Thin film on my laminate / hardwood floors, what gives?
October 9, 2008 5:51 AM   Subscribe

There seems to be a film on our new floors. Is this due to improper cleaning of the last person here? Or can we clean it up?

So my gf and I just started renting a new place. There's a hodge-podge of laminate flooring, carpet, and hardwoods throughout. Our hardwoods/laminate seem to have a thin film on it that feels a little like grease. We've tried to clean it up via a swiffer wet jet but no luck. How can I figure out what it is? Is it excess wax? Is it from improper cleaning? Is it just leftover soap from the initial cleaning? (I think the swiffer would have gotten it if this was the case)

Open to any suggestions you may have.
posted by justinlilly to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It could well be grease, depending on proximity to the cooking area, and whether there's sufficient cooking fume extraction going on; but then you'd find the same substance on the walls and ceiling. If it's soap, it ought to clean up really easily with just water. Could also be the remains of a waxing attempt gone wrong.

Whatever it is, it'll probably come off with a stronger floor cleaning product; but as with all such things, test on an inconspicuous area first.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:42 AM on October 9, 2008

Adding this to my favorites because I seem to have the same problem with my hardwood/laminate floors. I cannot for the life of me find a way to clean the dullish film off them.

It doesn't feel greasy, it just looks dull. I have tried cleaning with Murphy's Oil Soap, Pine-Sol, even a plain solution of hot water and vinegar. No luck. I'll be checking back for suggestions.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:10 AM on October 9, 2008

I've heard the best thing for wax buildup, if it is indeed wax, is to wash the floor with a dilute solution of ammonia and water. Most soaps are basic and I've heard this isn't good for removing wax, ammonia is acidic and apparently dissolves the wax. Keep in mind: ammonia is stinky and not good to breathe in, I would also advise doing this on a warm day when you can have all the windows wide open and maybe even a fan going.
posted by LunaticFringe at 8:29 AM on October 9, 2008

Wood floors are only supposed to be cleaned with water or water + vinegar - using a damp (not wet) mop. Improper cleaning with an oil based soap (murphy's) could be causing the residue - or any of the other cleaning products. I'm not sure how to get rid of it, sorry.
posted by Craig at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Update: The landlord came back over and cleaned the floors with degreaser and it all went away. No clue what the cause was, but might be helpful to someone out there.
posted by justinlilly at 3:22 PM on October 12, 2008

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