Most flooring these days doesn’t need waxing. Older floors, however, may have needed waxing, and over time wax can build up on tile floors, making them look yellow, dull, and older than they probably are. You can breathe new life into older tiling by stripping off the old wax. Floor stripping and waxing is a fairly easy process. Here are some things you’ll need for stripping wax:
Two pails of water, with two gallons in each pail;
One cup of ammonia (not bleach);
One cup of white vinegar;
Rubber or latex-free gloves.
Get the Floor Ready
Sweep or vacuum the floor to clean up all the dirt and dust. Not doing so might lead to scratching the tile when you’re removing the old wax.
Get the Wax Remover Ready
For floor stripping and waxing, read the instructions on any store-purchased products. If you’re making the remover yourself, this is how. Pour the vinegar and ammonia into a pail with a gallon of hot water, then add a second gallon to mix everything together. You should open some windows to let some fresh air in. Ammonia is strong and abrasive, so you should wear rubber or latex-free gloves to keep your hands safe. If there isn’t a lot of build up on the tiles, using water and vinegar alone may do the trick for removing any wax. Otherwise, you’ll have to use the ammonia mixture.
Treat Any Stains
Wax remover should be applied first to areas that are heavily stained or more yellow in colour. Corners and edges may have more buildup. Saturate a mop with solution and apply it to the worst areas and let it sit for five minutes or so. Mop up the solution and clean the mop out in the second bucket of water. You will need to repeat this until the tiles no longer look yellow or dull. If the stains are really bad, you may have to use a cleaning brush.
Do the Entire Floor
Once you’ve removed the bad stains, you can go on to remove the wax off the entire floor. Apply the solution to the entire floor and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Use the mop to wipe everything off and rinse it in the clean water bucket.
Clean the Floor
Make sure to change the water in the rinse bucket before wiping the floor down again to remove any remaining wax. A good rule of thumb is to change the water when it looks murky. That way, you will cut down on the ammonia and vinegar smell.