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Did Rejuvenate Ruin Your Floors? Why It Happened & How to Fix It

Did you recently apply Rejuvenate Floors Restorer and Polish, and now your floors are coated in a waxy, hazy, or streaky film?

If you’re worried that Rejuvenate ruined your floors, don’t panic.

You’re not stuck with a cloudy mess forever. There are ways to fix this problem and get your floors back to their beautiful appearance.

In this article, I explain what causes Rejuvenate to leave a film on your floors and what you can do about it.

Let’s get started.

Use the links below to navigate the article:

Why Does Rejuvenate Leave a Hazy Film on Your Floor?

The hazy residue that Rejuvenate can leave behind on your floors is a sign that something isn’t right.

Smudges on floor due to Rejuvenate
Smudges on floor due to Rejuvenate

In fact, Rejuvenate is designed to do the opposite and make your floors shiny and bright.

So why does Rejuvenate sometimes leave behind a hazy film?

Floor Material Is Not Compatible

First, you may have used Rejuvenate Restorer on an incompatible surface, such as a waxed or oiled floor.

It’s also possible that you chose the wrong Rejuvenate product.

For example, the All Floors Restorer is designed for sealed surfaces, including laminate, hardwood, ceramic tile, marble, and linoleum that are at least five years old. 

Rejuvenate Shine Refresher is designed for newer floors (less than five years old). 

The Wood Floors Restorer is designed for sealed wood floors only.

Too Much Product

Another possibility is that you overused the product. One 32 oz bottle of All Floors Restorer covers up to 650 sq. feet of floor. If you use too much of the product on your flooring, it can build up and form that unsightly cloudy film.

Floors Weren’t Cleaned Properly

It’s essential to clean your floors thoroughly before and after using Rejuvenate products. If they’re dirty, the product will trap that dirt inside and permanently seal it in. 

Similarly, if oils from other cleaners aren’t removed from the floor before applying Rejuvenate, the product won’t adhere properly.

After applying Rejuvenate, only clean the floors with either Rejuvenate No-Bucket Floor Cleaner or an oil-free all-purpose cleaner. 

Steam Mops

Steam mops and Rejuvenate Floors Restorer don’t mix. Rejuvenate cautions against cleaning floors with a steam mop because the high heat and moisture will loosen the product, leading to smudges and streaks.

Floors Weren’t Totally Dry

Before you apply Rejuvenate, the floor needs to be completely dry. Otherwise, the excess moisture will mix with the product and interfere with the application. 

Similarly, after applying Rejuvenate All Floors or Wood Restorer, let it dry thoroughly before walking on the floor. If you walk on it too soon, you can cause smudges and leave behind dust and debris that will alter the floor’s appearance.

On its website, Rejuvenate recommends waiting 45 minutes after applying the restorer before walking on the floor, but I highly recommend waiting 12 to 24 hours.

Always take the time to do your homework and read the product instructions before using Rejuvenate.

How to Remove Rejuvenate Floor Restorer (and the Hazy Film)

Understanding why Rejuvenate leaves behind a hazy residue is helpful, but how do you fix it?

The only way to restore your floor is to completely remove the product from your floors’ surface.

There are several ways to do this, and this section will outline each of them in detail.

Rejuvenate’s Recommendation: Alkaline Floor Cleaner

Rejuvenate has been around for a while, and although the brand gets thousands of positive reviews, the number one complaint is that the floor restorers leave behind a film.

Undoubtedly, the company is aware of this issue.

With that in mind, I called Rejuvenate and asked for their advice.

The representative recommended using an alkaline-based stripper or cleaner from the local hardware store.

When I asked which product they recommended, they suggested Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner for wood and laminate floors and Zep Heavy-Duty Floor Stripper for vinyl, rubber, and no-wax tile. They mentioned that they tested Zep in the past, and it was highly effective.

ZPEZULFFS128 - Zep Floor Stripper

The customer service representative also pointed out that the most common reason for the polish to get damaged or cloudy is inadequate drying time.

Despite the recommendation on Rejuvenate.com to avoid walking on your floors for only 45 minutes after applying the product, the representative said to wait overnight or at least 7 hours to allow the floors to dry completely.

When using Zep or any other alkaline floor cleaner to remove the film caused by Rejuvenate, you’ll need a mop, a gallon or larger mop bucket, warm (but not hot) water, and the cleaner.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floor.
  2. Reference the alkaline stripper’s product label and dilute it with water per the instructions.
  3. Use your mop to apply the diluted stripper to the floors carefully.
  4. Allow the floor to dry completely.
  5. Evaluate the results and re-apply the diluted solution if necessary.

