Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hardwood Floor Stain Removal

Hardwood floors are a very popular in many commercial buildings, apartment buildings, and homes.  Regular cleaning and maintenance by your commercial building cleaning service is crucial to maintaining the appearance of your hard wood floors.   There are some common stains that a commercial building cleaning service will confront during construction cleanup or move-in/move out cleaning for commercial or apartment buildings with hardwood floors. On wood floors, most stains can be prevented or minimized by keeping the floors well waxed and by cleaning up any spilled liquid immediately. When cleaning a stain, always begin at the outer edge and work toward the middle to prevent it from spreading. The following approaches apply to stains that have reached the wood surface, not just the floor finish:
  • Water marks - Rub the spot with #00 steel wool and re-wax. If this fails, sand lightly with fine sandpaper. Clean the spot and the surrounding area using #1 steel wool and mineral spirits or a proprietary floor cleaner. Let the floor dry. Apply matching finish on the floor, feathering out into the surrounding area. Wax after the finish dries thoroughly.
  • Dried milk or food - Rub the spot with a damp cloth. Rub dry and wax.
  • Dark spots & Ink Stains - Clean the spot and surrounding area with # 1 steel wool and a good floor cleaner or mineral spirits. Thoroughly wash the spotted area with household vinegar. If the spot remains, sand with fine sandpaper, feathering out 3 to 4 inches in the surrounding area. Re-wax and polish. If repeated applications of vinegar do not remove the spot, apply oxalic acid solution directly on the spot. (The solution should be 1 ounce of oxalic acid to 1 quart of water. Oxalic acid is a poison: Use rubber gloves.) Pour a small amount on the spot and let stand for one hour. Sponge the spot with clean water. A second treatment may be helpful if the spot remains. If a second treatment with oxalic acid solution fails, sand the area with #00 steel wool. Apply a second coat of finish, let dry and wax. If the spot is still visible, the only remaining remedy is to replace the spotted flooring.
  • Heel marks and caster marks - Rub vigorously with fine still wool and a good floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.
  • Animal stains - Spots that are not too old may be removed in the same manner as other dark spots. If the spots resist cleaning efforts, the floor will need to be refinished.
  • Mold - Mold or mildew is a surface condition caused by damp, stagnant air. See that the room is properly ventilated and use a disinfectant that is effective against mold.
  • Chewing gum, crayon, candle wax - Apply ice until the deposit is brittle enough to crumble off. Cleaning fluid poured around the area (not on it) will soak under the deposit and loosen it.
  • Cigarette burns - If the cigarette burns aren't too deep, steel wool will often remove them. Moisten the steel with soap and water to increase its effectiveness.
  • Alcohol spot - Rub with a liquid or paste wax, silver polish, boiled linseed oil, or a cloth barely dampened with ammonia. Re-wax affected area.
  • Oil and grease stains - Rub a high lye-content soap on the stain or saturate cotton with hydrogen peroxide and place the cotton over the stain. Saturate a second layer of cotton with ammonia and place it over the first. Repeat until the stain is removed.
  • Rust stains - Use baking soda and a small amount of water.