by Written by Rick McGrath
SEE A GREAT, TRUTHFUL BLOG, BASED ON REAL, FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE, FROM A HARDWOOD FLOORING INDUSTRY EXPERT, ABOUT THE LONG TERM DAMAGE TO YOUR FLOORS CAUSED BY THE USE OF VINEGAR AND WATER MAINTENANCE PROCEDURES:
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rick McGrath was the top producing Salesman for the Bruce Hardwood Product sold in Nashville TN between 1982 and 1990. Working for the local distributor of that product, Rick frequently inspected complaints on behalf of Bruce Hardwood. Rick frequently encountered floors which were improperly maintained with Vinegar and Water, or had been subjected to applications of Oil Soaps, Citrius Cleaners, Wet Mopped or mistreated with Silicone Dusting Sprays, or top coated with Acrylic polishes, waxes or oils, resulting in deteriorating or permanently damaged hardwood.
VINEGAR AND WATER ON HARDWOOD--STOP THE MADNESS!!!!
Vinegar and Water as Maintenance on a Hardwood Floor: PLEASE! STOP THE MADNESS! This is not
"tried and true" this is "sad and makes me blue" Vingegar and Water is not good for you! An Old Wives tale
that will not die! Vinegar's an ACID that will make you cry! Do you want the edges of your wood floor to Crack? Do You want the joints to all turn black?
Do you wish for your floor to cup and curl? It will make our floor so ugly-- you'll want to hurl! This recomendation is without foundation! It's sure to lead to complete aggravation!
Anybody find some science to back this up? No indeed, it's a tragic, and expensive Maintenance "MISDEED"
The odds are great that your floor has a polyurethane top coat. Acid (Vinegar) will eventually cause it to soften and dull. Along the edges where most of this liquid will accumulate and eventually absorb into the wood itself
there is a high likilhood that you'll develop black lines from the acid attacking the wood , where the urethane stops at the edge of the plank. The inside of the tongue and goove concealed beneath the surface,are not sealed, and thus subject to acid attack.
Don't be at all surprised, if your engineered wood floors begn to chip, crack, and the top veneer begins to peel back along the edges either. Acid attacks the bond line between the layers, and each subsequent washing only makes matters worse. Solid wood floors react with great energy to a drink of water, because wood whether it is alive or turned into flooring continues to readily absorb water-- and when wood absorbs water, it swells. If it can't expand sideways, because it's nailed down between two walls, that wood is going to move in the direction where it has the least resistance-- Thus it will move skyward. That's why you will see the
floor trying to from the letter "C" laying on it's back. It's swelling from moisture and it has no where to go but up.
There are many fine alcohol based cleaners out there like our Sentinel Hardwood Floor Spray Cleaner, Basic Coatings Squeaky Cleaner and Bona Kemi's Hard Surface Spray Cleaner. If your retail salesperson tells you that you can maintain with vinegar and water-- Run Forest! Run! because if they don't know how the floor should be maintained, ask yourself--What else don't they know?
Who am I to claim to be such a big knower? I've inspected hundred of complaints, perhaps close to a thousand complaints on behalf of Bruce Hardwood and other Manufacturer's in my time, and I've seen it with my own eyes and I've had the unhappy duty to tell these consumers that they have ruined their floors, voided their warranties and that there is no warranty relief coming from the manufacuturer-- and if you want to see a sad homeowner, tell them that their floor must be replaced, and at their own expense.
Don't Do it! Vinegar and Water is Bad-- I don't care how many times you hear it said-- "Just say no"
Rick McGrath, CEO, McGrath Discount Flooring Brokers, Nashville, TN