Easy Hardwood Floor Care

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It's easy to keep your wood floors looking new and beautiful for a lifetime. As members of the National Wood Flooring Association, we have preferential access to the most current industry information, the most technologically advanced products and systems and a wealth of educational programs and information. We abide by Newf.'s Standards of Professional Conduct, and take pride in what we do. We constantly strive to improve our business and technical skills.

[Caring for Wood Floors] [Surface Finishes]
[Acrylic Impregnated Floors] [Wax Finishes]

Preventative Maintenance for All Finishes

  • Floor protector pads on the bottoms of furniture will help preserve the life of your finish.
  • Scatter rugs at all entrances will help trap grit from shoes before it scratches your floor.
  • Sweep, vacuum or dust mop your floor and scatter rugs often to remove dirt and grit.


Caring for Wood Floors

The type of finish on a wood floor dictates what proper maintenance steps should be followed. A homeowner should review the original floor installer's or refinisher's records, which should note the finish manufacturer and type of finish, applied to the wood floor. The finish manufacturer's suggested maintenance procedures should always be followed. If such data is not available, you need to determine if the finish is a wax finish, shellac or varnish finish or a surface finish.

If the floor was installed, or last serviced, before the mid '60s, you should assume the finish used was varnish or shellac. To determine this, scratch the surface with a coin or other sharp object in a corner or other inconspicuous space. If the finish flakes, it is probably shellac or varnish. Shellac and varnish are rarely used anymore and require full sanding to remove before application of a surface finish or wax finish.

Next, check the floor for wax finish. In an inconspicuous area, corner or behind a door, apply two(2) drops of water. If, within ten minutes, white spots appear under the drops of water, the floor has a wax finish. To remove the white spots, gently rub the spots with #000 steel wool dampened with wax. If the finish does not flake from scratching with a coin and white spots do not appear from the drops of water, the floor has a surface finish and should be maintained accordingly.

Surface Finishes

General Cleaning
Always use your manufacturer's recommended cleaning products. If the manufacturer is not known, use a generic hardwood floor cleaner, available at your local retail flooring store. Browning carries a new line of hardwood floor cleaning products. Never wax a surface finish!

Sticky Spills
Wipe up spills immediately with a lightly dampened cloth. Follow with manufacturers or generic hardwood cleaner.

Stubborn Stains
Lightly dampen a soft cloth with manufacturers recommended cleaner, or a generic hardwood floor cleaner. Apply directly to stain. Repeat procedure as necessary. Do not use petroleum based cleaners on water base finishes.

Dull Finish
When floor loses its luster, it's time to recoat. Consult an NWFA flooring professional.

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Acrylic Impregnated Floors

General Cleaning
For general cleaning non-urethane coated acrylic impregnated floors, a spray and buff system is recommended by the manufacturer. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations and use their products when possible.

Urethane Coated
Some acrylic impregnated floors are coated with urethane. For general cleaning of these types of floors, follow cleaning procedures for surface finishes.

Sticky Spills
Wipe up spills immediately. Then clean with manufacturers recommended product and hand buff to luster.

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Wax Finishes

General Cleaning
Dry mop with untreated dust mop. Vacuum, sweep or dust mop as needed to remove grit from floor.

Sticky Spills
Wipe up spills immediately with dry or slightly damp cloth. Then clean area with manufacturers recommended cleaner or odorless mineral spirits. This may dull the area, so buffing may be required.

White Spots
To remove white spots caused by water spots, use a fine steel wool (#000) and a small amount of mineral spirits. Rub gently in a circular motion until spot is gone. Then rewax area and buff.

Traffic Area
When floor loses its luster in traffic areas, rewax only those areas and buff.

Dull Finish
Floors should be cleaned, stripped and rewaxed once or twice each year depending on traffic.

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