Unfinished hardwood floor

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The woman who used to live here never cleaned the floor, she'd just vacuum and apply Murphy's Oil. This 20+ y/o hardwood floor isn't in very good shape. There are marks, scratches and discolorations all over and I made things even worse by moping it with a Lysol solution (trying to sanitize it) and now I have some of the floor with some luster from all those years of Murphy's oil and a very visible part of it it's dull and a shade or two lighter because of my bright Lysol idea...
Because of its location, I can't hide the mess with an area rug and finishing the floor isn't an option right now so I need to know:
How do I effectively clean this floor without damaging it?
How do hide the discolorations caused by doors rubbing against the floor?
Is there a product I can use on both the part I "treated" with Lysol and the rest of the floor so that the whole floor looks the same color and, hopefully, will add some luster as well?
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Don't know who you can continue cleaning it w/o damaging it.
You've effectively got a raw wooden floor, w/o any polyurethane on it it's completely porous, any liquid could/would stain it.
Doors shouldn't rub it, take the door down and plane the botton edges.
Look into re-finishing your floors and re-sealing them with 3 coats of poluyrethane yourself, a tool rental center can rent you the floor sander and polisher as well as give you step-by-step directions.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That was done by the previous owners but they didn't fix the marks left on the floor and that's what I would like to do now, fix/hide those marks.

As I said in my original post, refinishing **is not** an option right now.
Is there a product I can use on both the part I "treated" with Lysol and the rest of the floor so that the whole floor looks the same color and, hopefully, will add some luster as well?
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Turandot wrote:

Whoops, I must have missed that.

You could try using lacquer thinner to remove the entire finish and then refinishing (but you might even need to re-sand some with that), but there isn't anything you are going to be able to to short of painting the floor with paint that will make a more consistent look.
--
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to reply wrote:

Unless he goes over the entire floor with the Lysol, and then back over it with something like the oil soap...
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Daniel L. Belton wrote:

You know, that might work.
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I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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The answer is that isn't any such product. If there were, there wouldn't be much reason to refinish floors. You'll have to wait until refinishing is an option.
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Look - what you're saying is you want a finished floor w/o refinishing your floor.
Sorry. I'm an electrician not a magician...
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Turandot wrote:

I agre with what the other poster said about sanding the floor down and refinishing it well with a satin-finish polyurethane finish followed by waxing. We have hardwood floors and that's what we did.
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Sorry but I missed the original post on this subject.
I'm chiming in only because of the diversity of responses I have seen to whatever the original question was.
I have also seen a comment or two by those in the wood floor industry that actually made me cringe when I read them.
There are only two basic types of floor finishes and all finishes fall under these two categories.
They are, Surface finishes, and Penetrating finishes.
Almost all of the finishes in use today fall under the Surface Finish category and include everything from wax to the newer polyurethane finishes. Shellac, Varnish, Lacquer, etc. are all surface finishes.
Surface finishes are just that, a thin film protectant OVER the wood surface, that will wear off, flake off, peel off, become thin, and sometimes even crackle or alligator if applied too heavily.
The other type of finish is a penetrant, such as good quality penetrating oil or tung oil. These types of finishes are absorbed into the wood and actually make the wood harder.
Back when I was a youngster (and before), most commercial building with hardwood floors used nothing but penetrating type oils, because they clean up easily and do not wear off to the point the wood becomes quickly damaged in high traffic areas. Oiled floors have a more rustic appearance to them than glossy finished floors, but oil floors can be buffed to a nice satin finish if one wants to put that much work into them.
My first two houses used the conventional Surface Finish techniques. I had to be very careful to protect this wood finish, especially around my desk and other high use areas. Even polyurethane will wear off very quickly if you spend much time sitting at a desk in a home office. Even with continual monthly waxing, raising 4 kids, 5 dogs and a managerie of other animals, surface finishes were an expensive nightmare to keep up.
Before I moved into an older but modern home, the first thing I did was have that nice new surface finish sanded off and had all of the floors heavily oiled with tung oil. Then about once every three years after that, we would deep clean the floors and apply another coat of tung oil onto them while the kids were away at camp or elsewhere.
After the second treatment of oil, we could then simply mop our floors like they were linoleum or vinyl without fear of ever hurting them. An animal may use a throw rug as a waste station and it would go unnoticed, yet when discovered, there was NEVER a black mark left behind as evidence of their watering the carpet.
Some times the old ways are better! I will NEVER have a bothersome surface finished floor again. An oiled floor is the only way to go, if you want a maintenance free, easy care floor, that looks great year in and year out. Even at the most used door in the house!
TTUL Gary
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On 10 Jan 2004 09:30:49 EST, snipped-for-privacy@bbs.galilei.com.nospam (Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.) wrote:

