To revive your finished hardwood's shine, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il, mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and vegetable oil, and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Work small sections of the floor at a time. Start by spritzing the mixture and rubbing it in with a clean cotton cloth. With another clean cotton cloth, buff that section until it's as shiny as you want it to be. then start on the next section of floor. And so on and so on and so on. The following tips are in Bottom Line's Best Ever Home Secrets by Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen.
* To remove any scuff marks, get out an old, clean toothbrush, apply some non-gel toothpaste and scrub off the scuff mark. Then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
* Depending on the size of the scuff mark, put a little petroleum jelly or baby oil on a cloth and work it into the floor to remove the mark. Once it's gone, go over the area with dry paper towels, making sure there's not a trace of the slippery jelly or oil.
* If a clump of grease dripped on the floor, cover it with 1 or 2 ice cubes. As soon as the grease hardens, carefully scrape it off with the dull side of a knife, or an expired credit card or a spatula.
To clean a hardwood floor, boil 1 quart of water, then throw in 2 bags of black tea (such as Pekoe). Let it steep for about 20 minutes, then dampen a cloth or mop with the tea and wash your wood floor with it. The tea's tannic acid should cut through grease and grime. Then buff the wood with a clean, soft cloth. If your floor looks fine, forget the buffing, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il.