Flea bombs took off finish or left dull spots

Q: I had to use some flea bombs in my house because of a flea problem we were having. They seem to have taken some of the finish off our floors in places, and we are now left with many dull spots. What can I bring the shine back with?

A: I would clean the floors really well first with an approved polyurethane cleaner made by one of the following companies. That should remove any chemical residue. If the finish is damaged, the floors may have to be buffed and re coated. www.poloplaz.com www.bonakemi.com www.basiccoatings.com

Wax finish gets dull fast

Q: I recently refinished the 80 year old white oak floors in our family and living rooms. Having used a drum sander and edger in my first attempt 11 years ago, and finishing with a water-based polyurethane, the innumerable chatter marks and other disastrous mistakes encouraged a new approach this time around.

First, I opted to use the Random Orbit sander, as the tool rental clerk suggested it to be more forgiving than the drum. This proved wise, as I was extremely pleased with the smoothness and lack of sanding marks visible after I had put the final wax finish down.

The trouble that I am now experience must be due to my choice of wax or my finishing technique. The product I chose was H*****’s Feed N Wax, a combination of beeswax, carnauba wax and orange oil. It produced a splendid coloration and pulled out the natural grain of the wood. Yet, the finish is somewhat less dull in some places than the promised satin matte. Furthermore, the high traffic areas are seeming to lose their sheen almost immediately, while less travelled areas show foot and shoe marks that can be removed by light buffing.

I applied one thick coat with a lambskin applicator, wiped the excess oil up after the suggested 20 minutes and buffed vigorously with a 13′ buffing machine. What can I do to produce and maintain a consistent shine, while not needing to follow up each footprint with a soft rag?

A: I’m afraid I don’t have much advice for you on this one. This is why most people don’t want a wax finish. It takes constant maintenance, scuffs easily and gets marks from spills. I would suggest speaking with the company who manufactures the wax finish you applied.

Mineral spirits used to remove glue marks left finish dull

Q: We just installed glue down hardwood flooring; pre-finished Centerra oak flooring. We used Robers Urethane 1408 glue. Unfortunately, as first timers, we were not paying too close attention to the glue marks.

We were able to remove the glue with mineral spirits, but it left the finish dull in the areas that the glue had touched.

What can we do to bring the shine back?

A: Try cleaning the floor with a polyurethane cleaner. Perhaps the floor manufacturer has an in house brand or you could look at Mirage, Bona Kemi, Poloplaz etc.

Related Q: Floor glue was removed with mineral spirits, and everywhere we took off the glue it left dull spots. Can it be fixed without refinishing? Is there a cleaner that will bring back the shine or could there still be a glue residue left on the floor?

A: It could be from the mineral spirits. I’d get a small bottle of cleaner from your nearest hardwood floor retailer. A number of companies make their own version: Mirage, Basic Coatings, Poloplaz, Bona.

Dullness around area rug

Q: I have a hardwood floor that the builder Installed in 1999. A large area rug covered most of the floor ever since we moved in. I removed the rug recently and saw that the entire perimeter area of the floor’s finish outside of the area rug has dulled, and the floor underneath where the rug was looks brand new. Is there some product I can try on the area that might “refresh” the polyurethane finish to try to blend it in with the high gloss finish where the rug was? I don’t know who the manufacturer of the hardwood is. I don’t understand why next door neighbors who have the same flooring installed by the same builder, and receive the same amount of sunlight, don’t have any dull areas around their rugs that are down all year round. The only product that had been ever used on the floor since 1999 was S—-‘s —— —- cleaner and preservative. I don’t know if S—-‘s might’ve been the reason that the sun dulled the finish outside of the rug area. I haven’t tried anything yet, but I was wondering if you knew whether any specific product brand might be worth trying to bring the finish back to a gloss before I have to consider hiring a contractor to have the floor refinished. Other than that, i.e., (the dulled finish), the entire floor is in fine condition. Thanks in advance.

A: I’m surprised you aren’t reporting the coloration difference because of the sun’s effects on the exposed wood. For dullness it is very likely that treatment you used is the main or contributing culprit. I would suggest wiping it down well several times with a floor cleaner made by wood floor and finish manufacturers. They have products that don’t leave any dulling residue. You can search out Poloplaz, Bona Kemi or Basic Coatings for such cleaners or pay a visit to the nearest wood floor retailer. They should have a cleaner which can help remove contaminants.

Dull floor that was under carpet

Q: How do I bring back the shine in hardwood floor that has been under carpet for a very long time? Tips for restoring wood floors under carpet?

