Can I clean my wood floors instead of sanding them?

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  • Neva Dew Neva Dew on Jul 24, 2018
    You can always clean anything. The answer lies in how dirty, and what kind of dirt you are dealing with. How clean are you looking for? Also the condition of the wood is a factor. Sanding would necessitate refinishing, sealing, or painting the wood.
    • Darlene Duncan Darlene Duncan on Jul 27, 2018

      Of course sanding is an option, for floors with deeper black water stains and gouges in the wood.. (removing a layer of the wood).

      But if the floor isn't sealed with a polyurethane or varathane, it will need the same refinishing as a sanded floor. Either a sealer, wax or paint.

      If you clean a previously waxed floor with varsol & steel wool. When it is dry, it is just as exposed as sanded wood..


      I would rather open a window to clean with Varsol, than have to deal with the dust from sanding, which can be a tricky method on softwood floors like pine. If you're new to sanding floors, gouging and burn marks can be an issue.

      Whereas the results of cleaning with varsol & steel wool, are only dependant on how well each section is wiped over with a clean rag, before moving on to the next area with the varsol and steel wool..

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 24, 2018

    If they've been exposed to use, waxed, etc. for decades I'd say no. Sure, you could make them look better but if you're even asking, you know what you need to do lol!

    • Darlene Duncan Darlene Duncan on Jul 28, 2018
      Cleaning floors with varsol and steel wool, strips years of wax and dirt buildup off the wood.
      Unless there are deep black water marks and chunks of wood missing, this method works as well as sanding. Even then, depending on how deep stains are into the wood, even sanding won't help, if you have to remove a lot of the surface with a sander. Sanding can be tricky if you're not experienced, burns and ruts can happen, causing damage for nothing.
  • Darlene Duncan Darlene Duncan on Jul 24, 2018
    First clean it with varsol and fine steel wool. Work in small areas wiping with a clean rag as you go.. When the floor is cleaned to your liking, and it's dried, then put a couple of coats of floor paste wax on it, buffing between coats. When you're done, the floor should look like it was refinished and varathaned. My mom did this for decades, on the oak floors in the house I grew up in. I also did it in the first house I bought, after lifting up old shag carpet :P
  • Darlene Duncan Darlene Duncan on Jul 26, 2018

    It's paint thinner..

    "Varsol* is a brand name for a premium quality, pure, low odour paint thinner with a medium to fast evaporation rate. Its low odour and low flammability makes it safer to use indoors than other solvents and thinners."

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 29, 2018

    Varsol appears to be something so noxious that it's not even for sale in the US.

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