Scuff marks, dirt tracked on the floor, and even regular mopping can dull a good wax. A perfect floor wax is something of an art---it is practiced and perfected over time. With a little bit of elbow grease and the following tips, you'll be well on your way to a floor that sparkles and shines even after washing. All different types of floors to wood to vinyl and linoleum can benefit from a good waxing.
Cleaning the Floor
Before you even begin to break out that bottle of wax, give the floor a good cleaning. The wax simply will not stick to the floor if dirt and sediment remain. Take care to sweep every corner of the floor. If there is dust trapped in the corner that your broom can't tackle, use a brush and a dustpan. Next, mop the floor. As important as sweeping is, this light mopping is even more important as it will lay the foundation for your wax work. Make sure the mop isn't too wet as you mop; you will have to wait until the floor dries entirely before you begin applying the first coat of wax.
Applying the Wax
Get a clean sponge and the correct type of wax. Wax designed for wood will be labeled for wood, while different types of wax are used on vinyl, linoleum or marble tile. Your local cleaning supply store or home improvement center should have a variety of wax materials labeled for each material, so ensure you select correctly. Once you have your wax, begin waxing in the center of your room. You can use a special tool, such as a wax applicator, to apply the wax, but a soft cotton cloth or a sponge will work just as well. Unlike with mopping, which may take you from one end of the room to the other, waxing requires that you pay attention to the center of the room (the focal point) first. Some people choose to use a clean mop; however, getting down on your hands and knees with a sponge will allow you to pay attention to detail. Use a thin layer of wax and apply the wax in large circles, moving outward. If you are waxing a wood floor, make sure you wax in the direction of the grain. Move very slowly outward in a circle until the walls have been reached.
Finishing the Job
After the first thin layer has been applied, wait for a bit. It might take over an hour for the wax to properly harden. You will know it is properly hardened when it no longer feels sticky to the touch. Remember as you wait that one layer of thick wax will be full of bubbles and milky swirls instead of mirror-smooth. Apply the next thin layer bearing this in mind, and wait again until the wax is hardened. Many wax products sold in stores will give you an approximation of the length of time it will take the wax to dry, and this information can be used as a good guideline to determine how long to let the wax sit.
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