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What should I not be using to clean my wood flooring and/or surfaces?

There are many cleaners that should NOT be used on your wood floor and wood surfaces, here is a list of a few examples:


Waxy cleaners (Pledge)

Murphy’s Oil 

Old English 

Orange Glow

What kind of cleaner should I purchase for my wood floor?

There are many different “hardwood flooring cleaners” on the market. In fact, visit your local hardware store or Home Depot to see how overwhelming making the selection can be. In the last decade there has evolved new finish types. The most popular being the Hardwax Oil (UV) and or the Water-based Urethane. Unfortunately, most homeowners are faced with the overwhelming task of finding the right one. How do you make this choice without the knowledge as to the finish type and performance. 


There is NO universal cleaner that will clean ALL types of wood flooring because not all wood floors have the same FINISH type. The key is to know what kind of finish you have and what the process is to REFRESH the floor in the future years to come. 


It’s a similar analogy to that of purchasing a car. All cars have different oil types. Better maintenance and quality oil keeps the engine lasting. Your wood flooring can also last a very long time, but the proper maintenance is necessary.


Wood Wellness Wood Soap 


For all Wax/Hardwax/Softwax Oil Finishes:Diluted with HOT Water is the best way to keep your floor clean without using chemicals.Our Wood Soap is a cleaning concentrate and the right mixture for regular cleaning is 1.69 fl oz mixed in 1.32 gal hot water. For high traffic areas, increase the amount of Wood Soap up to 3.5 fl oz of Wood Soap for 1.32 gal hot water.The natural waxes and oils within the cleaner, continue to nourish and moisturize the wax/oil finish that was originally applied by the manufacturer.Using ONLY water is NOT recommended. As with the skin, this can dry the floor finish out.


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How often should I plan on having my floors serviced?

Waterbased Urethane


Every 5 years, or when you start seeing any signs of wear thru in the finish to raw wood. Urethane re-coats typically do NOT require sanding unless you have waited too long and there is too much damage which in that case will require sanding down to the raw wood. Damages such as UV Fading, Deep Scratches, Color Adjustment cannot be done without sanding the floor. Thus keeping in mind that if you have a floor with a “special” texture this texture will be gone and the bevel will be reduced as well. 


If choosing a urethane, matte finishes are more forgiving and show less wear than its semi gloss or glossy counterpart. The elasticity of the finish is what you are after as well. The more the finish coat moves as the wood expands and contracts (and it will!) the less cracking and aging effects you will have over time, as the urethane ages. Also note that the color of your flooring will dictate how often you should have your floor serviced. White Floors, for example, start showing dirt sooner than that of a medium colored brown floor. 


When it is time to have your floor serviced, all furniture needs to be removed to have the flooring screened and recoated. This will require being out of the house until the work is complete and the flooring has dried.


Wax Oil Finishes


Every year, the high traffic areas should be refreshed. This does NOT require sanding and the furniture does not have to be removed, but smaller chairs and tables should be removed so that refreshing can be done under such pieces. By doing the annual maintenance and not waiting until it really starts looking bad, you eliminate the additional costs that can start adding up as the flooring becomes more dry and damaged. More beautiful natural finishes require more care. But look at it this way, the average person has their car washed 2x per month and they wax it depending on how dull / worn the coating of the car begins to look. They don’t wait until the finish coat starts to oxidize and or rust. Preventative maintenance is key. How the product was colored and the quality of the Wax Oil, along with the stability of the construction chosen, will determine how flexible we are in assisting onsite repairs AFTER installation. 


Schotten & Hansen In-House Finish


The Schotten & Hansen way of finishing is different than anything in the industry today. Most manufacturers (about 95%) say wood and water don’t mix. Use ONLY a damp cloth to dust mop/clean the floor. WHY? Because the construction can be in question and is a huge variable when it comes to price. Wood moves, this is a fact, even if it is engineered (it will move more with SOLID). Aesthetically, many products look the same. So what is the difference and why are there some products that are much more expensive than others? Construction, Drying Process, Method of Color Application and Quality of Finish ultimately equals life of the floor. The life cycle of the Schotten & Hansen product, proves that the floor will outlast the person who purchased it. There is value in this. 

