Q: We recently purchased a brand new house with pre-finished Brazilian hard wood floors. During the inspection we noted that there were foot prints all over the floor that did not wipe up. When we took possession of the house, these foot prints were still present. Thus far, we have had the builders come in 3 times and each time they say it requires a good cleaning.
For the most part, the foot prints are gone now, but the last time they cleaned the floors one of their workers said they were using paint thinner. They are denying that comment now, but it seems that whenever we walk across the floors barefoot it leaves footprints. Is it normal that walking barefoot on your wood floors would leave footprints that have to be rubbed out?
A: I think someone has used an “unfriendly” cleaner that has left a residue on the finish. You should go to your nearest hardwood retailer and buy a gallon of concentrated Bona Pacific Floor Cleaner, which you will mix according to label instructions with water. This stuff will work wonders. www.bonakemi.com
Similar Q: My 3 year old Bellwood Brazilian walnut is beautiful but smudges HORRIBLY. We cannot walk barefoot or with socks on it because it leaves full foot smudges! What can I do? Please help! I’m at my wits end!
A: You could contact the manufacturer or installer to find out what is happening. I think it is simply contaminants. Oils from skin or whatever. Use a proper polyurethane cleaner and that should get rid of the contaminants. See www.poloplaz.com, www.basiccoatings.com etc.
Another Similar Q: I am having a problem cleaning my wood floor. I bought a cleaner for hardwood floors, but every time I mop the floor with this cleaner (I spray it on a cloth, then mop) foot prints are left all over the floor. This has not happened before with this cleaner. Why is it happening now?
A: Tough to say what is causing this, but it sounds like there may be an oily residue on the finish. Anyone applying lotion to their feet and walking through the house? Perhaps a better cleaner is in order. Bona Kemi Pacific cleaner, Mirage floor cleaner, Circa 1850 Bare Floor, or the one from Poloplaz which you can buy from this site: www.hardwoodcleaner.com
Yet Another Similar Q: I have new hardwood floors and have been using Bona Pacific Floor Cleaner once a week. My floors always have footprints and look dull. Is it the finish of my floors or the cleaner? Could it be the detergent I use to clean my terry cloth pads? I use Tide and a little bleach.
A: I don’t believe it is the cleaner or the Tide and bleach. It does go through a rinse cycle. Is it because people are walking bare foot through the house?
Follow-up Q: We do walk bare foot. I had hard wood floors in my last home and we walked bare footed, but I never saw all these footprints. The finish on those floors was shinier. My floors in this house have more of a matte finish. Would that make a difference?
A: I don’t have a problem with bare feet on hardwood. It will deposit oils from our skin. If someone is using lotion or Vaseline, that will create issues. The use of Bona Pacific should clean that off.
Second Follow-up Q: So it probably does not have anything to do with the finish on the floor?
A: You have said your current finish is matte. That means ‘no shine’. Matte is a lower sheen than even satin. You can’t expect a ‘matte’ finish to have any shine. As to foot prints, that sounds more like residue from something contaminating the surface of the finish.
Q: Have you had questions regarding how to care for Columbian Walnut engineered flooring? The finish on our 6 year-old flooring shows every foot, shoe and bare-foot print.
A: What have you been using to clean it because it sounds like whatever it is, a residue is being left on the floor surface. If it is a polyurethane type coating you can get good cleaners from any hardwood retailer, made by companies who manufacture floor finishes and wood flooring.
Related Q: What is the best engineered hard wood finish for NOT showing footprints?
A: There is no need for a top coat, polyurethane or varnish to show foot prints unless it has a contaminant on it such as oil soaps or other products that leave a film on the finish.
Similar Q: My dark stained hickory flooring is impossible to clean. Even sock prints show up and are hard to clean. Literally all traffic shows up.
A: What are you using to clean the finish? Some so called cleaners can actually leave a residue on the floor surface that will do just as you describe. There are cleaners you can get from floor finish manufacturers such as Polo Plaz, Basic Coatings, Bona Kemi etc. I’ve even seen a Bona Kemi cleaner at Home Depot you could use.