There are a number of benefits to installing hardwood floors. They’re easy to clean, add warmth, reduce dust and allergens and they go well with practically any decor. And as with most of your possessions, proper care and maintenance can make timber floors virtually last a lifetime. It’s normal to encounter issues with your wood floors but they are not the end of the world. What’s important is to know how to properly deal with these issues to keep your floors looking gorgeous for a far longer time. Here are 12 quick fixes for common wooden floor issues:
1. Crayon Or Candle Wax
Wax Finish: Cover the area with a plastic bag filled with ice for a few minutes, then scrape with a plastic scraper or one of those expired membership cards you still keep for no reason. Alternatively, you can use a blow-dryer set to warm and soften the crayon or candle wax stain, and then soak it up with paper towel. Buff with a dry cotton cloth to finish.
Polyurethane Finish: Cover area with a bag full of ice for several minutes, then scrape with a plastic card and finish off with a polyurethane specific cleaning solution. Voila, all gone!
2. Chewing Gum
Any Finish: Freeze stuck-on chewing gum with a bag full of ice. Crumble the frozen gum and scrape away with the same expired plastic membership card.
3. Dark Spots
Wax Finish: Rub the spot with fine steel wool (00). For deeper water stains, apply a paste made from a mixture of water and oxalic acid. Let the paste sit for 5-10 minutes, then wipe with a dry cloth. Rub on wax and buff with a clean cloth.
Polyurethane Finish: Follow the same procedure as you would with wax finished floors. But use a damp cloth to wipe away the paste instead.
4. White Spots
Wax Finish: Rub the spot with fine steel wool (00) and then re-apply wax. Let the wax dry, then buff with a clean cotton cloth.
Polyurethane Finish: Rub white spots with a slightly damp cloth. For more stubborn white spots, use a commercial cleaner specifically formulated for polyurethane.
5. Food Stains
Wax Finish: Rub the stained portion with a damp cloth. Rub dry and then apply wax.
Polyurethane Finish: Use a commercial cleaner designed for polyurethane floors.
6. Grease And Oil Stains
Wax Finish: Dampen a cloth with odour-free mineral spirits. Wipe the area dry, reapply wax and then buff with a cotton cloth.
Polyurethane Finish: Wipe the area with a cloth dampened with a commercial cleaning product designed for polyurethane floors.
7. Heel Scuffs
Wax Finish: Using fine steel wool, apply a bit of wax on the scuffed area. Rub the wax in and buff with a cloth.
Polyurethane Finish: Treat heel scuffs with a cleaner designed for hardwood floor finishes.
8. Mould And Mildew
Wax Finish: Use a cleaner designed for wood. Never use bleach!
Polyurethane Finish: Use a cleaner specific to polyurethane finishes. You might want to sand and refinish areas where the mould and mildew have penetrated beneath the surface.
Wax Finish: Scratches on wax finish can be removed by rubbing the scratches with extra-fine steel wool (000) and reapplying paste wax.
Polyurethane Finish: Scratches on polyurethane finished floors can be camouflaged using wax sticks sold at hardware stores. You can also use wood stain markers or even crayons.
Shellac or Varnish Finish: Fix scratches with hardwood floor finish restorer.
Any Finish: Slightly wet the dent by applying a wet cloth or paper towel over the dent. Move the iron in a circular motion across the towel for 3-5 minutes. The heat and steam should allow the dented wood to "pop back up." For finished hardwood floors, you may need to sand the finish a bit.
11. Wax Buildup
Wax Finish: Remove the layer of wax using a wax stripper (not furniture stripper!). Remove any remaining wax buildup by rubbing with fine steel wool. Re-apply the wax, then machine buff.
Polyurethane Finish: Apply a commercial wax remover specific to polyurethane finished floors. Never re-apply wax! Because wax can make these types of floors very slippery.
12. Squeaky Floors
Any Finish: Sprinkle a fair bit of baby powder, baking soda or graphite powder over the squeaky part. Work the powder into the seam to lubricate the squeak and keep the boards from rubbing against each other.
There you have it! 12 quick fixes for your wood floor issues. If you have further issues with discolouration or scratches, book Electrodry's Wood Refinishing specialists for a no-sanding fix for your floors.
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