I just recently purchased a home, built in 1957, and it would seem that the wood floors were never cleaned. Someone recommended "denatured alcohol." Please help. I want to be certain that I use this product without mixing it and that I am not going to have to re-polyurethane the floors. I think they are in good condition, minus the years of "whatever" it is that keeps filling my bucket with dirty water.
Any other suggestions would be helpful as well. I saw the article about the tea bags and would imagine that is only useful once you remove the "grime."
We recently bought a house that had hardwood floors and the whole house was covered in a brown nicotine film.
The only thing that worked was some ammonia (about 1/4 cup) and water (1 gallon). On the tough spots of dirt I used a Magic Eraser knock off. When I had gotten the majority of the filth off, I used orange oil to make it smell nice and look shiny. This had to be hand rubbed, but the result was beautiful.
Do not use the oil if any of the polyurethane has rubbed off in "high traffic areas" Open a window while using ammonia.
I have heard that hardwood floors need to be sanded down every few years and re-finished. If this is in the budget, then the sanding will clean them up. However, this whole process produces a lot of dust and uses strong chemicals.
Try this site:
I use 1/2 a bottle of Windex, and then combine and fill the rest of the Windex spray bottle with water. This does a great job and is ready to go in a spray bottle form! It is streak free, cleans the dirt and easy on the budget :) (01/14/2009)
I use white vinegar and water. It is a simple, inexpensive and nontoxic way to clean (nearly everything). Especially if the floors have sadly been ignored for years.
I find when I use other floor cleaners, I need to either buff away the film or rinse again with water. I'm actually thinking of buying one of those steam cleaners to do my floors. (01/20/2009)
My husband sands and refinishes hardwood. They don't need to be done every few years. They can be screened and cleaned every couple of years if you would like. This gets some of the surface scratches and dirt that grinds into the urethane out. It also gets rid of other things that have worked their way in to the finish. It doesn't take off the stain and doesn't go all the way into the wood. It's a lot cheaper and makes a floor look brand new. A new coat of urethane is put on afterward. (01/29/2009)
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