Spots and stains: cleaning hardwood floors
Instrucions for cleaning hardwood floors and removing stains.
Any grating substance such as sand, dirt, or grit, will dull the surface of hardwood floors. By observing a few rules today, your need for restoration will be far less likely and the floor will look luxurious for many years. Sweep, vacuum, or dust mop, at least every week, and place mats or rugs at the entranceway to trap as much dirt and dust as possible.
Avoid beater bars this can cause indentations in the surface of the floor. Use a brush attachment.
* Dust mopping
Use a non-abrasive dust mop with a soft cotton head. Some floor manufacturers suggest using a floor treatment as well.
The broom used to sweep a hardwood floor will need to have fine bristles, with feathered ends, that will be very gentle on the floor's surface.
Dragging furniture across the floor will damage it significantly. Lift the furniture at all times when repositioning it in your room. Using felt "shoes" under the legs would help to avoid scratches when furniture is accidentally scooted across floor.
Over a period, too much sun can discolor wood finishes. Darken the room by closing curtains and blinds during the time of day when the sun is most intense.
Some (sports related) shoes have hard heel supports and metal nails attached to the sole?"stop" and do not enter, they will most surely damage the finish of your wood floor.
Stains will need your immediate attention on wood floors. Keep them waxed as needed and wipe up any drops of fluid that may be spilled on the floor as soon as possible.
Fruit Juices Coffee
As a basic first step, it is good to remember to remove a stain start at the outer circumference and work to the inside. This will not allow the stain to continue to spread outward. Warm a soft cotton cloth with hot water, and use a mild abrasive as in a scouring powder. Massage the spot easily do not apply pressure.
Mold or Mildew
Your wood floors need good ventilation; air that is not moving and is stagnating will encourage the growth of mold in your home and on your wood floors. If this has occurred, use a solution of 1-cup water and 1/4 cup common household bleach. Use a soft cotton cloth and wipe the mold away gently. It is suggested you wear a mask when dealing with mold.
Water Rings that have turned white
Use steel wool (No. 1) and rub the stain, the area will need to have wax re-applied to the stained area. If unsuccessful with the steel wool, use very fine sandpaper and lightly sand the area. The stain, and area encircling, can be cleaned with (no.1) steel wool and a good floor cleaner or mineral spirits. After the floor is dry, a comparable finish for wood floors can be applied. Spread the area very thin, "feathering" the newly applied finish around the circumference allowing it to dry. When completely dry re-wax the floor.
Chewing gum or wax product
Fill a secure Ziploc plastic bag with ice cubes and place it over the wax or gum. This should cause the wax or gum to harden, and become breakable. Use a plastic scraper, spatula, or plastic paint scraper, and gently remove the material. The floor will need to be re-polished.
Oily or greasy substance
First remove the stain as well as possible with old newspaper or paper towels. Immerse a cloth in dry cleaning fluid and saturate the stain.
Another idea is, to use a soap that contains lye (perhaps homemade lye soap) and rub it on the stain. Alternatively if that fails, drench a cloth with hydrogen peroxide and lay it over thee greasy area. A second layer saturated with ammonia is then placed over that the first layer. This should be duplicated until the stain is removed.
This requires ammonia to remove the stain. Use cold water and ammonia in equal parts, to remove the stain. Re-wax and buff.
This may be easily removed by a simple solution of detergent and warm water. If this is not successful, use a soft cotton cloth moistened with any of the following: ammonia, linseed oil, liquid or paste wax, denatured alcohol or silver polish. You will need to re-wax and polish.
Collect a no.1 steel wool pad, and a floor cleaner, or perhaps mineral spirits. Clean the spots or stains and the surrounding region. Dampen a cloth with normal household vinegar and carefully wash the area. It may take a short while but the stain will most likely vanish. If by chance the spots are still noticeable use fine sandpaper and sand, feathering around edges about 4 inches. Re-wax and polish the floor.
Extremely dark stains or spots
If you have tried several applications of vinegar on these stains and have had no success then you may apply a solution of Oxalic acid, use this strictly according to the label instructions. This is a bleaching medium and can be purchased in hardware and paint stores. You will definitely have to re-stain and refinish the floor once oxalic acid is used, to rematch the first color. Follow the directions and allow the mixture to set on the spots and stains for a time and then sponge off. More than one attempt may have to be attempted before stains will fade or come off completely.
If the burn is not deep and penetrating, there is a good chance it can be removed by using steel wool moistened with soap and water.
It is always important to start processing at the edge of any spot or stained area, and move into the center to avoid spreading the solution outward. It is most probable that re-waxing and buffing will need to be done after each stain removal.