Overuse of Shine Products Makes Hardwood Look Unsightly And Is Difficult To Remove

Ever heard that too much of a good thing can get you into trouble? Well with shine restoring products it is definitely the case. People become attached to a shine products, and if overused they can get in to trouble.

What is meant by “shine restoring products?” They are products available on the store shelves in the cleaning section, usually right next to the hardwood or floor cleaners. These products are different from daily cleaners in that they are shine enhancers, not basic cleaning solutions.  They include

  • Wax
  • Carnuba
  • Shine Restorer
  • Acrylic
  • Oil Soaps

Hardwood, engineered, pergo, or even what is known as a “click floor” can become a red hot mess if these products are even used somewhat regularly. Back in the day, when hardwood floors did not have a polyurethane coating these such products would make a difference. And while using them on a polyurethane floor does work, these products do not absorb into the grain of the wood. Instead, this stuff lays on top.

In example, think in terms of doing a load of wash. Imagine putting the laundry soap in, doing the first wash cycle, then the first spin cycle to remove the dirty water. But, instead of the rinsing cycle, remove the wet clothes. The scenario is the clothes have a subtle, sticky detergent film on them. Wear them, and wash this way over and over, and pretty soon everything will stick to film and  look and even start to smell ripe.

Now imagine the same thing happens to the floor surface. What happens is you get layer after layer of sticky film, that will start to grab dirt, dust, airborne particulate oils, food and beverage spills, pollution, mop water, vaporized cooking oils, body oils, graphite (from greased components such as hinges, ceiling fans, window tracks,) bug treatments, engine and car oils wafting in from the garage. on and on.

Eventually the dirt is waxed in to the surface and won’t wipe off. It builds up as a dark or black mess, with blotches, whispy lines, milky whiteish cloudy areas, and other cleaner areas absent of the discoloration in the high traffic areas.

Unfortunately Some May Resort to Expensive Refinishing To Correct The Problem When Professional Stripping and Cleaning Will Do The Trick

The trained eye of a professional, who is honest and experienced, will explain and advise you as to the solution, and correct it for you. The inexperienced technician may misguide you into thinking you need to refinish or replace your floors. Or the less than honest person may take advantage of you by taking your money to refinish the floors when it was not necessary.

The Solution Is “Old School”

Though relatively simple in theory it is not always easy for one, and you probably will need professional equipment, and professional stripping solutions. To explain further, you need a janitor’s mop, bucket and wringer, commercial drying fans, and an ammoniated stripping agent or heavy duty emulsifier. But in plain speak terms, you need ammonia, a way to apply it to scrub it off, and a way to rinse it.

Just as we find with improper commercial floor care, where the maintenance people keep applying coats of wax without stripping it off, it can be a bear to get off. When this happens sometimes we have to apply a stripping solution and scrub it 2 ,3, 4 times, some even more. Same thing happens with wood floor build up. Stripping one time may be sufficient, some times not. Sometimes we get lucky, other times not. For this reason we provide an estimate for the first strip, and if necessary do the subsequent strips at a reduced rate.

Not Sure The “Do It Yourselfer” Is Up To The Task

Some folks call the Manufacturer and get instructions from them. Usually they say to get ammonia and scrub it off with a scrub pad. But most of the time a bucket and a scrub pad will not do it. Be prepared to muscle through it. It is a delicate balance between applying the stripping solution heavy enough so it works, and getting it up quickly.

Frequently we get called after they throw their hands up prefering not to feel like Cindarella under the wrath of the wicked step mother.  We honestly and respectfully encourage you to hire a professional with experience. If you over-wet the floor while stripping it you could damage and warp the boards.

Getting The Floor Back To Its New Normal- A Frank Discussion

Good news is we can reverse the ugly damage and restore the floor. But, a look in the mirror and  a reality check needs to take place. You need to think about why you started using the product in the first place. There was an apparent reason, and a desire for more shine. So once removed you need to realize it may have less shine moving forward, and either be ok with that, or start re-applying it again. If the latter be the case, you may need a repeat stripping in the future. Or, if what you are left with is so unacceptable you may need to sign up for the refinishing process.

We explain everything honestly so that you understand the possible outcomes and the odds. Often it is successful, but once in a while not. Also, we find budget, time line, true objective may still warrant this service. When you succumb to the refinishing we will work to make it as painless as possible.