After you have sanded your wood floors, you need to seriously clean them. Remaining after sanding is lots of sawdust, which can only mess up your sealing work. Sawdust will make you nice sealing coat gritty and bumpy. Should you clean them with a tack cloth?
No, a tack cloth is not the way to clean a wood floor, though it does have some minor uses related to wood floor sanding.
Run a Shop-Vac across the floor and call it a day? You will want to use the Shop-Vac (and start with window sills, radiators, door molding, etc. even before vacuuming the floor) to get off the worst of the sawdust. But that’s not enough.
One of the best-kept secrets in the world of home remodeling is called a tack cloth: gummy rags that you buy for about $1 per piece at the local hardware store. The gum is beeswax, and even though it is perfectly dry, it feels wet. In fact, that is the beauty of the tack cloth. It works like a wet cloth but it’s not a wet cloth.
In fact, that is the beauty of the tack cloth. It works like a wet cloth but it’s not a wet cloth. The instant after you swipe a surface, you can paint–no waiting for the surface to dry.
Impractical for Large Areas
If anything, one objection to using a tack cloth for a wood floor is that it would take too many tack cloths to do the floor. Tack cloths, being meant more for small areas like a sanded wood door or piece of furniture, are not practical for large areas.
Residue Left From Tack Cloth
After you have used a tack cloth, your hand will be sticky. This stickiness can translate to your wood floor. Pressing lightly on the tack cloth will reduce the amount of stickiness left on the surface. The larger the area you are working with, the more difficult it gets to maintain that perfectly light pressure, as you get tired and complacent. This may not apply to everyone, but it is human nature to get tired of manually tacking with a tack cloth after several hundred square feet of it.
Some floors installers recommend using a very squeezed-out damp mop to pick up more sawdust.
Class 1 – Tradeperson Content Creator
Kadee Macey at Pete’s Hardwood Floors relates the story of a customer who “tacked” his floor with tack cloths and ended up with such a waxy residue that he had to re-sand the floor.
Class 2 – Company Site
Stain and coating manufacturer Minwax does not say not to use a tack cloth. But they do mention how to clean the floor which is to “use a lint-free cloth
dampened with mineral spirits to wipe the floor and remove the remaining dust.”