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I know! It’s exhausting to clean unfinished wood. And if you stain it by accident? Well, that’s a different kind of nightmare.
This type of wood is so delicate that we must be extremely careful while cleaning it. There are so many things to go over—the cleaning procedure, the chemicals that can be used, safety measures—a heck of a process!
But worry not, for there is a solution to every problem.
What to Consider Before Cleaning Unfinished Wood Floors?
Unfinished wood floors are a beautiful option for many homeowners, but they require special care and attention when it comes to cleaning. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you begin cleaning your unfinished wood floors:
1. Stability of the wood
When it comes to unfinished wood floors, you must take into account the stability of the wood. This means that you have to make sure that the wood is not damaged in any way and that it is able to withstand the cleaning process without any problems.
2. Type and condition of the wood
You also need to take into account the type of wood and its condition. This is because different types of wood will require different cleaning methods. For instance, unfinished hardwood floors are more delicate than unfinished pine floors.
3. The cleaning solution
Last but not least, you have to choose the right cleaning solution. This means that you have to take into account the type of wood, the condition of the floor, and the specific problem that you are trying to solve.
4. Presence of Patinas
If your unfinished wood floors have a patina, you must be very careful when cleaning them. This is because patinas are delicate and they can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals.
Natural Methods To Clean Unfinished Wood
Step 1- Use A Brush
I am sure that you have got a soft brush at your home. If not, a toothbrush can do the job too. Give it a gentle flick and use it to clean the debris from the crevices.
Do this at least once or twice a week. It’s a harmless and effective way of cleaning the wood.
Step 2- Wipe It Down
Sometimes the dust will stubbornly stick to the wood and a brush won’t be able to do the job. In such a case, take a damp cloth and wipe that area gently. This wood needs to be treated with the utmost care.
Do this once or twice a week. Take care not to use too much water as you already know that it is not water-resistant.
Step 3- Clean Deeper
Brushing may not be enough to remove all the trapped debris from the crevices. If you have adhesive rubber, use that!
Gently press the rubber on the area (do not rub). Soon you’ll see that the rubber is becoming darker. This means that the dust is coming off. You can tear off this part to reveal a fresh sticky surface and get to work again.
You don’t need to do this regularly, once in a while is enough.
Step 4- Remove Stains
As I said earlier, stains on this wood can be a nightmare. But don’t be scared! I’ll rescue you from it.
Surely you have a mop. Mix some vinegar with few drops of some essential oil. Apply the mixture with the help of the mop on the stain. Again, you should be gentle. Vinegar is harmless for the wood and is also cost-effective. The oil is to mask the foul smell of the vinegar.
In the case of oil stains and grease, use 150 grit sandpaper to clean it. Carefully sand the area until it is cleaned. This method is not preferred much but you might find it helpful.
Step 5- How To Remove a Sticky Mess?
Chewing gum is great until it gets stuck to your wood. Take some ice cubes in a plastic zippered bag then put it on the mess. Wait till the gum hardens and then use a knife or a spatula to carefully remove the gum.
You can also use this method if pine tree sap gets spilled on your wood.
Remember to be very careful when using the knife/spatula. You do not want to harm your fragile wood.
Chemical Methods For Deep Stains
These are stains that we should fear. Now, there is no other option than to apply chemicals to your wood to get rid of them.
1. Buy a bottle of acetone and pour some drops of it on a dry cloth. Gently wipe the affected area and soon you’ll find no stains! Remove the residue using fine-grit sandpaper.
2. Another chemical that can be used is mineral spirits. It is a petroleum-based product. Use a soft pad to apply it to the stain gently. Don’t apply an excessive amount as that can harm your wood.
3. Using Trisodium Phosphate powder is another way of cleaning deep stains. Apply it with a soft brush and then rinse the area with warm water. Do not forget to soak up the excess moisture.
The above chemicals can’t be used just like that. They are volatile and highly inflammable, so you need to take some necessary safety measures to protect yourself.
Safety Measures To Take While Using the Chemicals
1. Cover your hands with thick gloves before touching the chemicals to avoid any irritation or harm.
2. It is better to use a respirator while using them. The room you are working in must have a good ventilator to avoid noxious fumes.
3. Never use these chemicals in front of anyone having respiratory problems.
4. Go through all the directions given on the cover of the chemicals thoroughly. Do not use them without any prior knowledge about them. If possible, consult an expert.
How to Get Sticky Stuff Off Unfinished Wood?
There are a few ways that you can go about removing sticky stuff from unfinished wood. One way is to use a putty knife or another sharp object to scrape it off. Another way is to use a solvent such as a nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.
You can also try using a mixture of baking soda and water. Whichever method you choose, be sure to test it on a small area first to make sure that it does not damage the wood.
If you are having trouble removing sticky stuff from unfinished wood, you may want to try sanding the area first. This will help to rough up the surface and make it easier for the solvent or other method to work. Just be sure to sand lightly so that you do not damage the wood.
Once you have removed the sticky stuff from the unfinished wood, you will need to clean and protect the area. You can do this by applying a thin layer of polyurethane or another type of sealer. This will help to keep the area protected from future damages.
How to Tell if Your Wood is Unfinished?
If you’re not sure whether your wood is unfinished, there are a few things you can look for.
One way to tell is by looking at the surface of the wood. If it’s rough or uneven, it’s likely unfinished. You can also try sanding a small area to see if the wood is smooth underneath. If it is, then it’s probably unfinished.
Another way to tell is by looking at the ends of the wood. If they’re not cut cleanly or evenly, then the wood is likely unfinished.
Finally, you can try soaking a small piece of the wood in water. If it absorbs the water quickly, then it’s unfinished.
If you’re still not sure, it’s always best to ask a professional. They’ll be able to tell you for sure whether the wood is unfinished.
How To Maintain Unfinished Wood?
1. Gentleness Is the Key-
This is the most important point. Do not forget how fragile your untreated wood is. Treat it as gently as you would treat a baby. Do not use any sharp objects on it. For regular dusting, use brushes, brooms, or a vacuum cleaner.
2. Keep It Away From Moisture-
You can use a damp cloth whenever needed but do not leave the wood moistened. Soak up the moisture as fast as possible. Avoid placing wet objects on your wood.
Do not wait for the spill to turn into your nightmare. Clean it as fast as possible. Try to avoid the chemicals unless they are absolutely necessary. Apply the natural methods first.
4. Protect Your Unfinished Wooden Floor-
Buy rugs and mats and cover the areas where the wood is prone to most harm. DO NOT buy a plain one. It must look good!
Stick to the natural methods of cleaning as long as possible so as to avoid the chemicals. If you follow the methods mentioned in this article properly, you can enjoy the rustic look of your wood without any fear.
Treat it with care and it’ll surely be kind to you too.