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how do you clean dirty hard wood floors?

my hardwood floors are dirty at high traffic areas. I prefer not to sand them because of the mess sanding makes. I have heard that they could be cleaned by using a liquid refinisher. Is this true and what is the best brand/

cathrynm3 years ago
This is an excellent site for understanding where your dirt may be embedded (wax, polyurethane, shellac) depending on the age of your house/floors and how to determine what coating it may be: http://www.woodfloordoctor.com/_how_tos/articles/cleanpt2.shtml
orksecurity4 years ago
If the problem is just dirt, any of the hardwood-floor-cleaning products (not polishes, just cleaners!) should do the job. I went over most of my living room with one of those and a microfiber cloth, about a week ago, and it did help. (I didn't bother with the fancy mop, I just crawled around doing it by hand. Dignity be darned.)

My preferred approach is to try to make sure shoes don't come into the house, so most of the dirt stops at the door.

If you do need to refinish, consider a "screen and poly" job. Rather than sanding the old finish off completely, screening just takes off a bit of the top layer, and roughens it so the new finish will be able to grab onto it well. This does produce sanding dust, but much less than a full refinish would. Still not cheap if you have a pro do it, but less expensive and faster.
Yes, these liquid refinishers work, to bring back the shine and to help make your floor appear clean and uniform again... but any dirt that didn't come up before you apply it will remain there forever, which is why they often come in a kit with very strong cleaners. There are bunch of multi-step hardwood floor cleaner/refinisher products out there. The paint stores and most major department stores will carry one brand or another... but this is one product where I highly suggest you check with the manufacturer of your hardwood floor and ask for their recommendation. The products are all fairly similar, but hardwood floors are not and your floor may not like it. I sold hardware and building supplies for a couple years, and I've seen a few floors replaced due to the use of incompatible products. So please, if you know where your floor came from... call them! You might consider trying some milder one-step cleaners first. If I recall pine-sol makes a hardwood floor cleaner, as does Swiffer. My mother swears by white-vinegar (watered down 50/50).
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