We see youre using a mobile device.
Would you like to try our mobile site: m.gsa.gov?
Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
Dusting And Mopping Of Wood Surfaces
Cyclical Maintenance For Historic Buildings - J. H. Chambers
Wood And Plastics
Dusting And Mopping Of Wood Surfaces
DUSTING AND MOPPING OF WOOD SURFACES
A. This procedure includes guidance on maintaining wood
surfaces with routine and periodic dusting and mopping.
B. Historically, floors were routinely swept and
periodically scoured with sand. Spots were removed with
lye. Unpainted wainscots were routinely dusted and
periodically washed with beer. After washing they were
treated with solutions of ale and beeswax followed by
polishing with a soft rag.
C. Historic Structures Precautions:
1. Some historic methods used to maintain wood floors
can damage the wood. To preserve the building,
harmful methods need to be eliminated. THE GOAL OF
FLOOR MAINTENANCE IS TO ARREST DETERIORATION WHILE
PRESERVING THE HISTORIC APPEARANCE.
A. The Procter & Gamble Co.
P.O. Box 599
Cincinnati OH 45202
A. Microcrystalline wax
B. Non-ionic, neutral pH detergent, such as "Joy", "Ivory
Liquid", "Orvus" (Procter & Gamble Co.), or approved
equal, using dilution as determined by tests on material
to be cleaned. Also available from supermarket.
C. Soft cloths
D. Clean, potable water
B. String mop
D. Blunt wood or metal tool
A. Verification of conditions: Before beginning major
cleaning, determine the existing finish. Identify
whether there is no finish, an oil finish, or a varnished
A. Protection: Move and protect furniture as required. Do
not use coverings which will cause condensation.
B. Surface Preparation: Thoroughly dry mop the floor before
3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Routinely dust with a vacuum cleaner to dislodge dust
before oily residue can be absorbed by the wood. DO NOT
USE TREATED MOPS OR DUST CLOTHS ON UNFINISHED WOOD.
B. For Walls and Wainscots:
1. Routinely dust and damp wipe periodically.
2. If surface is waxed or varnished, apply
microcrystalline wax or paste wax to vertical
surfaces. See 06200-01-P "General Cleaning of
Painted or Waxed Wood Surfaces" for guidance.
C. For Finished Floors:
NOTE: DAMP MOPPING OF HARDWOOD FLOORS IS NOT RECOMMENDED
AS A REGULAR CLEANING METHOD. IT SHOULD ONLY BE DONE AS
REQUIRED TO REMOVE WATER DISPERSIBLE SOIL ACCUMULATIONS
OR TO CLEAN-UP ACCIDENTAL SPILLS.
1. Wet string mop with clean water only, no detergent.
Wring nearly dry.
CAUTION: TREATED MOPS SHOULD NOT BE USED ON
MARBLE, TERRAZZO, FABRIC OR FIBER MATS AS THEY MAY
CAUSE DISCOLORATION OF THE MATERIAL, SO BE CAREFUL
IF THESE MATERIALS ARE USED ON NEARBY SURFACES,
EITHER AS A FLOOR MATERIAL OR WALL COVERING.
a. Cleaning should be planned to require as few
steps as possible. If the area to be swept is
less than 8' wide, the mop should be pushed in
parallel paths the full length of the room,
stopping only to use a radiator brush or putty
b. When the space to be cleaned is wider than 8',
the mop can be swung in an arc taking in an
area as wide as comfortable for the arm reach
of the operator. The mop should be lifted
from the floor only to transfer the
accumulated dust to a dust pile.
2. Start mopping by drawing the mop close to but not
touching, the baseboard. Work back parallel to the
baseboard using long continuous side to side
strokes and keeping the mop heel on the floor and
the strands spread. The mop should be turned after
each four strokes.
3. Rinse after eight strokes, changing the water when
the bottom of the pail can no longer be seen.
4. Do not touch the baseboard, furniture or rugs with
the mop. Work around furniture legs and in room
corners by holding the mop strings in the hand.
5. If clear water damp mopping does not satisfactorily
remove dirt embedded in the finish, consider damp
mopping with a non-ionic detergent and warm water
followed by rinsing with clean, clear water.
a. Apply cleaning solution with a slightly wet
b. Rinse mop in clean, clear water and pick up
dirty cleaning solution with slightly wet mop.
c. Dry floor by wiping with the mop wrung as dry
D. For Unfinished Floors:
1. Periodically, damp mop using clean, clear water.
MAKE SURE THE WOOD DOESN'T REMAIN DAMP ANY LONGER
2. Scour yearly with soap and brush. Use as little
water as possible.
3. Remove dirt between floor boards using a blunt wood
or metal tool.
END OF SECTION