Preventing Mistakes When Stripping & Waxing Floors – Pro Tips

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How to prevent common mistakes when stripping and waxing floors

Stripping and waxing floors is an essential part of floor cleaning and maintaining a clean, appealing, and durable surface in commercial buildings. But it requires experience and the right equipment to achieve a consistant high-quality floor finish. So we have listed the most common mistakes that we see during floor stripping and waxing to help highlight and understanding these pitfalls and some tips on how to avoid them.

How to prevent common mistakes when stripping and waxing floors

1. Insufficient Preparation

Description: Proper preparation is crucial. This involves thoroughly cleaning the floor to remove all debris and old finish before starting the stripping process.

Consequences: Failure to completely remove debris and old finish can prevent the new finish from adhering correctly, leading to poor appearance and reduced lifespan of the floor.

Prevention Tips: Ensure the floor is clean and free of damage. Repair any cracks or holes, and remove all old finish residues before proceeding.

2. Not cleaning equipment before use

Description: Using dirty equipment can reintroduce contaminants onto the floor surface, which can reduce the effectiveness of the stripping process.

Consequences: Dirty mops or buffers can leave smudges, debris, or old wax behind, which may hinder the adhesion of new wax and result in a less effective, uneven finish.

Prevention Tips: Clean and inspect all equipment prior to use. Ensure mops, brushes, and pads are free from residual dirt or old wax. Regular maintenance of equipment also extends its lifespan and efficiency.

3. Using Incorrect Stripping Chemical & Dilution

Description: Choosing the right chemical formula and stripping solution for the type of floor material is vital as well as avoiding incorrect dilution by adding too little or too much chemical.

Consequences: Not using the proper dilution of the harsh chemicals lead to risk permanent damage of the floor, while too mild solutions may not effectively remove the finish, resulting in wasted effort and resources.

Prevention Tips: Always select chemicals specifically recommended for your flooring type and perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility.

4. Inadequate Stripping

Description: Complete removal of the old finish is necessary to ensure that there is no residue left before applying the new wax.

Consequences: Incomplete stripping leads to uneven new wax application and poor adhesion, which can cause peeling and flaking. So it is important to ensure the right stripping solution and dilution as well as making sure the floor is rinsed and that no chemical remains on the floor surface.

Prevention Tips: Use the correct tools and techniques, such as automatic floor scrubbers or stripping pads, to ensure that all old wax is removed.

5. Failing to Neutralize the Floor

Description: Neutralizing the floor after stripping is critical to prepare it for waxing.

Consequences: Skipping this step can result in poor bonding of the new wax and a cloudy appearance.

Prevention Tips: Apply a neutralizing solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure the floor is thoroughly rinsed and dried.

6. Applying Wax Improperly

Description: The application of wax should be even and controlled.

Consequences: Improper application can lead to bubbles, streaks, and uneven layers, making the floor finish look unprofessional and may require a re-strip.

Prevention Tips: Follow the manufacturer’s guidance on wax application, using appropriate tools such as a wax applicator or mop. Apply multiple thin layers rather than a single thick layer.

7. Inadequite dwell time between wax coatings

Description: Dwell time refers to the interval between applying successive layers of wax. It’s crucial for allowing each layer to properly dry and bond.

Consequences: Insufficient dwell time can lead to layers mixing or remaining tacky, which compromises the durability and appearance of the finish.

Prevention Tips: Follow the wax manufacturer’s recommended dwell time, usually found on the product label. Ensure that each layer is touch-dry before applying the next. This might require extended time in humid or cool conditions.

8. Neglecting Environmental Conditions

Description: Environmental conditions like temperature and humidity play a significant role in the success of the stripping and waxing process.

Consequences: Ignoring these factors can lead to extended drying times, decreased efficiency, and a compromised finish.

Prevention Tips: Conduct this maintenance during ideal conditions, typically with low humidity and moderate temperatures. Adjust workflows to accommodate environmental changes where necessary.

9. Dont forget safety precautions and equipment

Description: The stripping and waxing process involves chemicals and machinery that can pose health and safety risks if not handled correctly.

Consequences: Without proper safety measures, there’s a risk of chemical burns, slips, and falls, all of which can lead to injuries to the staff or damage to the property.

Prevention Tips: Always wear proper safety gear such as personal protective equipment (PPE), gloves, goggles, and non-slip shoes. Ensure adequate ventilation when using chemical strippers and mark out areas being treated to prevent accidental entry.


Avoiding these common mistakes in the stripping and waxing process is essential for maintaining high-quality flooring. Implement the prevention tips discussed to achieve the best results when waxing commercial floors. If the task is too challenging, consider hiring professional services to handle the job effectively.

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FAQ – Common mistakes when stripping and waxing floors

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