Stripping and waxing is the process of removing wax and dirt layers from your floors, scrubbing the original floor surface back to its pristine cleanliness, and then applying the layers of floor sealer as a protective layer. As a final touch, the floor is then buffed to provide that shiny new floor appearance.

You may be asking why my vinyl and linoleum floors need this type of service. Simply put, floors are often overlooked. The truth of the matter is that a floor that is left without maintenance, being walked over every day, is subject to wear and tear. The assistance of a business like Brenda’s Best Cleaning could save your floors from irreversible damage. The price of replacing floors is astronomical compared to investing in stripping and waxing.

How Often Should You Strip and Wax Linoleum Floors?

Do your linoleum floors see a lot of foot traffic? If so, a strip and waxing is ultimately the best way to make sure your floors are protected against dirt, grime, warping, and scratches. It’s the polymers in the floor sealer that create an invisible barrier between your feet and the original linoleum/vinyl floors. 

Many factors can affect the frequency of stripping and waxing your floors. Foot traffic, seasonal damage based on the weather conditions, and the type of floor sealer you purchase. Seasonal changes that can affect the floors include salt damage from the winter, mud from melting in the spring, and sand from summer foot traffic. It’s also important to refer to the floor sealers used and read the directions about recommended replacement schedules.

In general, most floors that see regular use need a strip and wax at least every six months.

Prepping Your Floor Before Stripping and Waxing

Is this your first time having your vinyl and linoleum floors stripped and waxed? If that’s the case, make sure that you are educated on the process of what happens before the floor sealer is applied!

The number one preparation that can be done is the removal of all furniture and objects placed on or near the floor. This can include things like carpets, desks, chairs, refrigerators, and so on. If it can move, it should move. After everything has been removed from the floors, making sure the floor is as clean as possible is important. The purpose of a clean floor surface is to eliminate any possible risk factors and damage to the floor when the stripping process begins.

Benefits of Regularly Stripping and Waxing Linoleum & Vinyl Floors

There are many benefits to regularly stripping and waxing your floors. When you first walk into a space, whether it’s public or private, we all want it to look polished to the eye. To preserve the beauty and quality of our floors, we must treat them properly. Stripping and waxing your floors will ensure their longevity and avoid any common problems such as yellowing, scuffing, or cloudy appearances that can happen without proper maintenance.

The Supplies You Will Need to Strip and Wax Your Floors

  • Floor stripper product – This chemical stripping product needs at least 15 minutes to sit on the floors to start the wax removal process to clear the worn-out coating.
  • A rotary floor stripping machine – This powerful machine removes the top layers of your floor’s surface.
  • Stripping pads – Various colored pads can be used when stripping your floors. The black is the darkest and most abrasive pad for aggressive removal, and the white pad is the least abrasive. The appropriate pad for your situation depends on how much wax you are stripping, but for most cases, black and/or red pads are typically needed for a strip.
  • A wet vac – This is an appliance that can remove and clean up liquids, in this case, the dissolved wax and stripper chemical residue.
  • Shoe booties – Used as a protective layer for your shoes.  It also keeps your shoes from contaminating the floor with dirt, which can ruin fresh wax.
  • Old, used mop heads – these are used for applying stripper and are typically discarded after this use.
  • New, clean mop heads – These are used for applying wax to your vinyl and linoleum floors.
  • Mop bucket(s) with liner(s) – These are used to clean the surface of your floors before the sealant is applied.
  • Floor sealant product – The protective layer applied over your floors after the stripping process.
  • High Traffic or wet-look style polish – The final product added to top-coat your floors in one or two layers.

Stripping and Waxing Your Linoleum Floors Step-By-Step

Here is a step-by-step guide that you can use to fully understand the process. It’s important to fully understand the entire process before starting, as any lack of preparation can lead to significant issues.

  • Start by pre-strip cleaning and removing all furniture in the area.
  • Apply the stripping product to the section of the floor intended (let this sit on the floor for 15 minutes or the otherwise directed amount of time on the bottle).  Ensure the chemical stripper doesn’t dry out, as this can cause the wax to re-harden!
  • Scrub the floor with a rotary floor scrubbing machine to get up the worn-out wax.
  • Use the wet vac to remove the stripped wax from the floor.
  • With the help of the mop bucket and liner, mop up any missed wax with a mostly dry mop.
  • Repeat this process until the floor is completely stripped of the old wax layers.
  • Vacuum the floor to remove as much dirt and grit as possible. The cleaner the surface of the floor is, the better the sealant will apply without flaw.
  • Mop the area with a mild floor cleaning product.
  • Mop the floor with clean water to remove even the traces of the cleaning product.
  • Leave time for the floor to dry completely.
  • Now that the floor is completely bare, clean, and dry, apply 2 to 3 coats of floor sealer, allowing time to dry between coats.
  • Then, apply 2 to 3 coats of floor wax (either high-traffic or wet-look), allowing time to dry between coats.
  • Allow time for these products to cure (make sure to leave at least 12 hours before foot traffic resumes).
  • Finally, put back all the furniture, rugs, etc. 

Why You Should Use a Professional

Using a professional commercial cleaning company like Brenda’s Best Cleaning for your vinyl and linoleum floor strip and waxes is a way to make sure that your floors turn out totally undamaged and perfectly polished. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us. Thank you for considering Brenda’s Best Cleaning, servicing the Greater Portland, Belfast, and Brunswick areas.