caring for hardwood flooring

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by LittleBelle, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. LittleBelle

    LittleBelle Active Member

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    We have hardwood flooring in our house. What kinda of mop can you use on it for a quick clean up. I would like something I can use every day as a quick clean up so I only have to do a thorough floor mopping once a week. It's hard keeping the floor clean everyday. oh and is a vinegar water solution ok to clean the floor.
    thanks
     
  2. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    LittleBelle,
    I like to use a cheap dollar store sponge mop for quicky jobs...the are easy to rince out in the sink and dry quickly so they dont end up smelling...

    I love a good vinegar/wate solution on my wood floors, it really makes them shine. I have used it for years, my mom recommended it to me and i was really shocked...but tried it and love it.

    Belinda
     

  3. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    It greatly depends on the finish on your floor.

    A mop isn't even an option for an old-fashioned varnish floor. You strip and wax to begin with, and for general clean-up you use a wood cleaner like Murphy's oil soap which Must Be Dried Immediately. (can you hear my dear mother speaking?)

    For one of the newer polyurethane finishes, you can get away with most anything in the general cleaner direction.

    The laminated floors (pergo and such) just can't get so wet as to soak down into the cracks between the planks, or they'll buckle.

    If you really want to clean every day and the expense isn't prohibitive, the wipes which are designed to work with the swifter are easy and work fine on my kitchen floor.

    Or Mrs. Stuart's vinegar and water may be just the ticket!
     
  4. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Our homestead also has wood floors. I usually just use a "rag" mop and use any detergent with the water. The floors take a beating in our house but they seem to have worn well in the many years since we have laid them down. They are the "real" hardwood floors not the new floating floor ones. I don't get to crazy over keeping the floors spic and span clean as my mother did in her city house when I was growing up. The livingroom actually has pine floors aand don't look as "nice" as the hardwood floors but money was the factor when we did that room many years ago and they do show the wear on them. If my mom could see my housekeeping now ! But...we live on a homestead and either the dogs are running through or the grandchildren or there is a box of baby chicks behind the woodstove keeping worn, muddy boots on it for that quick item that you need in the barn or a sick baby goats sleeping on the rocking chair near the woodstove. Guess that is Homesteading Life !! Place is clean enough to be healthy but I'm not a fanatic on housekeeping as in my younger days. I would rather be out sledding with the kids than cleaning the house !! Sometimes I think the barn is cleaner than my house !!!
     
  5. LittleBelle

    LittleBelle Active Member

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    Thanks everyone :)
    Helena you make me feel better already ;)
     
  6. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

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    How much vinegar do you mix with your water? What kind of vinegar?

    I have heard of this before but never used it. I'd love to try. I have hardwood floors and I have some other kind that is very dark.

    These are very old floors with the finish basically off. They are worn to a shine though :haha:

    One area is actually buckled and there are areas of dark wood. The floors were carpeted when I got here and I know the person who lived here before let the carpet get wet. It was still wet 3 months later when I got here. If anyone has any tips on getting urine smell out of wood I'd love it too. They had 7 dogs, 2 hampsters, a bunch of birds and countless cats in the house. They were not exactly clean. When I came here with the past owner to help try to get them out you could smell the urine odor 10 ft outside the door.

    I have 4 dogs and 1 cat, dogs are indoor/outdoor but this place doesnt smell at all. Blech to animal urine.
     
  7. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    Oh Golly Yes to not feeling pressured to clean more than you must, LittleBelle!Helena is right on that one, and especially at this time of year!

    But I will say that stripping all of the finish off a varnished floor and then having to put some seriously nasty splinters out of tiny toes is not the way to go- (experience here - we bought a house with a floor like that and it cost some pain before we could learn to always wear shoes until we got the floor refinished!)
    So I think I'd keep an eye on the finish if you hit it too hard with the vinegar.

    There's always sweeping! :)
     
  8. Orville

    Orville Well-Known Member

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    Refinish the floor. Read a how-to book, rent a sander...the bigger and heavier the better, then get to work. Always keep the sander moving on the floor, or you'll quickly end up with a deep groove. That's the only real thing that can suddenly go wrong. Floors which are badly cupped need to be sanded at a 45 degree angle to the flooring with rough sandpaper for the first sanding. Then use wood filler to fill any bad gaps. Then use the rough again to sand with the grain. Then use medium, then fine, all with the grain. Then get a buffer with fine floor sanding screens. Buff the floor till it's evenly sanded. I would then use steel wool under the buffer to polish the floor. Remember, you also have to sand the edges with an edger, and scrape the corners, then sand and polish the floor from edge to edge, corner to corner. Once the floor has its final sanding, then sweep it. Then vacuum it. Vacuum it again. Then use tack cloth on the end of a clean broom and tack the entire floor. (some people just use a slightly damp cloth as a tack cloth). Once the floor is dust-free, then apply one coat of polyurethane gloss, slightly thinned. When that is dry, buff it quickly with a worn, fine sanding screen. Then use a synthetic fiber pad to buff after sanding. Then vacuum again, and again. Then tack the floor. If you have sanded through the finish in spots, and bare wood is visible, apply another coat of sealer. Then buff and clean again. Then apply a coat of satin Pacific Plus floor finish. It is water-soluble, dries quickly, easy clean-up. When it's dry, buff the floor with a fine synthethic buffer pad. Then apply another coat of satin Pacific Plus. This should be the last coat if you applied the finish heavily enough. If not, buff, clean, and apply another coat. Make absolutely certain the finish is dry between coats, or you'll make a mess when you try to sand or buff. Some people don't use the steel wool step, but I usually did. In fact, some forgo the buffer sanding too, and apply the sealer coat after the last sanding with the drum sander. I didn't use steel wool before using the water-based finish, because if any steel fibers got left on the floor, they would rust. Therefore I used a fine, synthetic scouring pad. The most important step in finishing is to clean the floor very very well before applying the finish. The reason I use a polyurethane finish for the sealer coat is that it brings out the grain much better than does a water based finish. The water based finishes, however, make a better top coat. Just be sure to sand and buff the polyurethane before putting on the water based finish. I used a wide painting pad on a pole to kind of snow-plow the finish along the floor. Furthermore, I would advise against using Murphy's Oil Soap on a floor which will be refinished, because if there is any oil residue on the floor, the finish won't adhere well. This comes into play when it is necessary to just buff and re-coat the floor instead of completely refinishing it.
     
  9. Big Sky Country

    Big Sky Country Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Orville, that is my next project on my house.