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March 28, 1998

To: Hardwood Floor Care Providers

RE: Never use oil soap.

As President of Heritage Hardwood Floors, Inc., I am often asked how to care for hardwood floors.

The first step is to vacuum the floor often. By keeping the floor free of dirt and dust you will greatly reduce the abrasive action on any type of floor surface that you have. You will need to make sure that your vacuum attachment is of a type that will not scratch your floor.

When your hardwood floor needs to be cleaned beyond what a vacuum can do, you need to know what type of floor top coat, finish, you are trying to clean. Except for certain prefinished flooring materials, there are only three basic hardwood floor surface finishes, oil surface, wax surface and polyurethane surface floors.

The most popular wood floor surface is polyurethane. Polyurethane is the only floor finish that can be used anywhere. The three main types of polyurethane used on hardwood floors are; oil modified, water based and moisture cured. Oil modified polyurethane is often applied over an oil based stains.

Water based polyurethane is usually applied over a water based stain. I have seen certain food products pass through the cheaper water based polyurethane to discolor the wood floor without disturbing the surface coat.

Moisture cured polyurethane, which is only used in commercial environments such as bars and restaurant floors, and counter tops, is only applied over an alcohol-based stain.

Never wet mop, clean with oil soap, coat with acrylic dressing, like Mop and Glow, or apply past or liquid wax to a polyurethane surface floor. You can only damp mop with glass cleaners like Glass Plus and Windex. You can't buff or polish these floors either. When cleaning, you are cleaning the polyurethane, not the wood. Think of the floor surface more as a window or a mirror, if it will streak glass don't use it.

Things that you can use are; water, water and vinegar, water and alcohol and other glass cleaners. Just remember that all abrasive action, rubbing with a cotton rag, will have a slight dulling affect to the surface. If water spots are a problem, clean the floor in the same direction as the wood grain, and it will be less noticeable.

If you get tar, black heal marks, lipstick, adhesive or crayon on your polyurethane floor, you can use paint thinner, kerosene or my favorite, non-abrasive waterless hand cleaner to remove it. You will need a damp cloth to remove the oily residue when you're finished.

The most common mistake is using Murphy's Oil Soap. Murphy's truly claims to be the most popular cleaner of wood in existence. Unfortunately I know of no one who has wood that needs to be cleaned. On Murphy's label it says "pure vegetable oil soap". So you put vegetable oil soap in water then wash everything, when the water evaporates you have vegetable oil soap on everything. Sure makes a lot of sense. The idea is to clean things not coat them with vegetable oil soap residue.

You don't need to believe me, you can go ahead and clean your hardwood floors with Murphy's Oil Soap. Then in five to seven years, when you need to have them recoated, you'll find out. Or read the notice from BonaKemi to their distributors that I have copied below.

Thanks for your time.

Hal Rusche 2nd
President, Heritage Hardwood Floors, Inc.


Clean Wood Floors by Heritage Hardwood Floors, Inc.
930 Surrey Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45245, fax (513) 753-8977



January 2, 1992

To: BonaKemi Distributors

RE: Murphy' Oil Soap


Murphy's Oil Soap was tested as maintenance cleaner for hardwood floors to find the possible effects on future screen and recoats. A 2- 1/4" red oak strip floor was prepared using BonaKemi waterbased finish. The floor was then maintained for four weeks, using he manufacture's recommended procedures. Suggested concentration levels were used on a portion of the floor, with slightly differing levels across the remained of the floor.

Before screening the floor for a recoat, it was apparent that an "oily" residue remained on the floor. While screening, the disk gummed up with a waxy residue.

During application of a new topcoat, "fisheyes" developed in spots, and crawling in some areas was observed. Adhesion on the new finish application was poor with complete failure in some areas

Due to the apparent incompatibility of Murphy's Oil Soap residue with subsequent recoating, we cannot recommend its use as a maintenance program cleaner for hardwood floors.



BonaKemi USA, Inc.
14805 E. Moncrieff Place, Aurora, CO 80011-1207 (303) 371-1411 FAX (303) 371-6958 (800) 574-4674





Oil surfacefloors are rare and can never be used in a kitchen. When an oil surface floor needs cleaning you must reoil the floor with the same oil finish that was originally used. Just follow the directions on the can.

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Wax surface floors also can never be used in a kitchen. Wax surface floors are usually oil surface floors with a couple coats of wax on top. Although wax floors demand a lot of maintenance, many are found in commercial use, due to the fact that they never need to be closed down for recoat purposes. To clean a wax surface floor, you must first remove some of the old wax. When you remove the top portion of the wax, you will also be removing whatever dirt is there. The solvent to remove wax is paint thinner; other safer and less volatile wax removers do exist. Just wipe the paint thinner onto the floor with a rag, let it sit for a minute, and then remove the same with another rag. After this process you will need to rewax the floor.

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Shipping Charges: Current UPS Ground rates originating 452XX plus $.75 per item handling.
To Navigate: Choose a Product Catagory or Subject Link below.********Go to shopping cart
Home *Cleaners * Protectors * Installing * Sanding * Stains* Polyurethane * Safety & Comfort
Wood Vents * Medallions, Corners, Borders & Features * Custom Parquet Flooring Patterns
Prefinish Floor Fillers *WoodWise Wood Patch *Zar Latex Wood Patch * Minwax Wood Putty
Waxs & Wax Floor Cleaners *Unfinished Wood Flooring * Photoghaphs or Our Work *
How to install wood vents. * How to fill the gaps. * How to install, sand,astain and coat a hardwood floor.
Looking for:Hardwood Flooring Contractor in Columbus or Cleveland Ohio? .Index of: 48 Cincinnati area Home Builders?