How do you 'deep clean' a wooden floor?
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Hi Dawn
Tung oil as been around for centuries, it is an oil that dries like Danish Oil or Linseed Oil. An example of a non-drying oil would be Lemon Oil. For floor finishing, you only want to use an oil that dries.
Today you can get penetrating oils, like Tung Oil, in almost every shade imaginable and perfectly clear non-yellowing as well.
New floors require sanding and cleaning before being sealed with a penetrating oil, TSP is good for this. But the deep cleaning I was referring to was doing a really bang up cleaning job on the floor before reoiling, so as not to harded dirt into the new finish. I usually use mineral spirits on the whole floor, and sometimes turpentine or paint thinner in the main walk areas to get them really clean. Then I follow up with a rinse of hot water and mild dish detergent like Ivory. In fact, that's what we use for everyday cleaning of the floors, is dish detergent and hot water.
Because penetrating oils do dry, you can build them up and get a glossy shine, but it doesn't look as natural as the normal satin finish.
TTUL Gary
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Well written post. Just one quibble. Penetrating finishes do not make the wood noticeably harder. I'm going by the results of tests by some nationally recognized experts in the field.
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Hi Baron
Pine and fir, softwoods, were the most common flooring material used in pre 1900's buildings, warehouses, stores, shops and saloons.
Unfinished pine or fir for that matter will not last very long in a high traffic area. But oiled wood lasts for centuries without much wear if it is maintained properly by reoiling every year in these instances.
Whether it is technically correct to say, it makes the wood harder, may be a misstatement.
The oil fills the pores of the wood, dries and as such, makes MORE surface to have to wear away.
So perhaps it literally does not make the wood itself harder, but it does fill in the pores making the wood less susceptable to wear and damage.
A sponge soaked in cement and allowed to cure will wear a lot longer than the original sponge, who's properties never physically changed. But I would rather be hit with a regular sponge, than one impregnated with concrete, because the impact would be much harder on my old bean.
TTUL Gary
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snipped-for-privacy@bbs.galilei.com.nospam (Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.) wrote:

Hear hear! Twenty years ago, I house-sat for my sister and her husband while they vacationed in Europe. I had to keep my motorcycle in the living room because they forgot to tell me where they kept the garage-door opener.
When they got back they made a couple of snobby remarks about the oil spots, but within a year she had oiled the whole carpet. It's been trouble-free ever since.
--
Best Regards,
Lloyd

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I agree with almost everything you have said. We have an old home, and over the years I have refinished almost all of the hardwood floors, one or two rooms at a time (a better plan would have been to do the whole house before moving in). The first room I put polyurethane on, and it has not held up well at all. That was perhaps 25 years ago and maybe more modern polyurethanes last better, but still that room will have to be redone. I did use a waterbased urethane on the stairs, as it was recommended as lasting and not being slippery, and it has held up well for about five years. In the remaining rooms I used the Duraseal penetrating finish, which comes in different hues, and it has worked really well. I initially got it because the place I rented the sander also sold this finish. That place is now out of business, and it is hard to find the Duraseal products (I think they like to sell to the trade, rather than the public), but if you can find that product it is really worth the search, and the penetrating finish seems to last and look good. They do recommend waxing for additional protection and looks.
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr. wrote:

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Hi Bill
Duraseal is still around, great stuff! They make an excellent penetrating oil also, which is the brand I used on my last house, initially for the first two coats, then switched to Waterlox for the last coat and subsequent touch ups.
TTUL Gary
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We have a similar floor in our house, about 40 years old and in need of refinishing, but that's not very likely. Ours is very dull and scratched, but when I want it to brighten it up I use Wood Preen (made by Kiwi Brands Inc out of Pennsylvania), which is a wood cleaner/protector/wax. I think the product has been around for a very long time, but it is still available (if you can't find it, let me know!). It has color in it, so it might blend the light and dark areas of the floor and give them some luster. It takes some elbow grease, though. Basically you apply it with a mop or soft cloth to small areas at a time, rub it in, then buff with a clean cloth or a floor buffer. Both my Mom and my Mom-in-law had floor buffers in their basements from the 1950s; they look like a small upright vacuum only they have removable round brushes and "polishing pads" on the bottom. That has worked fairly well for getting some shine to the floors following the Wood Preen application. If you can't find a buffer, you can just use a cloth and elbow grease....). I found Murphy's, etc. to make them dull but clean. Someone else suggested bowling alley wax but I would think that would make them slippery. I also recently tried "Brite" floor cleaner and that cleaned them well and seemed to give them a nice shine (it is what I use on my linoleum, too). But it did make them slippery and the luster didn't last very long. Be careful that you don't get drops or spray when you squirt it, because it shows up when you are done if it is not on there evenly. Hope it works. If you find another good solution, let me know! -Holly
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One more bit of information about the Wood Preen. It comes in light, medium and dark colors, I think. It also contains naptha (like mineral spirits) as well as a wax so it might get rid of buildup from previous applications. Our parents didn't sand and refinish their floors. They cleaned and waxed them. -Holly

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white spirit

wood soap scrub, sanding, white spirit scrub

a few coats of a darker coloured varnish like a mahogany will even it out and hide some discolourations and make it shine but when the day comes to refinish then it's more work to get off...unless you're selling, that's what my floor was like when I bought this place. Under the dark varnish was very light parquet with stains.
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