Can You Use Old English on Wood Floors?

If you have wood floors in your home, you may wonder if you can use Old English. Old English is a brand of wood care products that has been around since 1911. Old English products include scratch cover, polish, and oil that can restore shine, hide scratches, and condition wood. But can you use Old English on wood floors? And if so, how do you use it and what types of wood floors suit it?

In this article, we explore how to use old English on wood floors, providing some tips and tricks to use Old English effectively on your wood floors.

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Can You Use Old English on Wood Floors?

Yes, you can use Old English on wood floors, but with some conditions and precautions. Old English is a brand of wood care products that can restore shine, hide scratches, and condition wood. However, not all types of wood floors are suitable for Old English. 

You should only use Old English on wood floors with a natural or stained finish, such as hardwood, laminate, or engineered wood floors. Avoid using Old English on unfinished or waxed wood, vinyl, or tile floors with a non-wood surface. 

Follow the instructions and warnings on the product label carefully and test the product on a small area before applying it to the whole floor.

How to Use Old English on Wood Floors

If you want to rejuvenate your wood floors and make them shine like new ones, Old English products are an excellent choice. Whether you’re dealing with scratches or simply want to enhance the natural beauty of your wood, follow this step-by-step guide to achieve the best results.

Step 1: Choose the Right Old English Product

  • Scratch Cover: Ideal for masking scratches and nicks on wood surfaces.
  • Polish: Designed to boost the wood’s natural shine and luster. Decide based on the condition and color of your wood floor. For example, if you have light-colored wood with minor scratches, you might opt for the light woods Scratch Cover.

Step 2: Consider Old English Lemon Oil for Extra Shine and Nourishment

  • This unique polish contains natural lemon and mineral oil, perfect for moisturizing and nourishing hardwood floors.
  • Using it follows the same steps as the Polish but offers added benefits for the wood’s health and appearance.

Step 3: Prepare the Floor

  • Using a vacuum cleaner or broom, begin by removing all dust, dirt, or debris.
  • If there are greasy spots or sticky residues, wipe the floor with a mild cleaner or a damp cloth to ensure a clean surface.

Step 4: Application

  • Pour a small amount of your chosen Old English product onto a soft cloth or sponge. Make sure it’s non-abrasive to prevent scratching the wood.
  • Apply the product to the floor gently circularly, ensuring even distribution and avoiding streaks.
  • Remember to use a small amount at a time, spreading it evenly. This ensures the product doesn’t pool in one area.

Step 5: Wipe Away Excess Product

  • After applying, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe off any excess product. This step is crucial to avoid a residue that might attract dust or dirt.
  • Additionally, removing excess ensures the floor doesn’t become too slippery or sticky.

Step 6: Cover the Entire Floor

  • Continue applying the product, section by section, until the whole floor is treated.
  • Consistency is key here. Ensure you apply the same amount across the floor for a uniform appearance.

Step 7: Let it Dry

  • Once you’ve finished applying, allow the floor to dry completely.
  • Refrain from walking on it or placing furniture back immediately. This will prevent smudges, stains, and potential damage from furniture

Tips and Tricks for Using Old English Effectively on Wood Floors

Taking care of your wood floors using Old English is rewarding, especially when done right. Here are some insider tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to ensure that your floors look their absolute best:

1. Always Do a Patch Test

Before treating the entire floor, always test the product on a small, inconspicuous area.

Benefits: This preliminary step can save you from potential heartache by:

  • Checking compatibility with your floor’s type and finish.
  • Ensuring there are no unwanted reactions or discolorations.

2. Opt for Microfiber

When applying or wiping off Old English, your choice of cloth can make a world of difference.

Benefits: Using a microfiber cloth or mop provides:

  • Lint-free and streak-free results, preserving the natural appearance and shine.
  • Efficient application, reducing the amount of product required, and saving both time and effort.

3. Tackle in Sections

Working in small sections and methodically moving from one end of the room to the other ensures:

  • Thorough and even product application.
  • No missed spots or overlaps can lead to uneven sheen or buildup.

