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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Finished or unfinished?

To clean wood floors - use vinegar and water - equal parts, keep mop/rag/old shirt only slightly damp, not wet. Throw in some EO if you want.

To polish finished wood floors - use oil and vinegar - equal parts, rub on a thin coat

To polish unfinished wood floors- flax seed oil (it will naturally seal your wood floor)

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Old 04-29-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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I just vacume and very, very, very occasionally mop and very very very very very very occasionally wax (just in the log cabin though, as the rest are sealed with... something, not sure what, but it makes waxing useless and totally unneccasary
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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depending on the finish, vinegar and water can make your floors sticky. The same goes for oil soap and water. I just use hot water. I only mop four times a year because our floors are really old and need to be refinished (damaged finish + water = ruined floor), unfortunately we live in an apartment so we have no control over the refinishing process.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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why are steam mops a no-no. We use our shark steam mop on our floors 2x's a month and they look great.

Me:
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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If the floors are well sealed, you can use a steam mop. I think the worry is if you don't notice that a spot has become worn and isn't sealed as well. You could damage the wood with the steam.

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Old 05-01-2009, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I bought a sweeper thing at Wal-mart and I'll see how that works. Working well on my tile & rugs at home right now, just picking up crumbs. I think the floors are well sealed, but I guess the steam mop every once in a while wouldn't hurt because there are water spots/damage in some areas so I guess I really can't make it much worse. I think they were finished over after that damage because they look pretty good despite some black spots...that I hoenstly didn't even notice til they pointed it out during inspection.

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Old 05-01-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Vinegar & water

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Old 05-02-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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What if one is totally clueless and doesn't know if her hardwood floors are finished or unfinished?

Yes, that's me...I live in an apt with hardwood floors. I used to just sweep with a broom, no actual cleaning, but it's been a few months that I've been here now and would like to do more thorough cleaning, esp b/c I have a dog and a cat. Speaking of which, I don't want to use anything chemical-ly at all b/c my dog has a tendency to lick the floors.

Vinegar and water ok?
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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What if one is totally clueless and doesn't know if her hardwood floors are finished or unfinished?

Yes, that's me...I live in an apt with hardwood floors. I used to just sweep with a broom, no actual cleaning, but it's been a few months that I've been here now and would like to do more thorough cleaning, esp b/c I have a dog and a cat. Speaking of which, I don't want to use anything chemical-ly at all b/c my dog has a tendency to lick the floors.

Vinegar and water ok?
I think vinegar and water would be ok. My floors are shiny and if I spill water, it doesn't seep into the floor. I think if they were unfinished, water would soon start to seep into the wood.

Wendy - mom to dd1(11), dd2(7), dd3(3)
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:00 PM
 
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nak

i am using up old Swiffer wet pads

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Old 05-02-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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I use water in a steam mop. My floors are sealed. Also, i don't linger in one spot like I might on the tile floors in the bathroom or sticky spots in the kitchen. So I think the risk of ruining the floors is minimal. It's pretty quick to steam mop the woods floors as they don't get food or urine (bathroom!) dirty.
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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On my unfinished floors in my last apartment I used Muphy's Oil Soap (the regular kind, not the quick clean) once a month and it made them really nice.

Now I have finished floors and I just use a damp mop or a drop of the Ecover Floor Cleaner on the mop.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:07 PM
 
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We have the Bissel Steam Mop and love it. Only uses water & the floors look great & it only takes like 10 mins and no nasty mop to wring out, we then toss the used mop head thingy in the laundry.

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Old 05-04-2009, 01:48 AM
 
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What do you guy mean when you say "unfinished"?

I have a rental house that hasn't been cared for at all. All the rooms downstairs have original wood floors (I guess). They are def unfinished, but was wondering what YOUR unfinished floors are like?

Mine: Dirt gets between the cracks and stays there, we get splinters sometimes (was really bad when dd was crawling), very rough in some spots--blankets will snag, it soaks up a drop of water in a heartbeat. Is that how your floors are? I haven't mopped in a long time, because honestly it does no good. I could mop 10x/day and I'd still have dirty mop water. Not sure what else to do.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:32 AM
 
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I read (somewhere) that the acid in the vinegar can damage the wood. I use Method wood floor wash diluted well with water. But I rarely mop. Hate to mop. Wish I had a Brownie to come in and mop for me...

