How to strip and wax floors

How to strip and wax floors


What tools do you need to strip and wax floors?

  • Buffing (floor) machine

  • Black pads

  • Floor stripper

  • Floor wax

  • Floor squeegee

  • Shop vacuum or auto scrubber for larger areas

  • 2 or 3 mop buckets

  • Regular mop heads

  • Wax mop heads

  • Razor blades

  • Edge tool for scrubbing corners by hand

  • Air fan (you can use it on hot and humid places to dry the surface)

  • Rags

  • Disposable gloves

  • Dust mop

  • Dust pan

  • Garbage bags

  

The process: 

Depending on the size of the place the job can be done by 1, 2 or more people.

For demonstration purposed we assume that we have 1500 square foot office and there are 2 floor technicians at the job site

When you arrive at the job site first prepare your work area by removing all the items out of your way 

Then sweep up the area that will be cleaned. Set up your machine and fill up two buckets with hot water. You add floor stripper to one of them (you might need to use more of the floor stripper if there are lots of layers of wax and floors hasn’t been stripped for years) and keep the other one clean for rinsing the floors.

You apply the floor stripper on the floor and allow 5 to 10 minutes for the chemical to penetrate. 

First technician applies the stripper on the floor that covers 150-200 square foot. The second technician strips the floors with the machine. While the second person works with the machine, first person starts to scrape the corners, removes old wax with razor blade some areas that hard to reach for machine or hard to remove.

Then the first person squeegees the water and collects it with shop vacuum. After that he rinses the water with clean water. If you delay the rinsing process you might need to redo the process again for that area if floors not washed up with clean water within 5-10 minutes.

The second person with the machine then applies the floor stripper to the new section of the floor and the same process will continue until the whole area is not stripped completely. 

After the whole area is stripped the floors need to be washed at least two times with special attention to small details like paint splashes, missed corner etc. Make sure to scrape it before applying the wax. 

When the floors are dry its time to apply the wax. Depending on the quality of the wax it should be applied at least 3 coats of wax. Always start from one corner and go backwards until it’s completed. Make sure the job is thoroughly done and no area is missed otherwise you cannot apply wax only to small area that missed, the whole room will need to be waxed.

Even though wax dries within an hour or less in normal room temperature it better not to move furniture or other items that can damage the finished floor 

Notes: 

Always use quality wax since the result is much better and amount of wax needs to be applied is less than with regular strength wax

Never use strong chemicals on the waxed floors it will slowly remove the finish. The best cleaner to use is dish soap or neutral cleaner

After waxing floors eventually floors start to become dull, so to bring back the shine it can be burnished (dry buff)

Depending on the traffic floor strip and wax is performed monthly, quarterly, semi annually and annually.