Sometime over the last 6 weeks during a sojourn in a hospital and rehab facility after breaking a hip, and being out of the house during this recovery period, we've just discovered a bottle of something sugary and syrupy cracked when shelves in a rarely used storage room collapsed. I haven't seen the site yet, but I'm told the syrupy liquid is not only all over the cans and packages which fell off two collapsed storage shelves but is also on an unfinished wood floor. I don't know if it's hardened yet or if it's still liquid.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to safely get all this syrupy mess cleaned, preferably salvaging the wood floor? I've never dealt with such a large sugary spill and wonder if perhaps salt would absorb some of the moisture and dry the syrup out so that it would be easier to clean. Is there anything else that could cut through syrup? I imagine it would harden up if left for awhile, but I don't want an invasion of ants or stinging insects being attracted to all the sugar.
I'm wondering also if a citrus based cleaner would work? Lemon juice maybe?
From what few small spills I've dealt with, syrup isn't easy to clean.
Thanks for any suggestions.
(I realize this is probably more appropriately a Cleaning topic, but this particular section of the forum gets more attention and the mess and the possibility of a permanently damaged floor extends beyond basic cleaning.)
My recommendation would be to either rent a carpet extractor (which is one WITHOUT an agitating brush) and both spray down hot water and suck up syrup at the same time.
(The difference between a carpet "shampooer" and a carpet "extractor" is that the shampooer will have some means of agitating the carpet pile, whereas the extractor won't. If you're trying to remove syrup, you don't want that agitating brush.)
The alternative would be to simply scrape up what you can manually with a putty knife and then clean up what's left with damp sponges.
Gardensprite: I have never had any difficulty cleaning pancake syrup off of dishes.
The real question is: Is the stuff soluble in water?
If it is, it's not going to be hard to clean up if you use water as your cleaner.
yeah, dishs are one thing, but you can get splinters licking it off the floor
Nestor and Conrad, thanks for the suggestions.
Nestor, The floor actually has no carpet; it's basically a subflooring after my father tore the room apart to build a butcher block countertop the full length of the room. He never got around to adding a finished flooring application.
But the information on a carpet extractor is helpful as occasionally we do spill something on the carpeted area of the house. I think we could probably rent one from ACO or ACE Hardware when we need it.
I too have no problem getting syrup off of dishes, but they're relatively nonporous, unlike wood.
Conrad, the suggestions were very helpful. We're going to try an ice application using canned ice and see how that works, and perhaps try other methods on smaller areas to test which is most effective.
I've seen the spill; fortunately it's not as large as I expected but it's over and on top of cans, jars, and packaged food, and has seeped underneath them and most likely has soaked into the wood. I think some of the subfloor will have to be cut out and replaced.
I'll let you know what works the best.
Nona, thanks for the humor!
Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to respond.
Not that you would necessarily want to do so, but if it cost a lot more to deal with the flooring and cleanup as well as food replacement, your home owners policy might come into play. Depending on what your deductible was, that is.
the cheapo method would be cover with a hot, wet towel.. remove when cool, scrape with a putty knife... lather, rinse and repeat darn near forever until clean.
the subfloor might need to be replaced in the area of the spill because you might never get the last trace of syrup out of the wood pores. carpenter ants, maybe, but not you. that's not a horrid process... mark a square around the mess that nails/screws show gets to the studs, cut so half the stud is uncovered, nail cleats where needed to support both sides of subfloor when the new stuff is installed, then cut a piece of plywood of the same thickness and screw it in.
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Actually, if the stuff is soluble in water, you don't even need to rent a carpet shampoo'er.
Just use a wet dry vaccuum cleaner with a cheap squeegee nozzle like the ones sold at Sears or made by Rigid and sold at Home Depot. Spill some water on the floor and agitate so that the syrup dissolves in the water and then vaccuum up that sugar water. Repeat as needed to get all the sugar out of the wood.
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