After use, all oil soaked rags, cloths and pads must be soaked in water and properly discarded in order to prevent self ignition. After removal from job site, oily rags may laid flat in a safe place to dry, such as on concrete driveways. Once dry, rags are safe to discard.
Be careful not to get flooring adhesive or wood glue on the surface of unfinished wood floors, as this will prevent the oil from penetrating and result in a light spot. Should this occur, simply scrape and/or sand off these spots to reach clean wood. In extreme cases it may become necessary to re-sand the entire floor before proceeding with oil finishing.
Although they both are mixed with lukewarm water and mopped onto the floor, they are distinctly different. The Wood Cleaner is only used when new oil or paste is applied to the floor, such as initial application of Master Oil or periodic application of Maintenance Paste. Soap is used for maintenance cleaning between oil applications.
Normal dilution of Soap and Wood Cleaner is 1:40. This equates to 4/10 cup (or 3.2 oz) of soap/cleaner per gallon of water. For very dirty floors it may sometimes be helpful with a dilution of 1:30 or 1:20.
Oil Refresher should be mixed in a 1:20 solution, or 6.4 oz of Oil Refresher per gallon of water.
When cleaning dark floors with Soap, dilution should never be less than 1:40 and sometimes 1:60, as the Soap otherwise may leave a visible and unwanted “haze” on the surface of the floor. Should this happen, simply put a cotton cloth under a dust mop and quickly polish away the “haze”.
All dark wood species, such as merbau, brazilian cherry and walnut, must be washed with Wood Cleaner twice. This ensures that floating color pigments are washed off or neutralized, as these may otherwise impede the ability of the oil to fully harden and may cause water spots to show. If such spots occur, due to inadequate cleaning, in a floor that has already been oil finished, it is recommended to treat the floor as follows:
- Apply WOCA Wood Cleaner on an area of the floor in solution 1:40, using a mop or a sponge. An area of 50-100 sq.ft. at a time is recommended. Leave solution on the floor 2 to 3 minutes.
- Use a buffer (175 rpm) with a red pad and buff the solution into the floor.
- After buffing, remove any excess solution or moisture with a mop.
- To speed up drying time and to remove all possible solution from the floor, attach a cotton cloth under the red pad and continue buffing the floor visibly dry.
- Let floor dry overnight.
- Apply a coat of WOCA Master Oil or Maintenance Oil Paste by buffing it into the floor according to application instructions.
- Let the floor dry completely.
- Apply one more coat of WOCA Master Oil or Maintenance Oil Paste.
- After 36 hours the oil is fully cured and may be cleaned with WOCA Soap or Oil Refresher.
It is very important to let the floor dry completely after mopping with Wood Cleaner before any Master Oil or Maintenance Oil Paste is applied. Any trapped moisture under the oil may cause mildew to develop, which causes black or dark blotches in the floor. It may also greatly increase drying time of the oil.
If the floor has sizeable gaps between the floor boards, a brush may be used to apply the oil. Generously apply oil down the middle of each floor board covering approximately 50% of the floor surface. After 20 to 30 minutes the oil is polished into the floor with a buffer using a red pad. This method reduces the consumption of oil, which otherwise would drip down into the gaps between boards.
As it is usually difficult for a buffer to reach into corners and tightly along walls or base boards, it is advisable to hand rub oil along the edges of a room. This is easily done by using a piece of red or white pad and rubbing oil into the floor by hand. It will blend nicely with the machine buffed area.
When applying Master Oil to a large floor, which may require longer application times, it is recommended to treat an area to a natural break point, such as a doorway or the long edge of a floor board. For best result, tape a plastic cover along this line, ensuring that the plastic covers at least two feet of the unfinished part of the floor. Next day, reverse the procedure and cover the oiled side of the floor. This way, when oil application is resumed there will be no visible break in the floor and no uneven sheen levels between areas.
Sometimes Master Oil bleeds back to the surface from gaps between floor boards as it cures. If the oil has not yet fully dried, it is possible to polish the floor again using a white pad. A small amount of Solvent may be added to the pad in order to better dissolve the bled-back oil.
If the bleed-back oil has had time to harden it can be removed by scraping it off with a sharp wood floor scraper before Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil is applied.
Small amounts of bleed-back oil usually blends well with Maintenance Oil Paste and does not need to be removed. It would be advisable to check the floor two to three hours after the Master Oil (base coat) has been buffed into the floor. If necessary, the floor is then buffed again with a white pad to remove bleed-back oil.
If the floor needs to be covered to prevent wear and dirt penetration due to additional construction, use paper or cardboard. NEVER use plastic, which does not let the floor breathe. If the floor has been covered during construction it may be necessary to clean it and add a final coat of Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil before moving in.
The newly oiled floor should not come into contact with water during the first 36 hours to allow the oil to fully cure. After 36 hours it is safe to use Soap or Oil Refresher to clean the floor.
Tough dirt should be removed by wet cleaning using a solution of Wood Cleaner. Dilute 1 capful of Wood Cleaner per quart of lukewarm water. Apply liberally to the dirty area, then evenly scrub with a soft scouring pad or soft nylon brush. If there is dried on paint or grime, then remove carefully using a sharp wood floor scraper. Never overly scour a particular spot as this will leave a lighter mark. Wipe excess solution off the floor. When dry, re-oil the area by dampening the tip of a Polishing Cloth or lint free rag with Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil and manually rub it in (or by machine with white pad).
NEVER pour oil directly onto the floor. Leave the oil to dry for 20 to 30 minutes before dry buffing it to match the rest of the floor.
Light scratches are best repaired by hand rubbing Maintenance Oil Paste or Master Oil into the scratch using a cloth. If necessary, first clean the area to be repaired with Wood Cleaner solution, which then must fully dry before applying oil. This drying time can be substantially shortened by using a hair dryer on “cool” setting. Leave the oil to absorb for 20 to 30 minutes before thoroughly buffing and removing the oil from the surrounding area. The scratched wood will be protected and lost in the general pattern of the floor.
Deeper scratches or gouges should be scraped and/or sanded until they are no longer visible. Do not use a sand paper that is too fine. An 80-100 grit sandpaper will usually suffice, depending on the wood species. Then clean the spot with Wood Cleaner solution, mixed with water in proper solution, and let dry completely. Do not use a hair dryer for this, as this may prevent the pores from opening all the way, preventing full saturation of the Master Oil. This is especially important when using Master Color Oil, which will need this to fully blend with the surrounding color. Then follow directions for light scratches.
Abrasives of any grit grade or scouring nature will physically cut into the oiled or soaped surface. While the offending stain or mark will be removed, it is highly likely that wood of a different color will be exposed relative to that of the surrounding area, even after re-treatment of oil. A solution to this is to use a slightly darker Color Oil or by mixing a Color Oil with Master Oil to obtain a color that matches the surrounding floor area before applying it to the sanded area.
Whenever an area of the floor has been cleaned or repaired with new oil, it is important to remove all new oil from the surrounding area. This is easily done using a Polishing Cloth or a cotton rag, which then allows both areas to blend by having approximately the same sheen level. If necessary, steel wool can also be used to eliminate the “halo” effect of a slightly higher gloss level in the area around the repair.