A: If this is a polyurethane coating, first give the floor a good cleaning with a suitable cleaner for this type of finish such as Poloplaz Hardwood floor cleaner: www.poloplaz.com. This will help remove any dulling contaminants. If this is not sufficient, then a professional buff and re-coat should do the job. If this is a wax finish, a product such as Dura Seal Renovator will clean up the floors nicely.

Dull streaks on laminate from office chairs

Q: We installed the thickest and most expensive laminate floors in our house about two years ago. Our two office chairs in our house have plastic wheels. The laminate floor in the office is very dull, we think from the wheels of the chairs. How can we get the shine back to these dull laminate floors?

A: I would contact the manufacturer to find if they have any type of topical treatment they will recommend.

Haze on wood floor

Q: We have a wood floor in my house that we have owned for 6 months. Since we moved in, the wood floors have a haze over them. We have two active boys and several dogs. We’ve tried to keep the floors as clean as possible. I tried cleaning with almost every type of cleaning product out there, even just water. They all just make it worse. With a sock I can buff it out and make them shiny again, but just a small area because it takes too long.

I have no idea whether the floors were waxed or have a polyurethane coating. How do I tell, and how do I fix this haze on wood floor? I have thought about renting a buffer but I don’t want to make matters worse.

A: Put a couple of drops of water on the floor. Wait 10 minutes. If it leaves a spot, it is probably waxed. Otherwise, it is likely polyurethane. If it is poly, you can purchase approved cleaners for polyurethane from your local hardwood dealer. Any product from Poloplaz, Bona Kemi, Mirage, Basic Coatings for this purpose should remove any residue from “bad” cleaners that have caused the haze.

My laminate floors are very dull

Q: My laminate floors are very dull and won’t shine when washed. What can I do?

A: I would check with the manufacturer to see if they have a recommended cleaner. I am fairly sure, however that Bona Kemi Pacific floor cleaner can also be used on laminate. www.bonakemi.com

Another one which can be purchased on line is made by Swing Paints in their Circa1850 line called Bare Floor. www.circa1850.com

Floor cleaner made wood floors dull

Q: I have a new engineered wood floor. I cleaned it with floor cleaner. Now I have a dull look that I can’t seem to get rid of!

A: Whatever you have used has left a residue on the surface of the floor. Any of the cleaners from Bona Kemi (Bona Pacific cleaner), Poloplaz, Basic Coatings, Min Wax, Mirage etc., will do a much better job and will likely remove the haze you now see. You local hardwood flooring retailer should carry at least one of these products.

Similar Q: Two years ago we had silver maple installed in our living room. I first used the O***** G*** cleaner and then heard that wasn’t a good idea, so I switched to M******’s. My floor used to have a shiny look to it and now it’s dull and it shows every scratch. I also noticed when I was trying to get this residue off of it that it is peeling in a few areas. I loved my floor at first and now I’m starting to regret buying it. And, by the way, I bought it at an auction so I can’t talk to any manufacturer.

A: A number of floor finish and hardwood floor manufacturers have created cleaners to remove such residue from polyurethane coated floors. You can check out Poloplaz, Boa-Franc, Basic Coatings and Bona Kemi.

Another Similar Q: Hi there, I am really hoping you can help me. I looked around you site and could not find the exact answer I need so I thought I would just ask. I recently had dark hardwood floors installed. They are complete and utter nightmare. I cannot keep them clean for more than a few minutes and Bona cleaner makes them super dull. Orange g** makes then mice and shiny but makes them worse in the long run and footprints show up everywhere. I either vacuum and or clean everyday and they only look good for a few hours, no matter what. I want them to look at least somewhat shiny without any film or residue that dirt clings to. Can you please help me?

A: It is very clear to me there is a film of some contaminant on your floors surface. I recommended to one person years ago to use the Bona cleaner. They were having the same issues as you. They said the Bona cleaner caused the glo and all else to peel right off. They have likely changed the chemistry of it.

I would suggest perhaps 2 products from Poloplaz. They do have a product called tie tac which is designed to remove contaminants and not leave a residue as well as their floor cleaner. You may want to try first just some denatured alcohol on a spot to see if it removes the haze. Not everything in main line that says it is for hardwood floors is really good for a top coated floor.

Related Q: I used “original L*****”, a wood floor polish and cleaner, on my floors. Now my floors have a film coating on it that makes the floors dull looking. I’ve washed the floors many times and that film is still there. Is there a product to remove this film or do I need to sand down? The manufacturer of this product could not help me out.

