7 tips for shiny, beautiful floors

July 27, 2015

With these simple waxing tips, you could become quite the floor cleaning buff.

7 tips for shiny, beautiful floors

1. Start fresh

  • Before waxing a hardwood floor, it's important to remove all of the old dirt and wax.
  • The cleaning solution is simple: mix one cup ammonia with four litres water.
  • Evenly apply the solution with a damp mop.
  • Once the floor is completely dry, apply floor wax according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Since waxes for wood floors are formulated with a petroleum solvent, make sure your work area is properly ventilated.
  • There's essentially two kinds of floor wax pastes: liquid and solid. Liquid paste waxes are easier to apply, but solid paste waxes are generally more durable.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, use one of the liquid self-polishing acrylic waxes on wood.

2. Make it easy with liquid wax

  • Self-polishing liquid paste wax is easy to apply. Simply pour out a small amount on a section of the prepared floor and spread it evenly with a long-handled wax applicator.
  • The formula is quick to dry and can be walked on in 10 minutes.
  • Be aware that, because this floor dressing hardens so quickly, it can become permanently affixed to the applicator. Wash the soft pad immediately after each use in a detergent solution.
  • Liquid paste waxes are self-polishing, providing a lustrous rather than high-gloss finish. Plus, they're less slippery than most solid paste waxes.
  • Since the finish is less durable, apply a fresh coat of wax several times a year.
  • If a new coat of fresh liquid paste wax doesn't give you the results you want, you may need to use a commercial stripping solution to remove the old wax.

3. Use solid wax for quality results

  • Solid paste wax is a bit more expensive and harder to apply than liquid paste wax.
  • You can do the job by hand with a soft cloth and elbow grease, or apply it with a rented home floor waxing/buffing machine.
  • Alternately, you can have a pro do the job from time to time.
  • Solid paste wax is initially more time-consuming to apply, but you need to re-wax less often than with liquid paste.
  • You'll rarely need to strip away old wax because the paste wax wears off in the process of being walked on.

4. Don't overwax a floor

In between waxings, you can give somewhat dulled solid paste wax a shine with the buffer brush on the floor-waxing machine. With solid paste-wax, you may only need to wax your floor annually.

3. Take control wax buildup

  • Apply wax in areas that don't receive a lot of wear every other time you wax. This stops buildup and provides more even look.
  • Put newspapers on the floor where the furniture is positioned and wax around the newspapers.
  • When waxing, stay 15 centimetres (six inches) away from the wall.

6. Protect high-traffic areas

  • Every house has certain spots that get extra wear and tear.
  • Once or twice a month, protect worn spots with a thin coat of paste wax applied with a piece of cheesecloth.
  • Allow the area to dry for 15 minutes, then polish to a high sheen with a clean, folded cloth.
  • Repeat an hour or two later.

7. For a quick treatment

Dust mop the room thoroughly, making sure to remove all dirt particles. Place waxed paper under a sponge mop and work your way around the room, changing the paper as often as necessary.

Waxing your floors not only gives them an attractive shine, it also protects them from wear and tear. By focusing on high traffic areas and learning which waxes to use, your floors could last you much longer, and save you from costly replacements.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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