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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,939

    Default Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doughboyea View Post
    So, going back to the original question...

    Is there a liquid style product similar to Swifter that can clean these floors without using a mop and bucket and will not damage the floors?

    A.Spruce: I will look into the steam idea and I remember seeing a commercial for a Shark steam mop, but that maybe of the wet type that you were against.
    With those floors I think you're going to be relegated to vacuums only, with the occasional damp hand rag to wipe down particularly dirty spots. I don't think there is any kind of "mop" head that will stand up to those uneven and jagged planks.

    If you have pets or are chemical sensitive, you're not going to want to use products like the Swiffer because they leave a chemical residue behind that is toxic to pets and small children. My personal take on dedicated steam mops is that they're over priced, awkward to use, and single purposed. With general household steamers such as the Steamfast or US Steam machines, you not only can mop a floor, you can clean grout and any heat tolerant surface such as counter tops, bathrooms, appliances, etc. The SteamFast runs about $100, most steam mops are nearly that or well over it and can't do a fraction of the work.

    As for "wet" moping, I was referring to a mop and bucket of water, although many steam mops do not get hot enough to generate "dry" steam, which is less than 5% moisture. The wetter the steam, the more moisture will be transferred to those floors, which won't be a good thing.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,774

    Default Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.

    Personally I think the floors look great. If the nails bother you you or you want to refinish you can set them deeper with a nail set and fill. I would treat the gaps the old fashion way by tapping rope in the gaps to fill. That was adapted from work on old ships. You might try cleaning an area with alcohol, if it is shellac it will re-liquefy. It may be varnish in which case you can buff with steel wool or fine sand paper and re-coat.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    Personally I think the floors look great. If the nails bother you you or you want to refinish you can set them deeper with a nail set and fill. I would treat the gaps the old fashion way by tapping rope in the gaps to fill. That was adapted from work on old ships. You might try cleaning an area with alcohol, if it is shellac it will re-liquefy. It may be varnish in which case you can buff with steel wool or fine sand paper and re-coat.

    Jack
    Jack,

    Please don't misunderstand. I like my floors just the way they are. The gaps are what they are though the rope idea is rather interesting. That will also help with insulation! I wonder what type of rope could be used, not nylon.

    I never planned on re-surfacing them. My question was simply the maintenance and normal cleaning.

    I am hesitant on using anything abrasive on the floors like sandpaper. Though steel wool seems plausible if it does not get caught up in the splinters or nails. I do not believe these floors have much of a final finish on them as far as shellac or a varnish. I'll test a small hidden area to test for shellac using alcohol.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,774

    Default Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.

    Hemp rope is what was originally used. It blends in with the flooring quite well. You may need several different diameters. If you do decide to add a finish you should sand lightly for better adhesion.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Cleaning 200+ year old wood floors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doughboyea View Post
    I first want to apologize if this has been posted previously. A search was made with 0 results.

    My wife and I just purchase a circa 1760 colonial. The floors are a mixture of original, replacements and patches completed over the centuries. The original rectangular nails are at the floors wearing surface and not that I was planning on it, but re-surfacing is not an option.

    I would like to know what is an approved method for cleaning the floors without damaging them?

    I've read about Murphy's Oil Soap and have reservations since people using it state that it's perfect while others say that it is not good unless the floors are sealed. I doubt my floors are sealed but can't really tell.

    I tried to use our cheap vacuum to at least vacuum the floors but the spinning brush never turns off and just kicks around the dirt/dust. Using the wand is very time consuming and tends to scratch the surface. I was thinking of gettIng a Dyson since its more powerful and turns off the brush when on wood floors, but I am concerned with the constant rolling of wheels as one vacuums the floor.

    Suggestions?

    I will post a photo later tonight of the floors for reference.
    Hardwood floors have replaced the traditional concrete and tiled floors in homes. Hardwood flooring adds luster to homes. It does sport a luxurious feel and appearance. However, it needs to be maintained with care to avoid damage or discoloration. Dust, dirt and dirt particles are the biggest enemies of hardwood floor. They can scratch the flooring and cause irrecoverable damage. Hence it is necessary to clean the floors frequently. Cleaning with a broom and dustpan may not be effective, as they may stir up the dust that may get re-deposited on the floor again. Cleaning hardwood floors with vacuum is probably the best way to keep the floors clean. In choosing the best vacuum for hardwood floors, find a vacuum that does not scratch the wood. A canister vacuum with a soft bristle suction can be the best option. An upright vacuum with rolling beater bars will cause scratches and dents in the wooden surface.

    Awareness about the different types of vacuums will help in choosing the best hardwood floor vacuum.

    Bagless
    Bagless vacuums channel the dust and debris into a dust container. The containers would need to be emptied when full. Emptying and refitting the containers can be irritating sometimes. Also, bagless vacuums have filters which would need regular cleaning or replacement. The advantages are that they are less expensive to maintain as they save on bags cost.

    Bagged
    Here the dirt and dust collects in a bag which, when full, is simply thrown away and replaced with an empty bag. They may have built-in filters which filter the air passing through the unit. People with allergies may find this a better option. However, maintenance is costly as the replacement bags do bite your wallet.

    Uprights
    These are easier to handle. They can be lugged along from place to place. These cleaners are generally found to be better for cleaning carpets.

    Canisters
    These vacuums do not, generally, have bags. They are convenient for cleaning spaces under furniture and other hard to reach areas and tough-to-clean locations. They are easy to use for cleaning stairs and can easily be moved from place to place.

    Considerations
    The following considerations will affect your choice of the best hardwood floor vacuum.


    If your house is big and has many rooms, then choose a vacuum that weighs light. That would make it easy to move from one room to another.
    If you are prone to allergic reactions, then choose a bagless vacuum which has a good filtration system. Look for a system with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filter catches 99.9% of the allergens present in the air that passes through the vacuum. As a result, the air that exits from the vacuum cleaner is pure.
    Pet owners would look for a vacuum that can catch all the hair lying on the floor as well as caught in the rugs, carpets and in between furniture joints.
    Find a canister that is easy to empty and replace. The filters should be easy to maintain and should not require frequent replacement.
    If the house has lot of furniture and hard-to-reach areas, then the vacuum cleaner should come with the necessary attachments like crevice tool which can reach areas under furniture, small open spaces and tough-to-clean spaces.

    Conclusion
    What vacuum is best for hardwood floors depends on the considerations listed above. Above all, your budget would be a major deciding factor in choosing the best hardwood floor vacuum.


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