Have you ever noticed how over time a waxed floor will start to turn colors? Commonly the color will be a shade of yellow, and the darker the yellow, the more necessary floor stripping becomes. The reason for this is that over time the wax on floor ages, and needs to be replaced, which is where the stripping comes in. While it doesn't need to be done every week, it is a process that should be done at most once every two months. All you need to do is follow these simple instructions.
- Know your floor. Not all floor stripping agents will work equally well on all floors. For example, you do not want to use a linoleum floor-stripping agent on wood floors, and vice versa. The reason is simple, while it may get the wax off of the floor it could also very easily end up damaging the floor as well.
- Rent the equipment, get your supplies. Renting the appropriate equipment (which is usually just a floor waxer with changeable pads) is usually the best route to go. After all, these pieces of equipment are rather expensive, and you will usually only be using it once every couple of months. You can obtain the tools from your local home improvement store, as well as the appropriate stripping agent, and any other cleaning tools that you may need for the job (buckets and mops are a huge help).
- Remove any and all obstacles. After you get your supplies and tools, you need to take everything home, and then begin prepping the room for work. This means that you will need to remove everything from the room you will be working on. All tables, chairs, rugs, lamps, or other items that sit on the floor need to be removed so that you have a bare canvas to work with.
- Become familiar with your tools. If you have never used a floor waxer or buffer before then you will need to become familiar with it. The reason for this is rather simple in that they can very easily get out of your control if you are not careful, so take the time to read the operating manual that should have come with it. At this time you should also read the instructions on the stripping agent to make sure that you know the proper method for applying it, as well as how much to use, and how to mix it.
- Test the stripper. After reading the instructions, mix some of the stripper, and then test it in an unobtrusive location in the room. This will let you know whether you have mixed it properly, and if it will work on the flooring. Apply it according to the directions, and allow it to sit as you are supposed to. After the proper amount of time has passed, remove it and see if it has affected the flooring in any negative way, while also removing the wax.
- Start in the corner. Begin applying the stripping agent to the flooring in one corner of the room. You may want to first lay some of the stripper down with a mop, and then begin to use the waxer with the appropriate pad.
- Work your way through the room. Work your way out from the corner in the direction of the exit to the room. Be careful that you don't go too fast or you can end up missing sections, or even have the buffer get out of hand. As you work your way through the room be sure that you apply more of the stripping agent as needed, or you could end up damaging the floor. In addition, periodically take a look at the pad on the buffer to make sure that it is still in good condition, and doesn't need to be changed.
- Let the stripper soak. Once you have applied the stripping agent to the floor, allow it to soak in. The easiest way to do this is by simply allowing the floor to air dry. This can usually take up to about thirty minutes for the last are that you worked on to be dried, but it is effective.
- Mop as normal. Remove the stripping agent from your floor by mopping it as you normally would. When you are doing this, make sure that you not only rinse out the mop head thoroughly when you dunk it in your bucket of water, but that you also replace the water in the bucket frequently.
- Inspect and repeat. Allow the floor to dry again, and then carefully inspect it to ensure that you have removed the old wax. If you find that you still have spots or areas that have wax on them, then you will need to repeat the process again to ensure that you have removed all of the wax that you can.
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