Cleaning Sheetrock Dust from Hardwood Floors

I've read a few different things about cleaning up sheetrock dust, but most posts were for tile floor or plywood subflooring.
I re-sheetrock'd a room with hardwood floros, much of the dust cleaned up nice with a broom and dust pan, but the areas of the hardwood floors that saw traffic, the dust seems to be embedded into the floor. Mopping did very little, it almost looks like paint spills all over the place.
Before I go crazy is there a good product or technique I can use to clean hardwood floors of caked-in sheetrock dust? I'm sure a stiff brush would clean it out, but hands and knees scrubbing is my last resot.
Thanks, Justin
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You have just discovered why you should cover hardwood (or any finished floor) with protection before working with sheetrock.
Your problems solution depends upon a number of factors. What kind of flooring is it? What kind of finish does it have?
If it is a solid hardwood floor with a polyeurathane finish, then you may have to screen and refinish the floor. This can be accomplished by hand, but it is best left to pros if you are not sure of what you are doing.
If it is a wax finish, then using a wax stripper to remove the contaminated wax and rewaxing may repair it.
If it is a prefinished floor, then a scrub brush and a shop vac with a mild detergent may get it up. If this is the method that you use, do NOT try to wipe up the wet floors. Apply your water and cleaning solution to the floor. Scrub with the brush, then vacuum up the liquid. Rinse with clean water and vacuum again. Work small areas at a time. Don't try to soak the entire floor at once. You may remove some of the "shine" this way, but it should clean up most of the drywall dust.
I am not even considering it to be a laminate floor, because even with all of laminates faults, it does clean up easily in this type of situation.
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Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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You might try wiping the floor with lemon oil and a soft towel or flannel. This method works well with grout haze on ceramic tile and may pick up much of the dust that a water rinse is leaving.
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Call ServiceMaster or some such place that does industrial/commercial cleaning. They almost always do home cleaning too, but may not advertise it. These people deal with this all the time since contractors usually call on them to do just this kind of work after a major renovation or new construction, just prior to handing over the building to the owner.
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Thanks for the info folks.
As a side note, any of it will scrape up if I scratch at it with my fingers. I definately SHOULD have covered the floors, would of made life a lot easier. It didnt' occur to me to cover sincei t was "dust". I thought it would just a make mess that would be vacuumed and mopped up. They are solid hardwood floors, but I'm not sure of the finsih. It is NOT the thick glossy finish I've seen in some houses. It appears to be a stain or very thin flat finish.
Thanks, Justin
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If you wet it, you have a problem, it turns into a liquid and will fill pores and grain in the wood. If it is still dry powder, good old fashioned sweeping compound, which is nothing more than sawdust mixed with a sticky oil/wax mixture so that it will pick up and trap the fine dust, leaving a clean floor behind. To use it you spread a line of the compound across the floor and sweep to the other side with the grain. Then pick it up with a dust pan and toss. This stuff is a little out of date and old fashioned, so you may have problems finding it.

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