The wet moping method uses the same solution but wringing the mop out only a little. Again wet the floor first, and scrub the dirt off with a non abrasive white pad (and in this case a large area can be done). Wring the mop dry and remove the dirty liquid from the floor, then rinse the mop in clear water and rinse the floor once. You can, if you want, buff the floor dry with clean terry cloth rags. Wet mopping need only be done once a month or less, and only when the floor is really dirty. This would mostly apply to a kitchen floor or other heavily-used areas.
Let’s stay with the first group that has new floors or newly refinished floors. The next most commonly asked question is what do I do when the floor gets scratched? All film finished wood floors, no matter how tough the finish is, will, in time get scratched. So now there are two ways to go. The first is to ignore all but the deepest of scratches and plan on recoating the floor every so often. This is what I do on my floors.
On the deep scratches, I will, however, fill them with floor finish applied with an artists brush. A couple of coats will be needed to fill up the scratches that have gone down to the bare wood. Use the floor finish according to directions even with these minor touch ups. A kitchen floor needs to be recoated every 2-4 years and the rest of the house every 5-10 years. A flooring contractor can do this for as little as 60 cents per sq. ft. In every case, the old finish needs to be prepared by scuffing (a light sanding of the finish, not the wood) and a good cleaning to remove all the fine dust that the scuffing made. I use lint free rags wetted with paint thinner. Be sure to let the paint thinner dry off before brushing on the new finish.
The very nature of these durable cross-linked floor finishes makes them very difficult to blend in a small touch up. Don’t be tempted to paint a fresh coat of floor finish where the surface has not been scuffed-sanded and cleaned. The finish will certainly not stick. You may find that you have to recoat a whole board that has been scratched or a whole area of the floor from wall to wall. Before you go out to purchase a prefinished floor, see if they sell or provide free, a matching touch-up kit, with this rather expensive floor. Don’t be too disappointed if the finish in the touch- up kit doesn’t match the floor. Most factories apply conversion finishes are almost impossible to imitate with a site applied finish. In a few weeks of wear and tear, these will be less noticeable. After all it’s only a floor.
The trick is to recoat the whole floor when it still looks good. You must be sure nobody has used anything on the floor other than the PH neutral cleaner that I suggested. A lot of professional house cleaners will apply various liquids on hardwood floors in an attempt to impress you. If any of those treatments in the 10 year period have been waxes, oils or silicone polishes, you are sunk. You can never be sure of removing all of these contaminents, and a recoatng with a modern film finish will either never dry properly or never stick on top the origional coating. Alas, you must then resand and refinish the floor all over again, or join the waxing crowd.
Waxing is not such an arduous task anymore, and the newer water based acrylic waxes are simply appied, left to dry and don’t need to be buffed. The best place to use this water based wax, is a sand-on-site floor that is subject to lots of scratching. For some, the way to go is to use a high solids acrilyc wax. Top Gloss is available through the Cleaning Center at www.cleanreport.com. This is applied to a clean, well-finished wood surface and left to dry. It will give you that high shine you see on commercial floors. You will have to strip this wax off with a Mop Stripper and rewax, but this is only a once or twice a year project.