How to care for hardwood floors?

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Post by OnTheBrink »

This is my 2nd 85+ year old house. We swear by Murphy's Oil Soap, actually. We put a capful in a gallon or so of warm water and then use that to damp (barely wet) mop. We have 2 little kids and need to clean a lot!
our 1917 foursquare before and after
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Post by cdnikoloff »

lrkrgrrl wrote:Me mum says: Don't use Murphy's Oil Soap on floors. It leaves slippery film and is dangerous. They do make a floor product which is supposed to not do this.

Vacumming and dust mopping is the first line of defence. For spills, a just barely damp rag and then a dry will do most messes. If Shellac is your finish, you must wax, wax, wax. Traditional varnishes, wax is also a good idea. I've been told never wax polyurethane, but dammit, I've done it and it was ok.
What is the brand of wax and how is it applied??

The PO refinished all of the floors in the house so I am assuming that the floors are polyurethaned.

I use very diluted solution of Murphy's OS and water (1 part MOS to 5 parts water) on my floors with a clorox brand floor mop, the one with the disposable pads. I put the MOS solution in the mops clearner dispenser.


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Post by lrkrgrrl »

I like Wood Preen which is a liquid/paste wax (basically a suspension of wax in a petro-solvent), but the purist would insist on Butchers, or some other solid paste wax. Application is with a lambskin (or fake fleece) pad on a stick, then buff. Follow the helpful directions on the container. :)

Nothin' more fun than skating around the house in old wool socks to your dancing music of choice.

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Post by Starr-Point »

Butcher's, like most paste waxes, is designed for unfinished floors. You have to regularly strip and re-wax if you use Butcher's, because it will actually dull the old finishes if you keep re-applying over shellac or whatever (I hate to think how many coats of shellac you'd need to put down on a floor!). It was intended to be "soaked" up by thirsty floors.

Wood-Preen is self-stripping so can be used all the time.

NT Victorian
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Post by NT Victorian »

When we did our pine floors we finished them with dark brown Briwax.
It is a very high quality wax. It does not build up like most waxes.
When you add new wax it just melts down the old wax.

It is the best paste wax I have ever used.


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