Now that the holidays are over and everyone is slowly getting back to work, it’s difficult to shake off that feeling of nostalgia, of times spent with family and friends around the fire. Of all the scrumptious goodies you rustled up in the kitchen and how you enjoyed those family meals at the table. Everyone has gone back to their jobs and the house feels empty without them. But wait! Before you start to long for the next holiday season to come around, have you checked your floors well?
While the guests were busy licking up the last morsels from their plates, are you sure there weren’t any that were dropped on the floor and forgotten?
Most homeowners don’t really concentrate on cleaning their floors during the holidays when the family and friends are visiting and as the good days come to a close, the chores pile up. We get many queries at the end of the holiday season on how to clean the floors and bring them back to looking like new.
So we decided to make a cheat sheet for you that you could refer to. Not only at the end of the holiday season, but all year round. With these handy secrets your hardwood, laminate and engineered floors will keep shining and look like they were picked right out of those magazine covers!
(Please remember to use these tips only on wax or penetrating stain finishes. For shellac or polyurethane finishes, a hardwood floor cleaner works better.)
Unveiling the secret
Candle wax stains: If you have inadvertently dropped molten wax on the floor, it would have solidified into a stubborn, ugly blob on your floor. Trying to scratch it out with your nail or a sharp object would either damage your precious pearly or the floor. Despair not! Cover the blob with a brown paper bag and press a hot iron over the problem area. The heat melts the wax and the bag absorbs the liquid to leave your floor stainless. Treat crayon marks the same way.
Grease stains: Grease or oil stains may be particularly tough to remove. Hydrogen peroxide works well on these stains. Dip a cloth and wipe clean for fresh floors once again. Wipe with ammonia after the first chemical treatment. For the final touch, wipe with a dry cloth to attain perfection.
Food stains: Nothing beats a damp wipe for cleaning food and milk stains. Use a piece of dry clean cloth to rub off the residue humidity on the floor before applying a thin layer of wax to restore the look.
Scratches and scruffs: While we mentioned quick tips to wipe off ugly crayon marks (refer to tip #1), used in the right place, crayons can save the day! Scour your child’s crayon box or buy a same colored crayon as your floor and fill in the scratches to even out the look. Buff it out to bring on a shine. And voila! You will hardly see any difference!
If scratches have run deep, you can also use a permanent marker.
Sticky gums: A chewed gum might have stuck on to the floors and after a few days turned messy and stubborn. Do you scrape it out? No! Not until you have given it the cold treatment. Fill a bag with ice cubes and apply it on the area, till the gum crumbles. THEN, scrape it out bit by bit, carefully and slowly. Remember, like everywhere else, patience is a virtue here too.
Water stains: While water can help remove ink stains, it can create trouble areas too. To remove water stains, hold a piece of cotton wool on the floor and press hot iron over it briefly. Else, you can also rub cloth dipped in methylated spirit over the water stain.
For natural hardwood floor stains, apply a thin layer of white toothpaste on the affected area, and rub off gently with a damp piece of clean cloth after about half a minute. This should restore the look of your floor!
Don’t scrub too roughly or you will end up taking off the finish on the floor.
Do let us know which stain you fixed with these tips. We’d love to hear some of your own tips too!