Note: Always read and follow the instructions on the label before applying Zep or any other cleaner to your floors. The steps can vary by brand and product.

Alternative Method 1: Dish Soap and Warm Water

The soap and water method for removing Rejuvenate is probably the easiest since it only requires simple household materials that you likely have on hand. All you need is a mop, a bucket, warm water, and a bottle of regular dish soap.

The steps are straightforward:

  1. Thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floor.
  2. Mix a gallon of warm water with about two tablespoons of soap.
  3. Use your mop to scrub the area, applying pressure as you go.
  4. Rinse the floor by mopping again with just water.
  5. Allow the floor to dry.
  6. Repeat until the floor regains its original appearance.

This method isn’t as effective on heavily polished floors, so if you’ve used more than one coat of Rejuvenate on your floor, you may want to try Zep or skip ahead to a more intensive method.

Alternative Method 2: White Vinegar Solution

Removing Rejuvenate using vinegar

Another highly effective and simple way to remove Rejuvenate is by using white vinegar and water.

Most people have white vinegar on hand, and the only other materials needed are a mop, broom, bucket, and some warm water.

To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully sweep the floor and remove all dust and debris.
  2. Fill your bucket with one gallon of warm water and ½ cup of white vinegar.
  3. Use a mop to thoroughly scrub the affected area, making sure to apply pressure.
  4. Rinse the floor by mopping again with just water.
  5. Allow the floor to dry completely.
  6. Repeat the process as needed.
  7. Move on to a different method if you do not see improvement after two or three attempts.

Alternative Method 3: Glass Cleaner

Removing Rejuvenate using glass cleaner

Using Windex or any other glass cleaning solution can be an effective way to remove Rejuvenate from your floors.

Besides the glass cleaner, you’ll need a broom, a mop, a bucket, and warm water for this method.

Once you have your materials, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully sweep the floors clean.
  2. Spray a 4×4 area directly with your glass cleaner.
  3. Allow the cleaner to sit for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Use a damp mop to wipe down the area.
  5. Let the floor dry completely.
  6. Evaluate the results and, if effective, repeat this process on all affected areas of the floor.

Alternative Method 4: Ammonia

Ammonia is an effective cleaning agent that is cheap and widely available. It’s another effective way to remove Rejuvenate from floors.

Before considering this method, know that working with ammonia requires extreme caution. Ingesting it or inhaling the fumes can be toxic. Never mix it with anything besides water, make sure the room is well ventilated, and always use protective gear to avoid direct contact.

Although this approach works well for tile, laminate, and vinyl floors, choose a different method if you have natural wood floors. Ammonia is corrosive and can damage the finish and potentially dull the wood.

Besides ammonia, this method requires a mop, bucket, gloves, eye protection, and water.

Once you’ve assembled your materials, the steps are as follows:

  1. Thoroughly sweep the floor.
  2. Put on gloves and protective goggles to prevent possible irritation from the ammonia.
  3. Open windows and doors to ensure adequate airflow and ventilation in the room.
  4. Mix one cup of ammonia per gallon of water.
  5. Use your mop to thoroughly scrub the affected area, applying pressure as you go.
  6. Rinse the floor by mopping again with just water.
  7. Allow the floor to dry.
  8. You may need to mop several times to remove all of the residue.

Tips and Considerations for Removing Rejuvenate

Most people in this situation are anxious to remove the film and get their floors back to normal as fast as possible — and I totally understand that.

But before you start, certain practices can prevent costly mistakes and further problems.

Test in a Small Area

Whichever method you choose, always test the cleaning solution/floor stripper on a small, inconspicuous area of your floor. Even if a product is advertised as safe for the type of floors in your home, there’s always a chance that it will react unexpectedly when you apply it. Always allow the floor to dry completely before evaluating the results. Sometimes it looks like it’s working when the floor is wet, but not after it dries.

Clean the Mop

Clean your mop periodically as you remove the Rejuvenate from your floors. Otherwise, the product will collect on the mop and undo your hard work.

Don’t Soak Wood Floors

If you are cleaning wood floors, don’t oversaturate them with water or other liquids. It’s better to use a spray bottle full of a solution to “spritz” the floor as you go rather than dipping your mop into a bucket of water and then applying it to the flooring. Excess water can seep into the cracks between the floorboards. This causes the wood to shrink and swell and leads to cupping, warping, and potentially permanent damage.

