How to remove gummy residue from hardwood floors

Susan Howell


Q: The nonskid padding beneath the place rug in my relatives space has melted on to the hardwood flooring. I can scrape the content working with a blunt plastic scraper, but there is nonetheless residue, and scraping is quite labor intense. I have researched remedies but have not found nearly anything. Is there a way to eliminate this content and the residue?

A: If you search for the words and phrases “nonskid pad residue,” you will uncover a range of ideas, some of which are simple to rule out, since they make minor feeling. For illustration, a person web-site claims to “take Klean Strip Denatured Liquor and spray it all in excess of the influenced surface. This odorless mineral spirit is utilised as a cleansing agent as it assists to split down the trapped padding.” The internet site goes on to counsel ready 10 minutes, then scraping with a plastic putty knife and mopping to take away the leftover padding.

What is mistaken with that? To start with, denatured alcoholic beverages and odorless mineral spirits are distinctive matters. Denatured alcohol is ethanol — also known as grain liquor, for the reason that it’s produced from starch-based crops — blended with harmful, foul-tasting additives, so people today won’t drink it and so suppliers really do not have to pay back taxes as if it were an alcoholic beverage. Mineral spirits, a more refined model of paint thinner, is a petroleum-primarily based product or service. “Odorless” on the label implies it has been refined even more to strip it of some of the smelliest — and most poisonous — ingredients.

Alcoholic beverages, denatured or not, and mineral spirits, with or without having the most poisonous elements, are both of those solvents, but they really don’t automatically dissolve the very same factors. Denatured alcoholic beverages can injury some wood finishes. Mineral spirits, while, is most likely secure. But even if you were being to test and uncover that each solvents dissolve or at least soften the residue on your flooring, you’d learn that the evaporation price also issues. Alcohol evaporates very speedily, which is why it is made use of sparingly in some ground cleaners it helps the flooring dry quickly. For eliminating padding residue, the sluggish evaporation fee of mineral spirits is an asset it provides you time to take out the softened goo just before it rehardens.

How to cleanse and care for hardwood flooring

The information to use a plastic putty knife is great, but mopping to remove the final residue is negative information, if by mopping a person suggests having out a mop, swishing it in water, then utilizing the mop to slosh the h2o onto the flooring, so you can wash it. Introducing as well substantially h2o is normally a bad idea when cleansing wood flooring, simply because the dampness can make the boards swell and buckle.

So, what do you use? Numerous sites propose WD-40, which is mainly mineral spirits additionally a light-weight oil. But Brett Miller, vice president of technical expectations, schooling and certification for the Nationwide Wood Flooring Affiliation, reported in an e mail that WD-40 may problems some floor finishes. Plain mineral spirits would be a greater selection, he reported.

Test the solvent in a small, out-of-the-way region, this kind of as in a closet, to make absolutely sure it doesn’t impact the flooring finish. Then test a tiny location wherever the rug pad was to guarantee it gets rid of or at the very least softens the residue sufficient for you to scrape it off. Miller warned that you could discover that the residue will not appear off absolutely, even with a solvent.

“Many of the lesser-high-priced rug pads are coated with adhesives that are intended to increase the grip,” he wrote. “This can destruction any wooden floor finish. Quite a few carpet rug pads consist of chemical substances these kinds of as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or phthalates, which can leach into and bond to the floor finish more than time.” Some pads even discolor the wooden itself, he stated. When that takes place, the only remedy is to sand and refinish the flooring.

If you confirm that the solvent is ideal, tackle a even bigger space, but not so massive that you can’t easily get to throughout it. Wear chemical-resistant gloves, ensure there is fantastic ventilation and make sure no open up flames are nearby. If you are utilizing mineral spirits, pour some onto a fabric pad, then wipe throughout the floor never pour it in a puddle. For WD-40, use the very same method or spray it on. Hold out for the residue to soften, possibly 5 to 10 minutes, then wipe it up with a terry fabric or other rough-textured rag. Refold or rotate the cloth just after each and every move, so you really don’t smear the gunk over a wider area. On stubborn areas, use a plastic spatula. At the time you have removed all visible residue, make a closing move with a very little more solvent and a cleanse fabric.

Last but not least, clear away the oily residue remaining at the rear of from the mineral spirits or WD-40. Mix a single capful of a apparent hand dishwashing detergent, this sort of as Dawn, with about two cups of lukewarm water. Dip a thoroughly clean fabric into that, and wring it out so it’s damp, then wipe down an place. Repeat, but with distinct water and a thoroughly clean fabric, then buff dry with yet an additional clear cloth. Then clean up the subsequent region. By functioning in sections, you can get the flooring dry as rapidly as attainable. Refold and rotate the cloths often, or switch to refreshing ones.

To prevent this issue from taking place once again, store for a nonskid pad which is labeled as secure to use on hardwood flooring.

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