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  1. #1
    Pinky is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default How do I wax/seal my hardwood floors?

    We recently moved into a house and I have no idea how to properly take care of my hardwood floors. Up until now I've just been sweeping/vacuuming but I need to figure out a proper floor care regimen. Any suggestions?

    I have tried to do some research but the problem is I'm not sure what kind of floors we have. The house is about 10 years old and I know the floors are real wood but not sure about if they are sealed etc. I assume that at one point they were but I'm noticing that they aren't nearly as shiny near the entrances and in high traffic areas in the kitchen.

    So, once I get them really clean (we have dogs, so constant battle with hair) is there something I can put on them to re-seal or wax them so they have that shiny new look again?

  2. #2
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    You need to figure out if you have wax on your floors or a poly finish. It's probably the latter, but here's how I would tell: take some dish soap and scrub floor in a small out of the way spot. Wax will come up, poly won't. (Rinse with dilute white vinegar to remove the soap stickies.)

    You'd have to re-poly to make them shiny again, unless it's just a dirt problem (while this is unlikely, you could always try to clean the high-traffic areas first).
    -Ivy

    Parenting two active, wonderful boys

    This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. -Gary Lew

  3. #3
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    In a house that age it's unlikely the floor is waxed. I seem to think wax was what was used back before polyurethane was invented and some have kept it up out of loyalty to history but modern stuff is easier.

    The DIY type quick fix re-shine your floor options (orange glow, for one) seem to work once and then give awful results over time (ie buildup) ...

    You can have the floors refinished and I think you're actually supposed to do this every few years, put down a fresh coat, but I don't know how many people really do. I know friends of ours in CA did but they were kind of OCD about home repair LOL It's a huge undertaking.

    Our house has hardwoords, I just sweep and damp mop now and then with water. The Rubbermaid spray mop - I think it is called Reveal? - is AWESOME. I have read to use vinegar and water but that really never seems to do much more than water. Now and then I will use murphy's and then do a rinse after - some things on line insist murphy's is bad and will make refinishing later hard, but it smells so good and just water isn't always enough to clean, so I don't know. I risk it.

    You could call some floor companies and get an estimate on refinishing... it would have been ideal to have it done between owners, though. Maybe it wasn't done well when it was last done, I don't really notice any spots that look worse than any others in our house, even high traffic areas.

  4. #4
    Pinky is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Thanks for the replies! I think we have the polyurethane coating. Our previous house was 50 years old and had wax and these definitely look different.

    I can tell the coating has worn away near our doors and like the kitchen sink/fridge areas.

    I'm guessing we would have to vacate the house to have them resealed right? We have a baby so have to take safety into consideration even more as well.

    I've been tempted to use the orange glo or murphys oil soap and just chance it but I'm not sure what to do.

  5. #5
    Pinky is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Just found this product on Amazon... I'm tempted to try it with all those great reviews:
    http://amzn.com/B003DR0JF8
    What do you guys think?

  6. #6
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    No experience but the reviews look good. Funny it's listed under electronics LOL

    I would do murphy's before orange glo - seriously there is a LOT of bad stuff out there about orange glow.

    It really sounds, though, like your finish has worn off... so cleaning may not help.

    Maybe a rug in that area???

  7. #7
    Lupe is offline Silver level (200+ posts)
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    I have hardwood,
    I try to vacuum consistently and use Method "wood for Good"
    every 2 weeks or so, it cleans well, it smells awesome after you are done,
    it is non-toxic and you don't need a bucket, just squirt and mop


    http://www.amazon.com/method-Floor-C.../dp/B000RGWM2G

  8. #8
    zag95 is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We have oak hardwoods, and I use vinegar and hot water to clean them. I have read here that people have used BONA as a cleaner- you could try that- and maybe do a search on prior threads on cleaning hardwoods.

    I probably would contact a flooring store and ask about products to use to "improve" the shine, or finish. It would be awful to have your floors look worse!

    GL!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim. View Post
    Thanks for the replies! I think we have the polyurethane coating. Our previous house was 50 years old and had wax and these definitely look different.

    I can tell the coating has worn away near our doors and like the kitchen sink/fridge areas.

    I'm guessing we would have to vacate the house to have them resealed right? We have a baby so have to take safety into consideration even more as well.

    I've been tempted to use the orange glo or murphys oil soap and just chance it but I'm not sure what to do.

    Don't let someone talk you into refinishing the floors by sanding them down 1/4". You don't need to do that - a quick light sand on the worn areas and then a couple coats of poly (it's really thin) - will do just fine. It won't look super perfect, but it will protect the wood and look a lot better than what you have.

    I think the NYTimes had an article about this before the holidays. Here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/ga...20floor&st=cse

    (But you might need to sign up for a free account to see the article.)
    -Ivy

    Parenting two active, wonderful boys

    This is your world. Shape it or someone else will. -Gary Lew

  10. #10
    Pinky is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Thanks so much for all the replies! I think you guys are right that the floors just need a new polyurethane coat. We just installed new hardwood floors (ourselves) in one of our rooms and it's amazing how nice that coating looks compared to our older floors.

    Thanks for posting that article too.

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