Wonder If Your “Clean” Hardwood Floor Is Dirty?

Wendy’s Blog
Telltale proof even the cleanest looking, and unsuspecting floors have soiling, in even the most manicured and tended to homes.

Knowing the floors are in no way shape or form in need of refinishing at this time, these customers and others get a sense that they need cleaning beyond what household efforts (done by themselves, the homeowner, or hired cleaning staff can do).

Client calls to have their hardwood floors deep cleaned.

Sometimes clients call to have their hardwood floors deep cleaned. For all intense purposes this client has a manicured home, with not a spec out of place. Being invited in we asked to evaluate their hardwood floors. With everything neat and tidy, we saw what we considered to be a sound installation, Brazilian Cherry.

The floor extends from the kitchen, hall, back stairway, to the family room and again down the adjacent hall. At first glance it showed few issues, some micro scratches from the “pup,” some dings and mars throughout the kitchen, and a faint presence of most likely residue, or pollutants commonly found in homes and on floors.

When asked about the cleaning practices the client reported they use Bona™, a daily floor treatment. All in all that was of little issue, however we suspect it is used very regularly.

Confirming no use of “acrylic” products on the floor, the cleaning should be straightforward for these clients.

Despite regular cleaning this floor had evidence of a film laying on the floor which “wood” be good to remove. And once we confirmed they did not use an acrylic product (shine restorer, wax, or oil product,) we determined our hard surface floor scrubber, which we call our “zamboni” treatment for hardwood floor cleaning was the go to choice to help these folks.

Here is a telling example of what acrylic products (wax, shine restorer, etc.) can do to a hardwood floor- over the polyurethane coating

If however we confirm that an acrylic product was used, we may have to modify our cleaning process. This could double the work as we have to strip the acrylic off prior to the cleaning. Hence, double the time, and certainly an increase in the cost. One way to tell if you have acrylic “out of control”, is to take a hard look at the floor. Does it have a dirty film? It can obscure the finish of the floor. Are there blotches or clouds of discoloration on the floor? Does it look drippy or have a thick, shiny buildup on it? And finally, when you walk on it do your socks get dirty?

Do the “Sock It To Me” Test!

Want to see if your floor has surface film or soiling build up from acrylic products do the Sock It To Me test. This test is simple, put on a pair of clean white socks, and shuffle your feet on the floor, pushing your sock across it, not walking normally. After doing so for a bit, either sit and look at the bottoms of your sock, or remove the sock to see the dirt. If it turned black, well you need either our cleaning process, or stripping and cleaning process to remove it. (In ex, year ago we had a OCD client, self admitted, who went on vacation to a Florida destination. She insisted on moving rooms when her husband and kids’ socks turned black merely by walking in the on the carpet at the hotel.) This is a tell tale sign the floor too is dirty, should you find that with your hardwood floors.

The clients approve the cleaning, and the appointment is set.

The day of the work we arrived, and prepared the property with drop clothes, and other ancillary tools, rags, etc. Working slowing and methodically we worked extremely carefully in the home.

During the cleaning scratches, mars and minor blemishes were encountered, and dirt, film and grease were cleaned off.

As is the usual case, with a close eye on the floor we found imperfections. And while emptying our hard surface cleaning machine (the waste water tank,) there is obvious proof of the presence of dirt, grease, film, and other pollutants that were rinsed off the floor. One look at the waste water and one can conclude there could not be an argument as to whether the floor was clean or dirty!

Frankly we suspected, although a preferred cleaning process, overuse of a good thing can bear impact on a surface.

Turns out this client uses the solution applied by the approved cleaning applicator often. And although a good go to for the floor at hand, using too much or too often can contribute to the soiling laying above the polyurethane finish.

While tucked away in his office, and the wife out of the house, Chris took a video of emptying the waste tank to show them the results of the cleaning.

Often when cleaning without the clients close at hand, our staff often will video tape emptying the waste tank of the recovered water collected from the cleaning. For the most part, there rarely is an instance when the waste water is “clean.” And, in this case, it is no different. So as our team was rapping up Chris showed the husband the milky, dirty water being dumped from the waste tank. Clearly there could be no argument. Now clean, this floor was dirty.

Satisfied with the outcome of the cleaning the customer was pleased (although the cleaning revealed life’s impact on the floors- mars, dents and scratches which we said our cleaning would not address).

Are your hardwood floors in “good shape” but have a film, haze or blotchiness to them?

Our “Zamboni ” process for cleaning hardwood floors may be the right fit. 

This cleaning is a great fit. Deeper than what you can do or house cleaning staff can do, it is a good thing to do periodically. The tool lays a modest amount of neutral cleaning solution (formulated for everyday cleaning of hardwood, and in no way harmful for it,) then collects the soiled water and squeegees it all in one pass. The machine used, engineered for this light duty cleaning process, has components that gently glide on the floor to do the cleaning. All in all this process gives the floor a nice, fresh and clean look.





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