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Floor Stripping and Waxing Tips

When people talk about deep-cleaning, you probably hear about stripping and waxing a floor. But what is this mysterious procedure, why do people do it, and how is it done? Read on to de-mystify the process!

Why Strip and Wax?

Floors like linoleum and vinyl are known as “waxed” floors – that is, they have a coating on them that keeps them shiny and smooth. If that wax wears off or ages, it can yellow and flake. This can happen through neglect of the floor, or through re-waxing without stripping it first. Thus, in order to care for the floor, it needs periodic stripping of the existing wax, then re-waxing. This creates a protective layer to keep the floor glossy and attractive so that it doesn’t scratch or stain.

Stripping Your Floor

When you apply wax on top of old or dirty existing wax, you can end up with a yellowed flaking floor. It is important to strip the floor before you wax it. There are a few options for stripping your floor, ranging from vinegar or ammonia plus elbow grease (either of these substances will soften the wax enough that you can remove it with enough scrubbing), all the way to purchasing a professional-grade floor stripper. In all cases, make sure you read and carefully follow any instructions on a floor stripper so as to avoid damaging your floor. You also need to make sure that you buy or rent a stripper that is right for your type of floor: a stripper meant for vinyl will not protect your hardwood, for example. In order to strip, you need both a machine and a solvent. We recommend that you look for stripping solvents with a logo such as “Tera Choice” so that you know they have put effort into being environmentally friendly.

Waxing Your Floor

Just like with floor stripper, make sure that you carefully read the instructions on your floor wax and follow those. Waxing is easier than you think: the wax can be applied directly onto a clean, new wax applier mop (to avoid introducing dirt) and applied in sections of thin coats all over the floor. We recommend using a specialized wax applier mop rather than a general mop; it will make the process much easier. As with floor stripper, make sure the airflow and ventilation in the room is good. Two to five layers should provide a good seal on the floor; remember to let it dry completely between coats (about 10-30 minutes).

Modern waxing products are unlikely to need buffing; if the floor looks glossy and shiny when it’s dry, you’ve finished the job. Congratulations, your floor is beautiful and protected again!

Don’t want to have to figure out stripping and waxing for yourself? No job is too big or too small for Zanjani Cleaning Services Inc. – we’ll do your floors whether you have a hall or a house.

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