Use the Right Method for Your Floor Material

Before you start, make sure the cleaner or floor stripper you choose is compatible with the type of floors you’re cleaning. Be especially careful if you have natural wood floors.

The film left behind by Rejuvenate Floor Restorer won’t permanently ruin hardwood floors, but harsh cleaners like Zep Floor Stripper and ammonia can.

Even vinegar mixed with water can break down the finish on hardwood if you apply too much or let it soak for too long.

Ultimately, if you try various methods but still can’t get the Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer off your flooring, you should call in a professional. You can get free, no-obligation quotes from local flooring professionals on HomeAdvisor.com.

Bottom Line: Rejuvenate Did Not Permanently Ruin Your Floors

It’s easy to panic when you look down to find your beautiful floors completely coated in an ugly, hazy film. But there’s no need to stress.

This problem is common and fixable.

The most common culprits are:

  • Using the wrong Rejuvenate product or too much of it
  • Not cleaning the floor thoroughly before applying it
  • Not allowing the floors to dry completely after applying it
  • Cleaning the refinished surface with a steam mop

If your floors are a mess after using Rejuvenate and you need a quick solution to remove the film left behind, start with the method that Rejuvenate recommends: cleaning the floor with an alkaline-based floor stripper or cleaner such as Zep.

If that doesn’t work, move on to one of the alternative methods: dish soap and water, vinegar, Windex, or ammonia.

In general, you may want to try using a different floor polish/restorer next time. I’ve had a lot of success using Bona Polish, and many others have, too. However, if you dig into the reviews, you’ll find that all floor restorers and polishes have at least a handful of complaints about cloudy coatings after use.

No matter which brand of floor polish or restorer you use, always test it in a small, less visible area first, and let it dry completely before evaluating whether to use it on the rest of your flooring.

Have you had success removing Rejuvenate and the hazy film it can leave behind from your floors? Let me know in the comments below.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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8 thoughts on “Did Rejuvenate Ruin Your Floors? Why It Happened & How to Fix It”


  2. I have used Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer on my luxury vinyl floors and I have , not only hazy places ,but also scratchy looking places and scuffed marks. My floors are less than a year old but is seems the more things I try to use to correct the problems the worse my floors look ! Could the Rejuvenate Restorer caused the scuffed marks and scratchy looking places ?

    • Hi Elaine – The chances that Rejuvenate causes scratches or scuff marks are slim. However, maybe it is making those marks more noticeable. Contact the installer and send them pictures. They should be able to help.

  3. I have hardwood floors that have a hazy look that I need to take up. There is a sealer on the floors underneath. I hired a flooring company that doesn’t sand or use such harsh methods of restoring the floor. He has the large buffer type equipment and has been in business for 10 yrs and has never run into the problem here. When he sprayed the stripper on the floor the wax and sealer bubbled up and had to be removed with a scraper on hands and knees. it has taken days and he is still not finished of a small area, kitchen, laundry room and breakfast area. All has required hands and knees scraping. It is not finished yet. I have another area with the foggy look and do not want to go thru this again so will try to buff it dry. He is afraid that it will scuff the wood. I never dreamed when using Rejuvenate that this would be the result. No one knows what to do about the problem. I am 87 and cannot keep working on this with no results or requiring hands and knees and a scraper!

  4. Hi, Andrew,

    I hope others may have shared feedback and that you may have an answer for me. I have used rejuvenate for several years and finally tackled the removal of the film last night and applied Zep. I actually had to do it at least 3 times before the zep would work and start to break down the rejuvenate layer. Now the layers of rejuvenate are starting to break away but I almost have to use a soft plastic scraper to scrape it off my hardwood. Beneath is my old hardwood that looks rich in colour. Is there a better way than using a scraper? Should I simply keep mopping my floor with Zep solution and hope that it will break away on its own? I worry that the solution will strip what is on the hardwood already exposed and truly make a mess this requiring a complete sanding.
    I’m in a mess. Help!

    • Hi Kim,

      Without seeing the floors, I would try Zep again in an inconspicuous area and agitate it with a stiff-bristle brush or scouring pad. The mop you’re using might be too soft to loosen the build-up.

      You don’t want to use too much Zep because that could damage the exposed portion of the hardwood — which is why I recommend testing it in a small, hidden area first.

      I hope this helps!


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