A: I’ve never heard of this product and don’t know what the ingredients are. There are a number of things you can try. Numerous wood floor manufacturers and makers of floor finish also make cleaners for polyurethane finished floors. For example, Poloplaz has their version of such a cleaner and also have another type which is more intense, both designed to remove contaminants from the surface. Bona Kemi makes something that is designed to do the same as does Basic Coatings. You could also try denatured alcohol, TSP or ammonia. It might be a good idea to read the bottle carefully to make sure there isn’t anything in the product which might have a bad reaction with any of these products.

Cloudy spots on hardwood floor

Q: We have 90+ year old oak hardwood in our home that was refinished 2 years ago. In two spots where the hardwood floor meets the hardwood trim, the floor has developed cloudy spots. What could this be from, and how can we fix it?

A: I could only guess. Is it possible some type of “cleaning” product or furniture spray was used near those spots, and got on the floor? I would suggest cleaning with Bona Pacific floor cleaner. www.bonakemi.com

Similar Q: I have engineered wood floors with a urethane finish. Recently I used a cleaner/polish (O***** G***), which left a cloudy residue. I have tried the Bona product and it did not remove the residue. Will vinegar and water remove this? Any other suggestions?

A: The Bona Pacific cleaner should have worked and did work for another lady last year.. Try Mineral Spirits or perhaps denatured alcohol. There are also a couple of products offered by Poloplaz which will help you. They have their own cleaner and a second product called Tie Tack. Send an email to them for their recommendation.

Related Q: I have a new maple hard wood floor and I had our cleaners apply O***** G*** cleaner and polish. It left streak marks all over the wood I can not get out. I tried a water and soap, a sponge scuff pad, and my finger nail, but nothing seems to get this off. Please let me know what you suggest.

A: Any cleaner made my floor manufacturers or floor finish manufacturers should take care of this. You can look at one such product at http://www.poloplaz.com.
They make excellent products and have both a cleaner for regular maintenance and another product called tie tack for removal of most contaminants.

Mop residue on wood floors

Q: I have been using “X” wet mop for about two bottles of cleaner’s worth. This came recommended to me. There is now a streaky residue on my floors that I would like to remove. The residue is also causing other aesthetic problems. What is the best way to remove the residue? Rest assured the wet mop has swiftly left the area. I would not recommend this product to anyone, even though it seemed great for the first several applications.

A: It’s quite annoying, isn’t it? Several years ago, after reading the MSDS sheet for their wet product, I felt it was safe to suggest to my customers. Within a couple of weeks I knew that was a mistake. They claim it does not leave a residue, but obviously it does.

Here is what you do: Buy a concentrate gallon of Bona Kemi Pacific Floor Cleaner. Most hardwood retail outlets will sell this product. I would suggest the undiluted concentrate which you can then mix with water in a spray bottle at a ratio or 5:1 or 7:1 as per label instructions. This is an excellent product and will remove any contamination left by this other “cleaner”. www.bonakemi.com

Webmaster’s note: It appears to me that just about every new “doesn’t leave a residue” claim turns out to be unreliable. It is better to go with a well tested cleaner from a well known wood flooring producer, like Bona Kemi. They are more interested in making their products look good, than a big clean-all sales company would be– know what I mean?

Marks, scratches and dull streaks

Q: I have a beautiful home with hardwood floors. I also have 4 young boys who have made marks and dull streaks, and scratches from toys. What can I do, that isn’t too expensive, to make my floor look like new again?

A: Bona Kemi has a nice floor cleaner called Bona Pacific. If there are contaminants on the floor, this may explain dull streaks which the cleaner would remove. Nothing much to do with the scratches except let the finish wear (but not wear off) until you can’t stand the look of it anymore. Then have the finish buffed and re coated.

Related Q: What can I do to a fir floor in the dining area that has been scratched, scuffed, and looks terrible. The floors in the house, all fir, were sanded 8 years ago, but it is only the dining room that needs fixing.

A: It sounds like a light but thorough buffing with fine abrasive followed by at least one fresh coat of finish is in order.

Dull spots

Q: How do I remove dull spots on my hardwood floor?

A: That depends why there are dull spots. You might want to try an appropriate polyurethane cleaner first, if your floors are finished with that type of coating. You could purchase such from your local hardwood flooring retailer. Also, there is a Min Wax cleaner sold at Home Depot that is appropriate.

