Oil splatter on wood floors

schoolhouse_gwDecember 24, 2010

I'm so ticked off. This has never happened before, but I had something frying in a skillet and when I checked on it, oil was splattering everywhere and all over the floor directly below. I use olive oil to cook with.

You can imagine what that area of the floor looks like now, dark spots sprinkled all over. My question, what would be a good cleaner to try and lift that oil up? I quickly got a paper towel to try and dob it up, but that didn't do much good. The floor has never had poly on it, just the old patina remains (which I love). I was wondering if Dawn dish washing liquid would do anything?

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liriodendron

It may abate over time by gradually spreading out laterally which will lighten the spots relative to their surroundings, but if you want to hurry it along you could try a couple of things:

Dawn Power Dissolver; Shout, mineral spirits; grain alcohol. All might be solvents of the grease. These should be tested using a Qtip in the saturated solvent, followed by copious blotting, and/or rinsing in water (esp. with Dawn Power Dissolver or Shout).

If you have one, a steam cleaner, carefully and lightly applied might help re-liquify the oil, making it easier to blot up with paper towels. Even an iron or hair dryer as a heat source might help.

You could always also try using talc, corn meal, or flour to adsorb the grease spots. These could be spread more widely and allowed to sit until they have collected some of the grease. Then vacuum it up.

Also, if worse comes to worst then an overall washing, or oiling will blend help the spots in.

I expect you see the spots more acutely than anyone else ever will. That patina you love so much is made up of a history of everybody else's spot obsessions, accumulated over time.

Get yourself a spatter screen and stop looking down!

L.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 11:01PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Thanks for the great suggestions and making me feel better, L. Merry Christmas.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2010 at 12:08PM
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brickeyee

Paint thinner is about the least harmful of the solvents that will remove oil.

It may take repeated applications, and even letting it soak in some to lift the oil sots if they have gotten into the fiber of the wood.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 3:02PM
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fuzzywuzzer

Oh schoolhouse, I feel your pain! I have a wood floor in the kitchen. Never poly'ed, just waxed. Except that I neglect the waxing and it really doesn't have much wax on it any more. So grease has splattered from the stove repeatedly and I do my best to clean it up, but it always leaves dark spots, Eventually, the spots blend into the look of the wood and I stop fretting. But then, as I have already admitted, I am a neglectful housekeeper and don't fret a lot anyway.

I would love to hear whether your spots came out or blended in, etc.

Happy New Year!

FW

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 9:01PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Well, guess what? That's exactly what seems to be happening - the spots are either blending into the look of the wood or I've stopped zeroing in on them. Which ever the reason, they don't seem that noticeable anymore.

Wax? I never thought about there being wax on my floor at one time. According to what I've read, in days gone by wood floors like in schools were "oiled" with special recipes containing linseed oil,ect. But maybe what I see remaining on my floors is a wax treatment. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. What kind of wax have you used in the past?

I really must put down some type of treatment one of these days before the wood dries out completely, it would be a big job but one that I could do now for future owners.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 10:59AM
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brickeyee

"I really must put down some type of treatment one of these days before the wood dries out completely, it would be a big job but one that I could do now for future owners. "

No finidh you are going to appl;y is going to prevent the wood from "dries out completely."

The finish can (at best) slow the movement of moisture into (and out of) the wood as the relative humidity changes.

Heating season has low humidity and boards shrink, cooling season has higher relative humidity and boards swell.

It is never going to stop.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 10:20AM
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schoolhouse_gw

Maybe "finish" was the wrong word. I should have said I need to "treat" the floors some day, i.e. oil them or wax. You can see right where my feet rest on the floor below my chair in the livingroom, sure I wipe my shoes, but that doesn't mean all gunk comes off. Whatever treatment was on the floor is wore off there and in other spots.

Yeah, floor boards swell and shrink all the time. Every so often the bottom of the library door scuffs the floor when I swing it open, then later it has all kinds of room to swing open easily. I'm used to it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 4:49PM
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fuzzywuzzer

You might try Bruce Liquid Paste Wax!

FW

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:46PM
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brickeyee

"You might try Bruce Liquid Paste Wax! "

Only if you never want to put down a real finish.

It is impossible to remove all the residue from waxes so that a new finish can stick adequately.

Older solvent finishes were more forgiving, the low VOC rules eliminated them though, and the water base finishes have an even harder problem dealing with wax residue.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:07AM
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schoolhouse_gw

I think when I'm ready to tackle the job, I'll use a linseed recipe for old floors like the Amish used to use on their one-room school floors. But thanks for all the input!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 9:02AM
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fuzzywuzzer

Brickeyee, thank you for the warning. What sort of wax can a person use that could be removed later for a different finish? And Schoolhouse, do you have a linseed recipe? I would love to care for my floors a bit better in the future!

Fuzzy

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 3:45PM
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antiquesilver

Fuzzy, I've used linseed oil thinned with a little turpentine - no specific formula - on a heart pine floor that had been professionally sanded. It must be applied in very thin coats to raw wood - it won't work over wax or other finishes. Once it hardened, I applied paste wax to act as a buffer between soil/grit & the oil finish.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 4:45PM
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schoolhouse_gw

Fuzzy, as soon as I read your request for the linseed recipe I went right to the box on top of the microwave where I stuff all kinds of notes,ect. expecting to pull the piece of paper right out - well, it's not there; and it looks like I deleted it from my documents on my computer. I saved that for a long time. So, sorry. But if you Google, you'll probably find quite a few old fashioned recipes.

Antiquesilver, love your floor, love your kitchen. My floors aren't nearly as nice as that - but maybe they could be. I have a notion to take a rag and try a linseed mix in a small spot and see what happens. Thanks for sharing the pic.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 6:13PM
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brickeyee

"What sort of wax can a person use that could be removed later for a different finish? "

There are none that I am aware of.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 8:37PM
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fuzzywuzzer

Antiquesilver, Schoolhouse and Brickeyee, thank you for answering. I know now that I cna't do i can't do linseed until I have a raw wood floor, and I will stick with wax for the foreseeable future. I am grateful to benefit from your knowledge.

Also, Antiquesilver, that is one gorgeous floor!

All the best,
Fuzzy

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 9:15PM
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