What is the difference between maintaining and refreshing wax oil surfaces and a urethane/ lacquered surface?

First we must understand a few differences of the finishes. 


Compare rain boots and natural leather shoes. 


- Urethane/Lacquered finishes would be compared to the rain bootsdesigned to seal over the pores of the wood and coat the surface like a hard plastic cover, in an effort to keep all elements off of the wooden surface. 


- Wax Oil Finished Products would be compared to the natural leather boots which is a breathable product, these products are designed to protect in a natural way.Benefits: Healthy, Sustainable, Nice to the touch, and Natural Looking. 


- Wax Oil Finishes can be renewed by cleansing and using our Wood Polish, for only the traffic areas without removing all furniture and no sanding. 


Maintaining wooden surfaces properly always starts with using the right products and equipment. Just because a cleaning product in a store says it is suitable for hardwood flooring, what is important to know is that not all floors have the same type of finish, so how can one product be used for ALL wooden surfaces. Urethanes in general are considered a hard non penetrating finish. And still there are finishes that I have seen at such stores that can not only damage the surface, but make it difficult to apply a refreshing coat in the future because of such contaminants.Wax Oil Floors are designed to be nourished as you clean. Even using water only on these types of floors can dry them out and damage the finish after a prolonged period. The analogy is this, just as you would clean and moisturize you skin, these particular finishes are designed to be treated in the same way. So by using hot water and Wood Soap you are not only cleansing but you are putting back onto the surface the waxes and oils that it needs to stay protected. 


Even selecting the right equipment such as a high powered vacuum with a brush type head attachment can make all of the difference when prepping your floor to be washed.

What is the proper procedure when cleaning a wood floor?

Vacuuming is key, which is why the right vacuum is also key and worth the investment. In Reading the fine print from most manufacturers you will see the a vacuum with a rotating BEATER brush can actually damage the floor over time and is NOT recommended. This is why we recommend soft natural brush-like heads, like the horse hair floorboard attachment offered by Miele. The horse hair is natural and course enough to agitate and remove stubborn dirt that has settled into the grain of the wood for the micro bevel edge, and the power of the vacuum is strong enough to extract it. You always want to vacuum BEFORE you do any mopping of any sort. Anytime you start mopping the floor BEFORE you vacuum, you will simply be moving the dirt around, making it more difficult to remove it overtime, and when it gets wet the dirt naturally turns into mud. A variety of Miele vacuums are available in our online store at 15% off standard retail prices!

Do I need any special cleaning pad or mop?

We don’t recommend the use of any microfiber pad on floors that have a Wax Oil Finish Application. Natural Cotton Mop Heads ONLY. Over a long period of time the chemical makeup in the microfiber can actually eat away at the finish. The microfiber pads are OK for floors with Urethane Finishes.


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What is the difference between Soft Wax vs. Hard Wax Oil?

The simplified answer is that the Soft Wax goes into the pores of the wood vs. its counterpart which is the hardwax oil, which sits on top of the wood.


Hard wax oil is a hard surface that doesn`t allow the ingress of moisture.


Soft wax oil is soft, elastic, reclaimable/regenerative.

How can I tell if there is no longer a finish on the floor?

You can do a simple water test. If the water does not bead up and remain on the surface, then the finish is gone.

How is it that I can clean a floor 3 times a day, and it still looks dirty and the grain becomes darker?