4. Buff to Perfection

While Old English alone can work wonders, an additional buff can elevate the shine.

Benefits: Buffing the floor with a dry cloth or mop post-application:

  • Removes any residual product or lurking dust particles.
  • Enhances the smoothness, resulting in a mirror-like glossy finish.

What types of wood floors are suitable for Old English

Old English products, renowned for their wood care formulations, are versatile and can be used on a variety of wood floor types. However, always check the manufacturer’s instructions and do a spot test before treating the floor. Here’s a breakdown of wood floor types suitable for Old English:

1. Hardwood Floors

  • Oak: One of the most common hardwoods, it’s durable and has a notable grain. Old English can refresh its natural beauty.
  • Maple: A tight-grained hardwood that’s slightly harder than oak. Old English helps in masking scratches and bringing out its subtle grain.
  • Cherry: Known for its smooth texture and rich color, cherry wood can benefit from Old English, especially to enhance its shine.
  • Walnut: A softer hardwood with a deep color. Old English can help reduce the appearance of scratches and enrich its natural tone.

2. Softwood Floors

  • Pine: Often used for its rustic appearance, pine can get scratched easily. Old English Scratch Cover can be particularly useful here.
  • Fir: It’s similar to pine but with a different grain pattern. Old English can help in maintaining its charm.
  • Cedar: While less common as a flooring material due to its softness, Old English can help enhance its unique scent and appearance if you have cedar floors.

3. Engineered Wood Floors

  • Composed of multiple layers, the topmost being genuine hardwood, these floors can be treated with Old English. However, it’s crucial to be gentle and ensure the product doesn’t seep through the seams, potentially damaging the layers below.

4. Parquet Floors

  • Made of wooden tiles arranged in a decorative pattern. Since it’s genuine wood, Old English can be used to refresh its shine and address scratches.

5. Reclaimed Wood Floors

  • Old wood repurposed into flooring can have many characteristics and imperfections. Old English can help minimise those imperfections and bring out the wood’s history and charm.

6. Bamboo Floors

  • Technically a grass, but often treated as wood in terms of flooring. It’s essential to be cautious when using Old English on bamboo floors, especially since bamboo can be more susceptible to moisture and product buildup.

7. Exotic Wood Floors

Types like teak, mahogany, and Brazilian cherry. Old English can enhance the rich tones and unique grains of these woods.

What Types of Wood Floors Are Not Suitable for Old English

Old English is a revered product for enhancing the appearance and longevity of many wood floors. However, not all floor types are compatible with it. Let’s discuss which floors might not be best for Old English treatment.

1. Unfinished or Waxed Wood Floors

Due to their nature, unfinished wood floors can absorb products excessively, leading to potential discoloration or damage. Similarly, waxed wood floors might react with the product, leading to uneven finishes or potential breakdown of the wax layer.

Examples of such floors:

Common types of unfinished or waxed wood floors include softwoods like pine and cedar, or reclaimed wood which, depending on its source, might be left unfinished to showcase its natural, aged beauty.

2. Vinyl or Tile Floors

Vinyl Floors: Made from synthetic materials, these floors mimic the appearance of wood, stone, or other patterns. They are water-resistant and provide durability.

Tile Floors: Comprising natural or synthetic materials, tiles are hard, water-resistant flooring options. They can be made from ceramics, porcelain, or various other materials.

Why Old English might not be suitable:

Old English is formulated specifically for wood. It may not adhere or dry as intended when applied to non-wood surfaces like vinyl or tile. There’s also a risk of making the floor overly slippery, posing a hazard. Furthermore, unintended reactions might harm the floor’s appearance or integrity.

Examples of such floors:

  • Linoleum: A type of resilient flooring composed of natural materials like linseed oil and cork.
  • Vinyl Plank: This mimics hardwood but is made of PVC.
  • Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles: These are often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture resistance is crucial.

How does Old English compare to other products or methods for wood floors

Old English has been a household name in wood care for many years, but how does it stack up against other products and methods available for wood floors? Let’s delve into a comparative overview.

