Hazy Hardwood Floors
Please follow our Hardwood Maintenance instructions to avoid this.
A leading finish manufacturer, Bona, recommends the following for curing hazy or dull, uneven looking hardwood floors:
Hardwood floors are supposed to have a beauty and luster that bring out the best in your living space. When floors get dull or cloudy, they can be difficult to fix. It’s possible, but without proper knowledge, your efforts to restore the look of your hardwood floors can make matters worse.
Identifying the root causes of cloudy or milky-looking hardwood floors can help get you to a proper solution without hours and hours of trial and error:
- Improper application of finish: If finish is applied over a layer of stain, or previous coats of finish aren’t fully dried, the solvent vapors trapped beneath the finish can create this look.
- Use of improper cleaners: With a market full of all kinds of wood cleaning products, picking the wrong cleaner gets easier and easier. The types of cleaners that were effective years ago might not have a good effect on modern wood floors. Products like oil soaps, paste wax and furniture polish should be avoided since they are notorious for leaving a hazy, sticky buildup on your floor.
- Wax buildup: Floors that have a polyurethane finish do not need to be waxed. If waxing a floor that doesn’t need it, the wax will react negatively with the finish and create a cloudy look.
- Cleaner buildup: When cleaning hardwood floors, less is more. A small application of cleaner on a microfiber mop is all that’s needed to clean your floors. Hazy floors can occur when too much cleaner is used.
- Moisture issues: Water and hardwood floors don’t mix. While water can be used as part of the cleaning process, too much water on a hardwood floor can damage floors and alter its look. Avoid using a string or sponge mop to clean since they don’t do a good job of absorbing water once they’re fully soaked.
To get rid of your cloudy hardwood floor, the solution is simple: dissolve and remove the offending layer and use proper cleaning techniques to restore the floor’s look. Most cloudy floors are caused by buildups left by cleaners. There are different options you can take depending on the severity of the problem:
- Use an ammonia solution: An ammonia solution of 1 cup ammonia per gallon of water can be used to dissolve the buildup that’s causing the haziness of your floors. Remember to use this solution carefully since you don’t to do any further damage with excess water.
- Remove the existing finish: A more aggressive approach, simply sanding and refinishing your floor will get your floors back to normal.The most common cause of cloudy hardwood floors is using the wrong cleaner. Be sure to check with your floor’s manufacturer for their recommended method of maintaining your floor. If you can’t find this information, make sure you use a cleaner that’s designed to clean hardwood floors.
Bona products are specially designed to protect floors and the environment. Bona cleaners won’t dull your floors or leave behind any residue. Find the perfect Bona products to clean, shine and protect your floors.
Kensoks Hardwood Floors Long Term Care
- Use rugs at all exterior doors, sinks, refrigerators, pivot areas, and anywhere heavy traffic occurs. We stand behind the finish manufacturer’s recommendation to not use rubber or foam- backed rugs or rug underlayments. However, these may be a solution for moisture prone areas. Be sure to check initially for oils from the rubber or foam that may bleed into the floor. To do so, pick up the rug after a few days to check it. Continue to pick up the rug every few weeks to check it for as long as you use the rug. Also, do not use rugs with an underside that feels scratchy to the touch. If the rug backing is abrasive, then cover the backing with a rug backing that is non slip and non abrasive. We also have rug backing tape to help hold rugs in place.
- Wipe up spills immediately.
- Dry clean with a dust mop or vacuum, but be sure that vacuum bristles do not sit in one spot and polish the floor.
- Wet Cleaning – Follow the manufacturers direction. We handle all products. Some hardware stores carry Bona products.
- Use only PH neutral cleaner made for hardwood flooring, such as Kensoks, Bona, Basic Coatings, or Pallmann.
- Using tap water, wet a dust mop and wring out. Lightly mist the floor with cleaner and go over the entire floor with the dust mop. Rinse the mop head often (every 30 seconds) to avoid smearing the dirt around instead of picking it up.
- This cleaning removes dust, dirt, and oils, without leaving any residue behind.
- Keep temperature and humidity as constant as possible.
- Keep temperature between 60 degrees and 70 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
- Keep humidity between 35% and 45% in the winter and between 45% and 55% in the summer.
- Be sure that all exterior doors seal out cold air and moisture.
- Don’t use oil soaps or waxes. They leave behind a residue that dulls easily and makes the floor more difficult to recoat and refinish.
- Don’t soak or wet mop the floor. This causes the wood to swell or cup.
- No high heeled shoes, large dogs, or movement of heavy, wheeled objects such as furniture or refrigerators.
- Extreme pressure actually dents the wood fibers, and requires sanding to correct.
- Dents can be removed or lessened by laying a damp towel on the dent and applying an iron for 3 seconds at a time.
- The life of the finish will depend upon the amount of traffic and the cleanliness of the floor. Recoating may be necessary as often as
each year with heavy traffic, but usually every three to ten years. - Recoat the floor when it shows signs of wear, but before the finish has worn down to the bare wood. The finish will not clean properly or dark scratches may start appearing when recoating is needed.
Please contact Kensok’s Hardwood Floors at 701-282-6662, when the floor shows signs of wear.
** The information in this publication represents generally accepted guidelines. However, wood is a natural material, subject to sometimes unpredictable reactions. Kensoks Hardwood Floors accepts no risk or liability for application of the information contained in this publication.