How to Clean Oil Finished Wood Floors

In this blog post, we will go into the proper steps to clean oil finished wood floors. It’s crucial to use the correct cleaning materials, as using the wrong ones can result in permanent damage.

Are you considering cleaning your oil-finished wood floors? It’s a task that demands some time and patience, but starting correctly will help maintain the condition of your oil floor finish for an extended period.

At Sussex Floor Restoration, we collaborate with various clients to ensure that their natural oil-finished wood floors receive the professional cleaning they desire and remain protected for years to come.

When cleaning any type of flooring, it’s essential to identify the finish of the floor. Choosing the wrong cleaning products for your specific flooring type can lead to severe consequences, potentially causing irreversible damage.

Most modern floors are finished with a surface sealant like polyurethane or polyacrylic. However, there are still many floors, especially in older buildings, that have a penetrating seal or an oil-based floor finish. In fact, some wood floors we encounter for restoration have no finish at all, depending on the owner’s preference.

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How to Know Your Finish

Need to know what type of finish your floor has? The quickest and cheapest method is to use the “smudge test”.

If your floor doesn’t smudge when you rub your finger on it, your floor is likely finished with a water-based polyurethane or polyacrylic finish.

If it does smudge, however, your floor is likely to have been finished with an oil-based sealant, shellac, or lacquer.

Oil vs Polyurethane Floor Finish

There are many benefits to water-based vs oil-based polyurethane flooring finishes, especially as well-engineered water-based flooring finishes are easier to clean and may look better for a longer period of time.

An oil-based wood floor finish for your flooring will still look good for many years, as long as it’s maintained correctly.

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Clean Oil Finished Wood Floors

For floors finished with an oil-based floor finish, such as hard wax oil, tung oil, or white oil, it’s essential to maintain them properly to ensure their long-term durability.

When dealing with floors treated with a penetrating seal, it’s acceptable to use a damp mop for cleaning. However, it’s advisable to avoid excessive moisture as it can compromise the sealant and potentially lead to water infiltration.

Selecting the appropriate cleaner for your oil floor finish may appear challenging, but generally, opt for a mild cleaner that lacks high alkaline levels or harsh abrasive components. Also, avoid cleaners containing ammonia.

Using harsh cleaners increases the risk of scratching your wood floors and may even accelerate the deterioration of the floor finish. For cleaning an oil floor finish, a simple and mild neutral wood floor cleaner is the best choice, while using a slightly damp mop with warm (not excessively hot) water is recommended for most oil-finished floors, including dance floors, residential flooring, and even gym floors finished with oil-based products.

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Clean Oil Finished Wood Floors – Get in Touch

For more information on oil-finished wood floors, or to discuss our floor restoration services; wood floor sanding, and parquet flooring restoration, get in touch with our friendly team at 01444 810505, or fill out our form.

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