How To Clean Old Hardwood Floors After Removing Carpet

Hardwood is durable, classy, provides warmth, and is good for air quality. However, after living in the same house for years, you may decide to get rid of the carpet and give your hardwood a new look. Knowing how to clean old hardwood floors after removing carpet will make you prepare for proper cleaning, removing carpet pad glues, adhesives, mold, and stains.

Depending on the kind of hardwood you are dealing with, you may need commercial or homemade detergents. Inspect the condition of your hardwood floor after removing the carpet to know how much effort the cleaning will require. Hardwood floors are very delicate in such a way that when stains or liquid are left there for a long time, it may destroy the hardwood floor. Be aware that hardwood floors can be warped by water and heat, so steam cleaning is not encouraged.


1. Gently remove the carpet

After years of covering up the hardwood, it is time to see exactly what it looks like now. Carefully pull out the carpet so as not to cause damage to your floor by ripping the carpet rough and fast. Get a utility knife, tape, pry bar, pliers, dust masks, and trash bags. Ensure to firstly put on the dust mask before you start working. Begin with the edge by pulling off the carpet using a pry bar to remove the nails used to fix it.

If you observe some areas where it is hard to pull the carpet, don’t force it. Instead, use a utility knife to carefully remove the carpet. Move slow and steady while removing the carpet along the tack strips and cut the carpet into long thin strips. Be careful with the nails holding it down so you won’t injure your fingers. Use the trash can to dispose of the thorn carpet.


2. Get rid of leftover residue

Admittedly, this is not an easy task. Removing the leftover residue before the cleaning process is very essential. These residues include carpet tacks, adhesives, and staples. You can choose to carefully remove the tacks and staples with your hands with literally no force so you don’t end up with damaged hardwood. The force could result in scuffs, holes, and blemishes.

To remove adhesives from the floor, peanut butter is a very effective household item.  Apply an appropriate amount of peanut butter to the adhesive stains. Allow it to sit there for about 15 to 20 minutes giving it enough time to have an effect on the marks. The adhesive marks will then break up and will be easier to remove or scrape off.

If peanut butter is unable to do the job, use some dry ice. Ensure to wear a pair of hand gloves before handling dry ice. Get a tin cookie sheet and place a piece of dry ice inside it. Place the cookie sheet on the adhesive marks and allow it to sit for about five minutes. You will then be able to remove the glue marks along with the tin cookie sheet.

Get a soap of your choice and mix with warm water, and use it to scrub the stains and scuff marks that might be left behind. Make sure to dry the floor completely with no moisture remaining.

For hard adhesives, you can need to use commercial products to remove everything.  Use a putty knife or a paint scraper to scrape it.


3. Check the kind of finish your floor has

You should carefully inspect the condition of your hardwood floor after successfully removing the carpet and adhesives. The condition of your hardwood floor will determine how much effort is needed in the cleaning stage. If your hardwood floor is in good condition, the cleaning will be quite easy. It has become old and worn out, it will require more time, care, and effort.


4. Clean the floor

After getting rid of the carpet, adhesives, and other residues, it is time to get to the real job. Water and vinegar could be used for the cleaning process if the floor is still in good condition as well as some dishwashing soap.

Prepare a solution of vinegar and water by mixing a cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water. You can add some lemon juice if you are not comfortable with the smell of vinegar. You can decide to use any other essential oil of your choice. If the floor is looking dull after the cleaning, apply some coconut oil by adding it to the solution.

Dishwashing soap and water is another material you can use for the cleaning process. If you have an unfinished floor, the process is more rigorous than the above as you need to repeat the procedure multiple times to achieve your desired result.  Mop the floor immediately after applying the vinegar and water solution. Add some odorless mineral spirits on a clean towel and use it to mop the floor. Ensure to remove all excess water for your hardwood safety.


5. Protecting wood  floors

This step is optional but applying a coat of polish to a clean wood floor can make it look glossy and hide away imperfections. Whether the floor is finished will determine if it is safe to use a polisher on the wood or not. If you are able to scrape off a little coat from the floor with a putty knife, it is a surface finish and you can polish it. It is advisable to apply a new coat of the best finish to the hardwood floor every 3 to 5 years. Your hardwood floor may require sanding after it has been neglected for years.


How to get carpet pad glue off hardwood floors

This is sure a daunting task but it is quite similar to how to remove adhesives from hardwood floors. If you do not know the appropriate products to use for this process, you could end up spending a lot of money on whack products. You can make use of chemical solvents like mineral spirits, it works like a paint thinner. Getting a quality product will help you achieve the following;

  1. Remove paint and stubborn stains on the hardwood floor
  2. Get rid of black spots on the hardwood floor
  3. No damage risk to the hardwood floor.


How to remove mold from hardwood floors

Mold thrives in environments under the influence of moisture. Several ways to detect the presence of mold in your home are stuffy smells and water damage. Mold releases gases that turn out to be smelly when perceived. These gases are produced as compounds of ethers, aldehydes, acids, ketones, and alcohols linked to damp indoor spaces.

If you perceive stuffy odors in your home, it is a sign that mold is present. When your hardwood is soaked with water especially when it feels spongy when stepped upon. It is crucial to deal with it as soon as possible. Basements are often more prone to breed mold so you need to pay attention to it and check it out.

To remove mold from hardwood floors, you will need a pair of hand gloves, a spray bottle, and a chlorine bleach solution. Prepare the chlorine bleach solution in a spray bottle. Apply chlorine bleach solution to the affected areas and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes, after which you scrub thoroughly. Let it air dry and then vacuum the room to get rid of any dry pieces of dead mold. Don’t hesitate to ditch and replace some woods if required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does it cost a lot of money to clean hardwood floors?

A: The essential materials needed to clean hardwood floors are of daily use and affordable. Though you may need to purchase some extra things, these things are quite easy to preserve. When you clean hardwood, this effort last for a long time before you need to do it again. So, if you really consider this, the cost it requires is very minimal.


Q: Is cleaning hardwood floors easy?

A: Yes, the cleaning process involved in hardwood is simple. You only need to take your time during the process so you won’t cause any damage to the hardwood floor. If you use the appropriate materials and diligently follow the necessary procedures, cleaning the hardwood floor will be easy for you. You can request a guide if this is your first time doing this.


Q: What are the right materials to clean hardwood floors?

A: Dish soap or castile soap, microfiber mop, commercial hardwood floor cleaner (Bona), white vinegar, dust mask, utility knife, tape, pliers, trash bag, spray bottle, and other necessary materials.


Conclusion: How to clean old hardwood floors after removing carpet

Carpets placed on hardwood floors get dirty with time and egular cleaning is required to keep it in shape as well as the hardwood under it. There is no hard guide to cleaning old hardwood floors after removing carpet. You only need to be patient while cleaning the hardwood floor and try as much as possible to use quality products and materials. Avoid causing damage to your wood floor while removing carpet pad residue and stains. We hope this article on how to clean old hardwood floors after removing carpet was an eye-opener for you on the necessary procedures for you to follow in cleaning your old hardwood floor.