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Question DetailsAsked on 4/1/2014

How do I safely remove construction dust and dirt (from drywall) safely off new hardwood floors? (not water!)

We are in process of having our kitchen completely remodeled and now have new hardwood floors. I've googled cleaning hardwood floors but several that have tried the new Swiffer MopJet say the liquid leaves a film on the floor. I want to clean the construction dust (like chalk) off my new floor to make it look like new (which it is) without the film or water that can damage (expand) the boards.

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

Guess I don't have to tell you that, unless you chose to run the flooring under the cabients, then the flooring should have been the last thing to go in.

Sweeping compound is good - but I would not use the kind with oil in it on a new floor. Many types contain pumice abrasive for warehouse floors, so a bit aggressive for a new floor, in my opinion. Even the pure sawdust type without additives can have bits of metal from the sawmill machinery and grit from dirt brought in on the logs, so I wold stay away from that unless totally synthetic and says safe for finished interior floors.

How I do it - moving around in soft-soled mocassins or sock feet (watching out for nails) vacuum first, being sure to keep ahead of where you are stepping with the vacuuming so you do not grind any into the floor, then gently wipe with dry old towel to get down to just dust film/smears. Then use swifter mop with the replaceable swifter sheets, dampened (not wet) with water. Or just use slightly damp old towel instead of swifter to wipe it up - may take a couple of passes to get all the film off. ONLY IF fully finished floor AND has cured for a month or so, any final film can be removed with a rag dipped in half-strength white kitchen vinegar - not a fancy type, just white apple cider vinegar or equal, as it has no oils in it. Wipe an area, rewipe with a water dampened rag, then move to next area - do not let the vinegar sit on the surface as it may discolor the finish or lift wax. Remember we are talking slightly dampened, not wet.

THIS assumes you are talking a finished floor - if unfinished bare wood, Oops ! Should not have been doing drywall work over unprotected bare wood, especially. You will have to stay totally dry, and to get the dust out of the cracks so you don't have funny looking cracks when finished, will need to dry vacuum/dust first as above, then use OIL FREE compressed air (compressor oil filtered out with an in-line oil filter, or oilless compresser) to blow all the dust and grit out of the joints - maybe using a single edge razor blade or dental pick to hook out any pieces that got ground down in there. An old- flat metal blade feeler gauge set from an auto supply store for about $10 can work well too - canget down to a few thousanths of an inch cracks and seams. Be sure when working joints/seams that you hook the material upwards, don't push it further down in.

I would take a CLOSE look at the floor when done, because if they were working over a new hardwood floor doing drywall work, I am afraid you are going to have bisible dents and scrapes - I just don't see how it could have been avoided, so that contractor (or the GC if you have one) may owe you a new floor.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


When working on a floor like that I always cover it! But that does not seem to be the case here I have used a product called sweeping compound. I have bought it at Home Depot in the past. It is basically sawdust with an oily additive, you sprinkle it onto the floor and I work it back and forth across the floor. If you have the prefinished wood floor with the micro groove sweep it in line with the bevels as well. When done sweep up the piles with a dust pan and broom. I have never seen any sort of film left behind. The only problem is it is quite a good sized box and you might not need that much. Though it is not that expensive and I have even used it on my floors after the house I built for myself was done. It can also be used to clean the concrete floors in the garage or basement. It has a smell much like Pinesol and is not that bad, though that is coming from a carpenter that likes wood.


Answered 5 years ago by ContractorDon


It is a nightmae !!!!! After harvey hurricaine, I had some wonderful volunteers take my sheetrock out. we did not have access to paper to cover the floors. Oh my!!! Since i did not have that much water, I am able tosafe my engineered floor. My engineered floors had bevels. So if you cleaned with a swfter, it doesnt clean the grooves!!!!!!! What i have found to work very well is microfiber towels. they work so much better thaen regular towles. My floors are distressed so it got in every distress too. I had about ten rags and I just used water. I heard that vinegar would disolor the floors. I had to do it about three times to get it out. I would use a five in one tool on top of the towel. Sometimes i used a thin blade. I did it while I watched t.v, I had to get down on the floor casue mopping just didnt do it. I had two feet of sheetrock cut out. I will have the entire floor covered when they put the sheetrock back up. It is horrendous.


Answered 2 years ago by emilye627

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