1. Old English vs. Other Commercial Cleaners

  • Old English: It specializes in both scratch coverage and wood polishing. Like the Scratch Cover, its formulations focus on hiding blemishes and imperfections.
  • Other Cleaners: Many commercial wood floor cleaners focus on cleaning and perhaps adding a slight sheen but don’t address scratches or imperfections.

2. Old English vs. Natural Solutions (e.g., Vinegar or Olive Oil Mixtures):

  • Old English: Formulated specifically for wood care, offering aesthetic improvements (like shine and scratch coverage) and protection.
  • Natural Solutions: While DIY vinegar or olive oil solutions can clean and shine wood floors, they might not provide the same protection or scratch coverage. Some natural solutions can be acidic or leave residues, affecting the wood’s finish.

3. Old English vs. Floor Waxes

  • Old English primarily acts as a cleaner and polish, not designed to build up layers over time.
  • Floor Waxes: These provide a protective layer to the wood but require stripping over time. They can provide a brilliant shine, but the build-up can also dull the natural look of wood over time.

4. Old English vs. Polyurethane Finishes

  • Old English: Offers temporary shine enhancement and scratch cover-up. It’s a topical solution.
  • Polyurethane Finishes: These long-term solutions create a protective barrier on wood floors. They can last several years and provide a high-gloss or matte finish, but the application is more involved and may require professional assistance.

5. Old English vs. Oil-based Finishes (e.g., Tung or Linseed Oil)

  • Old English: Focuses on cleaning, polishing, and scratch coverage.
  • Oil-based Finishes penetrate the wood, providing deep protection and a rich finish. They can change the wood’s color over time, deepening it. While they offer long-term protection, they typically don’t provide the same level of shine as topical agents.

6. Old English vs. Restorative Wood Fillers

  • Old English: While it can cover scratches, it doesn’t fill deep gouges or repair damages.
  • Restorative Wood Fillers: Designed to fill and fix deep scratches, gouges, or imperfections in wood floors. They require sanding and refinishing the affected area.

Pros and Cons of Using Old English on Wood Floors

Wood floors are an investment that adds warmth and elegance to any space. To maintain their allure, choosing the right care product is paramount. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of using Old English on wood floors compared to other products or methods.

Pros of Using Old English:

Ease of Use:

  • Old English is straightforward to apply. No need for professional equipment or a steep learning curve. A simple cloth or mop and the product are all you need.


  • Compared to high-end cleaners or professional wood treatment services, Old English is affordable and offers good value.


  • As a trusted brand, Old English can be found in many local stores and online. Its wide availability means you don’t have to search high and low for it.

Enhanced Appearance and Durability:

  • With its unique formulation, Old English not only cleans but can rejuvenate the look of your wood floors, addressing imperfections like scratches. It can also provide a protective layer, enhancing the floor’s longevity.

Cons of Using Old English:

Potential Residue:

  • While it promises to shine and lustre, Old English might leave a film or residue if not applied correctly or in excess. This can act as a magnet for dust and dirt, potentially compromising the clean look you’re aiming for.

Allergic Reactions or Health Concerns:

  • Like many cleaning products, Old English could cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals or pets. Always check the ingredient list and ensure good ventilation when using.

Compatibility Issues:

  • Not all wood floors are the same. While Old English is designed for a broad range of wood types, there might be specific finishes or kinds of wood that it doesn’t work as well with. It’s always recommended to do a patch test to ensure compatibility.

Temporary Solution:

  • While Old English can address scratches and provide shine, it doesn’t offer a long-term solution like a full refinish or a polyurethane coat might. More intensive treatments are necessary for deep scratches, gouges, or worn-out finishes.


Using Old English on wood floors can rejuvenate their appearance, seamlessly hide scratches, and condition the wood for enhanced longevity. It’s suitable for many wood types, including hardwoods like oak and maple. However, caution is advised on unfinished, waxed, vinyl, or tile floors. Before applying, always test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility. The key benefits of Old English include restoring shine and vitality to wood floors, offering an affordable and easy solution for homeowners. For further guidance and best practices on using Old English, consider checking the product’s official website or consulting local wood care professionals.

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