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Any tips to de-funk & clean hardwood?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by sweetpee_1993, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago I realized the cleaning products I was using on my engineered hardwood at my house was building up & making the surface look scratched up. My youngest & I spent a few hours a day for several weeks on the floor with Simple Green, toothbrushes, and rags hand cleaning every bit of that floor. Looked like NEW again!

    Fast forward to now. We moved into a rent house closer to the old man's job that belongs to a friend of his. The guy is maybe in his early 30s and lived alone in this 3000 sq ft behemoth with his dog until moving in with the new fiancé. I don't think he ever really cleaned or updated anything. So this is a massive undertaking, to say the least. To give you an idea what I'm talking about here, it took me 2 afternoons with tools, scotch pads, and Simple Green to get the master shower clean & white again. I still need to retouch the gaps in the grout, seal it, and silicone the joints. But it's clean.

    So the downstairs flooring is 2/3 real parquet hardwood. I'm thinking its oak. The house was built in '96 so I'm guessing its original. I'd rip it out & go down with new (always wanted to do a wood floor!) but the foundation has to be leveled first. Should be done by the end of the year (after the guy's wedding). Until then, I gotta get that floor clean. I was cool using Simple Green on my engineered hardwood but this oak parquet is more porous. Not as confident I won't damage it. The crud is built up seriously bad especially in the family room. Any suggestions what might be safe to use to clear thru that buildup without damaging the wood??? Obviously I can't use the scotch pads to scrub. That would kill the finish for sure. God, I do not want to do the toothbrush thing again. I'm also unsure what scrubby tool to use. Maybe one of those plastic scrubbies that's kinda like a scouring pad but safe for non-stick pans???

    I've recently been exploring the uses for baking soda + vinegar. Cleans an oven & stainless like a champ! I read in my Googling of this subject where apple cider vinegar is a good option. Anyone tried apple cider vinegar as a cleaner of anything? The article mentioned cider vinegar vs. white vinegar because of a conditioning agent for the wood. Interesting.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I hope to have the kitchen tile defunked (hands & knees w/Simple Green) by mid week next week. Then that wood is gonna get an overhaul its obviously not had in at least 5 years.
     
  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Mrs. WDWMAGIC [Assistant Administrator] Premium Member

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    I don't know if its the right thing to do or not. But growing up my mom always used Murphy's Oil soap or pinesol to clean the hardwood floors in our 100+ year old house. A bucket, a rag and some elbow grease.
     
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  3. The Mom

    The Mom Moderator Premium Member

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    I use the Holloway products, but my floors are sealed. You might want to use the finish once you get the floor clean, as it makes it look like new. I'm afraid that you might still have to use a toothbrush in the corners.

    I use multiple Mr Clean anti-static terry cloth mopheads on all of my floors. I use them dry to pick up the surface dirt, then I have a bunch of them in a bucket (with vinegar water for my tile floors,plain for my wood ones) of water. I just wring them, and mop until one gets dry and/or dirty, then change to a fresh one. I keep a second bucket for the dirty ones. I can throw them in the washer and dryer when I'm finished. - just don't use fabric softener. It makes the job a lot faster. But you need a lot of them. ;)
     
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  4. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thanks, ladies! I know I have a LOT of work to do. I think my greased elbows might fall off. LOL!
     
  5. Nemo14

    Nemo14 Well-Known Member

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    I was going to suggest Murphy's oil soap too. Good luck!
     
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  6. trr1

    trr1 Well-Known Member

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    how about a steamer like the shark
    [​IMG]

    or just a regular floor scrubber
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. sweetpee_1993

    sweetpee_1993 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I have the Shark. I worry about the steam on the oak with so many little cracks & crevices between the many little parquet pieces. I do plan to use it to steam the tile surfaces once I get them defunked. :)
     
  8. luv

    luv Well-Known Member

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    Rent a sander, sand it down and refinish it. It's a lot of work, but even the crappiest old floors come out looking much better. The DIY peeps at Home Depot are sometimes very helpful!

    And you'll be so proud of yourself when you're done! :)

    Good luck, whatever route you go.
     
  9. BoarderPhreak

    BoarderPhreak Well-Known Member

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    Murphy's will probably work best short of going to town on it. Simple Green is pretty strong stuff.

    In the end, yes - sanding and polyurethane is the way to go. Figure $300 for an "average" room, double for a big basement. But you'll effectively have a new, CLEAN floor.

    Yeesh. Sanitizing a bachelor pad... Sounds like fun. NOT!
     
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  10. Amber

    Amber Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo!!! Premium Member

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    I have Pergo in my house and had that same build-up on it. I used those green scrubbers and windex. And LOTS of elbow grease. Something about the ammonia in windex made the build-up break down. I tried both the heavy duty and the no-scratch green scrubbers, neither damaged the floor and they both worked on the funk, as long as it was saturated with windex first.
     
  11. BoarderPhreak

    BoarderPhreak Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I'd avoid using the 3M "ScotchBrite" (green scrubby) sponges... At least when still relatively new. They WILL leave swirls and marks in most things, especially softer things. They even scratch glass! It most certainly will damage soft polyurethane floor finishes. Sure, they have cleaning power - but all these little swirls will provide a foothold (no pun intended) for future dirt, bacteria and buildup. You'll probably notice a dulling of the finish too. If you plan to refinish the floor anyway, no biggie. Engineered (laminate) floors tend to be quite a bit harder, but still... I wouldn't do it.
     
  12. ScoutN

    ScoutN OV 104 Premium Member

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  13. wdwstateofmind

    wdwstateofmind Well-Known Member

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    wd-40..just get the residue off after....it will remove anything stuck and leave you with a clean like no other...it'll smell good too...
     
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