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Question DetailsAsked on 9/15/2017

Help! I cleaned my hardwood stairs with vinegar and water - now they look funky. How can I fix it?

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1 Answer


Ouch - your wood is likely urethane or polyurethane finished (whether hardwood or laminate), and strong vinegar or leaving it on it for more than a few seconds can dull, bubble, and/or cause it to flake. Or it could have wax on it that was bubbled or blistered.

Hardwood/laminate should be cleaned only with a cleaner designed for that purpose - like 409 for laminate or such.

Repair - semetimes minor finish damage can be sanded out with 400-600 grit silicon carbide sandpaper (working with the grain only) and then recoat with the surface top coat - commonly a hardwood floor wax. If that does not do it, then commonly sanding down and recoating with the same type of finish (which in itself can be tough to figure out) is necessary.

If the coating was a wax, then a normal hardwood floor wax stripper may remove tyhe damaged wax, then just rewax.

In the worst case, if a prefinished laminate (not true hardwood) with a plastic coating and that was blishered or starting to peel, many which are real wood laminate can be sanded down to remove the clear coat and then refinished, but the printed-plastic types (where the "wood" image is just printed on a plastic layer and encapsulated in another plastic clear coat) there is no repair other than replacement, because that printed layer is only a few mils thick and underlain by hardboard or particle board or such.

You may have to experiment a touch to see if you can repair it yourself - otherwise Flooring - Sales/installation/Repair is probably your best Search the List category to find a contractor to do it.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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