Aftercare For A Waxed Floor
Wax is our preferred option for use with antique or wooden floors with a bespoke patina. Waxing will give an unrivalled depth and beauty to the floor. A significant advantage of a Wax finish is that it can be maintained and restored relatively easily and does not require specialist tradesmen to carry out this work. The property owner or cleaner can carry out both daily and periodic maintenance.
A waxed floor will never require sanding and sealing. Over time the beauty of the floor will be enhanced by scratches, scuffs, dents etc. Some say a waxed floor requires more maintenance than either Polyurethane or Oil. This is true to some extent, initially, at least. However, in the long run, wax is favourable. Wax is a “little and often” approach to maintenance.
To compare, solid wood floors and engineered wood floors sealed with either Polyurethane or Oil require very infrequent maintenance/refurbishment. However, although an Oil or Polyurethane floor seal requires less regular maintenance or restoration, the restoration is a lot more involved when it becomes necessary. It will mean inconvenience and significant cost, as this work is skilled and beyond the average homeowners’ skill or experience.
A Waxed floor in a residential situation might require application and buffing (with a rotary buffing machine) two or even three times in its first year. This will be more frequent in a commercial setting. There is no definitive prediction on frequency, as this depends on the particulars of each project. This can be discussed with the owners/person responsible for making the best predictions.
Over time, the wax will harden, and wax applications will be required less often; buffing alone will be more common than waxing and buffing. Should the floor become dull and lose its lustre, you can apply another coat of wax and buff it. The floor will look better than when it was initially installed.
As an everyday regime, the homeowner or cleaner simply needs to sweep with a soft brush or vacuum. Never wet mop a waxed floor! If care is exercised, moist cloth and a PH-neutral cleaning solution can be used to clean a waxed floor. This doesn’t mean a wet mop. A moist cloth can be used, but a wet mop is terrible.
If a waxed floor is cleaned with a moist cloth, the floor needs to be dried and buffed off immediately (As you clean) with a dry towel.
By this, I mean buff dry with a towel as you go rather than cleaning the entire area with a moist cloth and then drying off. The cleaner needs to ensure that no spillages are left and to take care that the bottom of the bucket containing the warm water and cleaning solution is not placed directly onto the waxed floor (This is because it will inevitably be wet and could lead to rings/stains on the floor).
What also needs to be borne in mind is that cleaning in this way will remove the layers of wax over time. So if a regular wax application is not taking place also, the wax could eventually be entirely removed. There is a cleaning agent within Mylands wax so that when waxing and buffing a floor, it receives an excellent clean simultaneously.
Some practical tips for a waxed floor are as follows:
- Water/spillages, if wiped off the surface of a waxed floor relatively soon after taking place, will not cause an issue, but don’t allow water/spillages to sit on the surface for a prolonged period or the floor will mark.
- Don’t use general household cleaners, which are aggressive and will strip the wax.
- Don’t allow the floor to go indefinitely without the application of wax.
- Place a good doormat at exterior entrances to ensure water is removed from shoes as you enter the property.
- Domestic spray polish can be used to clean a localised spillage…..wine, jam etc… Ensure it is a beeswax based rather than silicone. Be careful not to use this method on stairs as it can make them slippery
- Avoid wet-mopping floors with water and using household cleaners, as this can strip the wax coat off or damage the wood.
- To keep dust at bay before it dulls the finish, dry mop waxed floors as often as necessary with a microfiber cloth pad or vacuum-clean with a dust brush attachment.
- Ensure spills are cleaned up promptly with a water-dampened cloth, then wipe dry to prevent any permanent staining or damage.
- Place moisture-absorbing mats at the foot of exterior entrances to prevent dirt and moisture from being tracked in.
- To prevent dents, lift furniture across the waxed hardwood floors rather than dragging it.
To wax and buff, apply the wax with a rotary buffing machine. Place a small amount of wax on the floor, then buff evenly (A golf ball-sized dollop will cover about a square yard). Allow about 30 minutes to dry, then buff until a lustrous shine is apparent (It’s not complicated!). Do not to over-wax the floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax build-up under furniture and other low-traffic areas by waxing less often in these areas. Any water, wine, spillages etc. should be cleaned immediately.
If the wax finish is discoloured by spillages which have not been cleaned up immediately or have dirt build-up, work area with wax using fine steel wool to remove grime and old wax. Wipe the floor clean, let it dry for about 30 minutes, and then buff.