We moved into a rented house last summer, it has "fake wood" floors - not sure of the brand or type, but the place was built about 20 years ago. We have 3 big dogs, and between their paws and other traffic, the floor just always looks dull. Some areas appear to have been damaged by water/flooding under past tenants. I have tried the vinegar in water, rubbing alcohol, etc. remedies and it still looks dull and filmed. Since it IS a rented house, I do not want to do anything that will either make the floor worse, nor do I have any intention of removing and replacing. I have read that you can't use products like "Mop'n'Glo" or "Future" on these, so what options do I have?
- Use a liquid wax removing floor cleaner
- rinse the floor completely clean with a mop
- apply traditional liquid floor wax with an applicator or soft clean string mop
The floor will have a nice shine. This is how commercial floors in department stores look so nice and shiny. The drawback is that this has to be repeated every so often depending on traffic and abuse.
The top layer of a no-wax floor is applied in the factory, and is designed to last a specific period of time before it breaks down and wears out. After that happens, the inner layers of the flooring become exposed, and this is what gives the floor a dull appearance. Once this top layer is worn out, there is not much that can be done to restore its appearance.
The flooring is around 20 years old, which is near the end of the expected lifetime of this kind of product. You should avoid using harsh chemicals on it such as ammonia, bleach, vinegar, or alcohol. Instead, you should only use a gentle cleanser that is designed for no-wax floors. Harsh chemicals may damage the floor more, and give it an even duller appearance.
However, there are specific products on the market which in theory are supposed to restore the shine. I do not have any experience using them, but they could work. A quick search brought me here: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1423617
I am not sure how well this product works, but it is formulated for Armstrong floors, which are fairly standard.
I totally agree with Jimmy Fix-it. Yes, frequent Mop & Glow-ing can be a pain. But, the only other option I know of is to strip it like Jimmy Fix-it said & then Polyurethane it like a wood floor, this would last much longer. You'll need to get a Flexible Poly or have to buy a Flex Additive to mix into the Poly, so it doesn't crack all over...IF it even has any give left in it, they're usually very stiff & brittle at this age.