There is usually a simple explanation for this. 80% of the time it is due to the fact that ONE mop head is being used for the entire cleaning process with few times for rinsing. And even if it is being rinsed it is never completely clean. It is our recommendation that for every 400 sf, you have one detachable mop head to make cleaning easier and more efficient. It is recommended to have 2 buckets (one should have a contraption to wring out the mop head). One bucket should be filled with the Wood Soap Cleaner (per the instructions) and the other bucket should have clean hot water only. As you clean an area of 400 sf, then you can easily detach the cotton mop head and put it into the clean water for rinsing. Then a new mop head is then immersed into the bucket with the Wood Soap Cleaner, and then you move to a new area. When all is done, all of the mop head get tossed into the washer, to be ready for the next time!


The other main reason is that the vacuum used may not have good enough suction or a vaccum was not used at all before mopping. Please scroll down to learn why a good vacuum is important.

How often should I use Wood Lotion?

We are not recommending the Wood Lotion for floors at this time. For wood surfaces that are frequently used (Tables and Appliance/ Cabinets) 2 times per year, or as needed. For wood surface that are less frequently used (walls) 1 time per year

What should I do if after using the Wood Lotion, the surface feels greasy or oily?

Too much Wood Lotion has been applied to the wood surface. Do a normal wet maintenance cleaning with Wood Wellness Wood Soap, and let the surface dry. Depending on your wishes, the surface can be buff polished with a cloth or polishing machine.


Shop the Floorboy XL 300 Buffer Machine >

Is there any such thing as a good furniture/surface protector? What makes them different?

There are many furniture / surface protectors out on the market. For most homeowners looking for the right one, that stays on for over 2 weeks, can be frustrating. The main factors that make them vary in quality? Poor quality of adhesive being used, and or the quality of the materials that make up the pad itself. So the answer is yes, there is such a thing as a better quality furniture/surface protector. We have tested in our own homes the many different options over the last 5 years, and we feel that we have found the one brand that stands up to normal household living which is available in our online store for purchase.

What options do I have if the high traffic areas become very soiled but the finish is still in tacked?

In the past, we would have recommended a professional. But then finding the right professional can become a daunting task. We now recommend the household Baby Buffer. A buffer, that with many different pads, can be used for many different surfaces in your home. Most importantly for wood and stone. With the Wood Soap and the Green Pad you are able to lift more of the dirt from the grain. Once you have deep cleaned an area of 300 sf, and while the wood is still wet, you would use a clean wet mop head to wipe up the excess. Inter changing the mop heads as you did during the normal cleaning procedure. The Baby Buffer can also be used with a White Pad which are for buffing the floors after they dry, to bring back the shine. The Baby Buffer is available in our store for purchase.

What should be done when, after wet wiping Wood Wellness Soap, the floor surface is only partially clean, with dirt stubbornly sticking to some areas?

We recommend wet wiping the stubborn stains more often, letting the cleaning water take a little longer to work, before wiping to remove the dirty water. This should improve or cure the situation. Do not use scouring agents, or scouring sponges, as these could destroy the floor surface, or remove the colour pigments that have been painstakingly integrated into it. It could also cause annoying colour inconsistencies (bright spots). If the spots are caused by iron, pet stains, or fatty oils please call Wood Wellness customer service. 

What should be done when stains have developed that cannot be removed by usual maintenance and cleaning?

We recommend wet wiping the stubborn stains more often, letting the cleaning water take a little longer to work, before wiping to remove the dirty water. This should improve or cure the situation. Do not use scouring agents, or scouring sponges, as these could destroy the floor surface, or remove the colour pigments that have been painstakingly integrated into it. It could also cause annoying colour inconsistencies (bright spots). If the spots are caused by iron, pet stains, or fatty oils please call Wood Wellness customer service.

Why is a good vacuum important?

Vacuuming is one of the most important steps in prepping your wood floor to be cleaned. Why? You remove, with a good vacuum, a lot of the dirt and grit. This dirt and grit can cause your floor cleaning solution to become very dirty, resulting in either using more mop heads to clean your floor and/or moving more dirt around and into the grain of the wood floor. Over a long period of time, this will result in the darkening of the grain.

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