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Cleaning and Shining Hardwood Floors

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Does anyone know how to clean and shine wooden floors that have NO sealant on them? We live in a house that's almost 60 years old and can't afford to refinish the floors ourselves. Also, we don't have the physical strength to do so.

I did try the mineral oil trick and it worked! The floors seemed revitalized, but I should have cleaned them first, but didn't know how. Now I'd like to start over. After I clean them, I'd like to seal it in, if anyone can help me with a recipe or product. Tried Orange Glow (completely un-worthwhile), Murphy's Soap (did absolutely nothing), products from TV and hardware store, with no luck. Thank you!




Recent Answers

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By Nancy B.05/25/2013

I have unfinished oak hardwood floors over 60 years old. They were damaged while my home was underwater from a flood. I had tried everything other than the expense of having a professional come in. Being a senior citizen, it was overwhelming to think of moving all the furniture.

While I was getting an antique refinished, the man had used linseed oil to bring out the finish. I know it can be flammable in a fire, but bare wood floors this old would surely go up in flames in a hurry anyway, so we have been slowing using boiled linseed oil and they look very nice. Better doing smaller areas at a time as it does smell. The trick is to let it sit 5 to 10 minutes and wipe it up very well by hand. Works for me.

By metroplex [81]06/15/2010

I finally did come up with something that worked pretty well considering the state of the floor we're dealing with.

I used Liquid Gold - from my grocery store. I applied it with a cloth mop and my floors just soaked it up. In some spots they looked revitalized. Also, it didn't make the floors slippery.

The wood color did change a little bit, but on the positive side. The wood, which is oak, became a warmer, darker honey look. Not dark at all, just deeper.

As far as cleaning the floors themselves, I didn't have any luck, but they look cleaner now and are brighter. I can't tell you how the worn parts just soaked it up and the floors became more even.

Plus it smells good. I would say that using Liquid Gold rescued my floors till we can have them professionally refurbished.

We just got a quote of $2600 to do the entire house. It's extra if they have to actually replace boards.

But here's another cost. We have to have the entire house without furniture in it. Which means that a moving company has to come in and hold our furniture in an un-airconditioned space for the 5 days estimated to complete the job. Another expense.

Plus, we would have to go to a motel for five nights!
More expense.
Plus meals out - another expense.

We have our kitchen and den tiled and if all the furniture in the house can fit into this tiled area, we'd save there. But the furniture company would still charge to move the furniture into the tiled area.
And we'd still have to go to a motel. And eat out. Sigh.

Thanks again for all of your help. Again, I recommend Liquid Gold for the floor and the furniture. Our furniture looked like it had a good long drink of oil!

By metroplex [81]11/10/2009

I bought the proper products recommended by the Holloway company, but unfortunately they didn't work. I even used a brush with the product, but no dirt came up, which is really weird because when I just just a damp cloth, I get plenty of dirt. I guess I could continue to clean with water, but that's not really a good idea I think. Anybody else have good ideas out there? Thank you!

By cindi12/09/2008

We have unfinished 100+ year old hardwood floors ourselves. My favorite way to clean them is by steeping a few green tea bags in hot water and damp mop the floors with the tea water. This works very well. Be certain to squeeze the excess water; so not to damage your floors.

By carol keckler (Guest Post)09/13/2008

Holloway wood floor care has a wax that shines well.

By Kim Churchman [3]09/13/2008

Now that you have mineral oil on the wood, no wax product will be able to stick, sorry to say.

By Nancy09/12/2008

I use apple cider vinegar it cleans and shines my hardwood floors. What is the mineral trick? Never heard of it more details please.

By Amy [2]09/11/2008

I did some looking around the internet and came up with a couple of options for you. One lady said she used a tiny squirt of Murphy's Oil Soap and some lemon oil in a big bucket to clean her unsealed floors. Another site said you can use linseed oil with a rag, allow it to soak in for a little while, and then mop it up with a little more oil. Hope that helps some!


Here are questions related to Cleaning and Shining Hardwood Floors.

Question: Cleaning and Waxing Hardwood Floors

What can you use on hardwood floors to make them shine and to protect them without turning it into skating rink?

By William

Most Recent Answer

By Melissa [3]08/23/2011

Orange Glo has some great products for hardwood floors. There is a 4 in 1 that revitalizes hardwood floors by cleaning away dirt and grime, filling in scratches, protecting floors from water damage, and leaving a nice shine. They also have a re-finisher product that is a clear, quick-drying polyurethane topcoat that is formulated to be stronger and more durable than a polish. It protects your floors from damage and leaves a nice shine. My mom has hardwood floors in her kitchen that get dirty very quickly, and she uses it and they come out looking awesome. It doesn't make the floors slippery either.

Hope this helps! :)

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