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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MayBaby2007, your floors sound like our floors in the log cabin! I just vaccume. What I did do though 2 years ago (so it like, really needs done again, I Know!!) when I moved back in was mop really well and then wax them (they hadn't been waxed in at *least* 5 years, and likely not for closer to 7 or 8). This helps to seal them up somewhat and will reduce the number of splinters you get from them. You might want to put a couple coatings of wax on (so wax once, let it dry/soak in and then wax again in like another week).
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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I use a dry swiffer, a Roomba, a regular vacuum, and once or twice a year, I use my steamer. My floors have an oil based finish that is 50 years old and there are worn areas with no finish. I'm careful with the steam not to swell the wood.

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Old 05-05-2009, 07:43 AM
 
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I mop with hot water.
Some of the rooms have unsealed (might have been sealed decades ago, but never since..the corners of the rooms look sealed, but the walking areas are not) wood, and those floors can never be completely clean. I once took two damp white towels and tried to see if one small area in one room could eventually quit turning up grey when rubbed, and it never did. Almost an hour later and having gone through two towels, it still turned up light grey on the towel when rubbed for a minute (not a literal minute, more like 5 seconds).

So I just mop with a mop and hot water, and sometimes follow up with using a damp towel or 5 to try to "deep clean" the floor.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SAHDS View Post
Finished or unfinished?

To clean wood floors - use vinegar and water - equal parts, keep mop/rag/old shirt only slightly damp, not wet. Throw in some EO if you want.

To polish finished wood floors - use oil and vinegar - equal parts, rub on a thin coat

To polish unfinished wood floors- flax seed oil (it will naturally seal your wood floor)
Flax seed oil!! I love it great tip!!!
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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we've got gorgeous old oak hardwoods, that take a lot of abuse from 4 little children stomping around constantly, LOL! I sweep often (usually once a day, never less than every other day) and then clean them with a swiffer mop (covered with a homemade cotton pad) and a mix of half olive oil, half vinegar (usually with a few drops of essential oil thrown in, to make it smell nicer) I put that in a spray bottle and shake very, very well. wet and wring out the cotton pad, spray the floor (just a small spot at a time, maybe 3 x 3) and them mop, rubbing the spray in well. It conditions the wood beautifully.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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We just refinished all the floors in our new house. It was professionally done and has 3 coats of oil base poly over the stain. They turned out beautifully and I don't want ruin them. My grandma's go-to cleaner was Murphy's Oil Soap ... can I use that or will it cause build up?
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Knittin' in the Shade View Post
we've got gorgeous old oak hardwoods, that take a lot of abuse from 4 little children stomping around constantly, LOL! I sweep often (usually once a day, never less than every other day) and then clean them with a swiffer mop (covered with a homemade cotton pad) and a mix of half olive oil, half vinegar (usually with a few drops of essential oil thrown in, to make it smell nicer) I put that in a spray bottle and shake very, very well. wet and wring out the cotton pad, spray the floor (just a small spot at a time, maybe 3 x 3) and them mop, rubbing the spray in well. It conditions the wood beautifully.
thank you for this! we too have very old (75 years old) fabulous wood floors that at one time were sealed and now have worn down, especially in the major traffic areas.....we hope to refinish them someday, but almost our entire first floor is continuous wood so it will be a major ordeal to do!

i usually use my swiffer wet jet with no issues, and while it cleans very well, it doesn't condition the wood at all so i will definitely be trying this!

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Old 05-06-2009, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ekortering View Post
We just refinished all the floors in our new house. It was professionally done and has 3 coats of oil base poly over the stain. They turned out beautifully and I don't want ruin them. My grandma's go-to cleaner was Murphy's Oil Soap ... can I use that or will it cause build up?
The guys that installed our wood flooring said to NEVER use MOS, that it destroys the finish.

It also makes finished wood very, very slippery.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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I use some all purpose cleaner with hot water. I pour in the Lysol all purpose cleaner in a sink full of water. I sweep and vacuum everyday. I only mop once a week. MOS will cause build up over time.
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