Tacky, dull floor

Q: For some reason after cleaning the floor a couple of days ago, my floor is extremely tacky and dull! I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought that maybe it was just extra dirty from a social gathering we had, therefore, I cleaned it again. Same thing. What happened?

A: What cleaner are you using? If it is not approved for polyurethane finishes (by that, I mean approved by floor and finish manufacturers) then you may get a build up of residue. Or someone may have wiped something else on your floor. Good cleaners come from Bona Kemi, Mirage, Dura Seal and Basic Coatings to name a few. Cleaners I don’t recommend are ——-, oil soaps, oils, and any furniture polishes, etc.

Follow-up Q: Do you think that fabric softener (when washing the cloth) could have caused this?

A: Fabric softener? Quite possibly. If the cleaner doesn’t remove it (better use a different cover for your mop) perhaps you could try denatured alcohol.

Similar Q: We have Bruce Hardwood Floors, a very dark espresso color with a gloss finish. Over the past 3 years now, the finish is very dull.. streaks, spotting, scuffs, etc. They look a mess. I only use BONA hardwood floor cleaner; what gives? What do we do to fix this mess?

A: It sounds like a potential residue of something else on the finish. Are you sure something else has not been used? Do you ever use a Swiffer mop? I ask because if you go to their web site and look up the msds sheets one of the ingredients is wax. If this is the case, Poloplaz has a cleaner called Tie Tac which will remove this after which you could return to your regular cleaner of try the Poloplaz floor cleaner. www.poloplaz.com

Similar Q: We have a 15 month old home with nail down hand scraped floors that look awful. At quick glance they are beautiful, but there are scuffs and scratches and dull streaks everywhere. The floor was finished with a waterborne finish. What could cause the finish to be so sensitive? Do we need another coat or complete refinish? We don’t feel we are living or using them inappropriately.

A: Even the toughest finishes can be scratched in the presence of abrasive grit and tiny stones stuck in the treads of shoes. Regular vacuuming to keep sand, for example to a minimum can help. Dull streaks causes me to wonder what you are using to clean these floors with? Some ‘cleaners’ claimed to be for wood floors can leave a residue, sometimes a wax residue that can cause this. I would recommend you purchase some cleaner manufactured by floor finish and wood floor manufacturers. Any local wood flooring retailer will carry such products. It could be from Poloplaz, Basic Coatings, Boa-franc, Bona Kemi and any number of others. These cleaners do not leave any residue but will help to remove any that is currently on the finish surface.

Dull build up

Q: How can I remove the dull build up on my hardwood floors from cleaners that I have been using?

A: If your floor is finished with polyurethane, you can visit your local hardwood flooring retailer and purchase an appropriate cleaner. Bona Kemi makes an excellent one called Pacific floor cleaner. If it is a wax or oil finish, the same floor dealer should be able to get you a product made by Dura Seal called Renovator.

Reviving shine in wax wood floors

Q: How do I revive the shine to my no wax wood floors? The floor in front of my bay window has faded. How can I bring the shine back? At one time I think I used some ammonia on the floors. Could this have caused the shine to become dull? If so, how can I correct this?

A: You may try to clean the floors with a cleaner specifically designed to clean polyurethane finishes. Most of the hardwood manufacturers have their own versions of this type of cleaner, including ****************, Dura Seal, etc. Home Depot also has one called Zepp for cleaning polyurethane and I believe another is ********. Swiffer wets appear fine too as they claim not to leave any residue on the surface.

If none of this helps, you should have a floor refinisher come in, buff the existing finish and apply at least one more coat of fresh polyurethane.

Ammonia was not a good idea.

Touch up kit caused dull spots

Q: I recently bought a home with a hardwood floor. The floors are ******** and I bought a touch up kit that went along with the floors. After I used the touch up kit the polyurethane finish is dull (and of course it’s a conspicuous area). I cannot get the shine to match the rest of the floor. Is there anything I can do?

A: I haven’t used their touch up kit. It has to be such as will match the gloss level of the existing floor. Likely a semi gloss or satin. Very few if any companies make a product with a gloss. Depending the shine you have, You could rub the boards affected with course steel wool to remove all shine (the entire boards, and make sure you rub it down thoroughly) and either apply with a cloth a wiping type of polyurethane such as Circa 1850, www.circa1850.com or if you have semi gloss, use the same procedure to prep, but this time by a small tin of Circa or equivalent semi gloss bowling alley polyurethane and apply a thin coat with a bristle brush.