How to Clean and Wax a Floor

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As part of regular cleaning, homeowners apply wax in order to protect a wooden, tile, or linoleum floor. When protecting your home’s floors this way, you need to make sure to clean them thoroughly first before applying the wax. Often, this includes sweeping and mopping the floor before applying a coat of wax. Finally, you might need to buff the floor, depending on the type of wax used, to produce a shine.

How to clean a floor

Materials Needed
  • Bucket
  • Cleaning solution and hot water
  • Dust mop or broom
  • String mop
Before waxing your floors, you need to clean them. This allows you to lay down the wax without the floor appearing dirty and dingy. The following section details the floor-cleaning process.
Step 1: Sweep the floor. Start by sweeping the area you want to mop.
While sweeping, clear the area that you want to mop of any large items of furniture, such as tables and chairs.
Use either a dust mop or a regular whisk broom when sweeping. Remove any collected dirt and debris using a dustpan.
Step 2: Mix the mop water. Next, mix hot water and the cleaning solution in a bucket.
Make sure to follow the instructions on the cleaning solution when mixing it. When choosing a cleaner, look for one that is compatible with the type of floor you want to clean.
Avoid using soap, as it can leave a residue behind on your floor.
Step 3: Mop the floor. Saturate a new string mop with the water and cleaning solution.
Apply the saturated mop to the floor. Mop the floor in small sections of four to six feet, spreading the water over the area with three to four passes of the mop.
Mop the whole floor in this fashion.
Step 4: Wring out the mop. Allow the water to sit on the floor while you wring out the mop.
Make sure the mop is somewhat dry, as your aim in this step is to remove the water you just laid down.
Step 5: Mop up the water. Move the mop back and forth before wringing it out again.
If water still remains, wring out the mop and mop the area again, using only three strokes of the mop.
Step 6: Allow the floor to dry. Finally, allow the floor to dry completely before moving on to the next part, waxing the floor.
If needed, use a fan to help speed the floor-drying process.

How to wax a floor

Materials Needed
  • Floor buffer (if needed)
  • Floor wax
  • Garbage bag
  • Mop bucket
  • New sponge mop or flat wax applicator mop
Once the floor is clean, you can wax it. Waxing is not as hard as it sounds, and using the proper tools and methods can ensure that you complete the process quickly and easily. The following details provide you with the steps you need to successfully wax your floor.
Step 1: Prepare the wax. Line a bucket with a garbage bag, and fill it with the wax product.
If you plan on using a flat wax applicator mop, you don’t need to use a bucket. Instead, you pour the wax onto the mesh backing on the upper side of the mop.
Step 2: Apply the wax. Next, apply the wax to the floor, working in small section.
Start at the end opposite of your exit point, and work in small sections until the whole floor is covered.
Try not to apply too much wax, as this can leave too thick of a layer of wax on the floor.
Once you have evenly covered a particular section of floor, use broad strokes with the mop in the same direction to create an even finish.
Step 3: Wait for it to dry. Allow the floor to dry completely before walking on it.
While waiting for the floor to dry, clean all of the tools used in the wax-application process. This keeps the wax from drying on the tools, which makes the cleaning process more difficult.
Step 4: Buff the floor. If required, buff the wax floor to produce a high shine.
Instead of a buffer, you can tie a clean dry, terry cloth towel around a mop head and use that instead, buffing in small, circular motions.
Once finished, a properly cleaned and waxed floor looks fantastic. In addition to improving the look of your hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors, cleaning and waxing them regularly can give them the protective coat they need to make them last longer and looking great for years. Waxing floors, along with other tasks like cleaning ovens and cleaning dryer vents, can make a big difference in the overall cleanliness of your house.