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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500362
06/24/03

Vinyl Floors - Removing Old Wax



If too many layers of wax build up, especially in non-traffic areas, floor may discolor or look yellowed. Removing all the wax requires harsher cleaning than ordinary cleaning, and should be done no oftener than once a year, and not that often when not necessary.

You can buy commercial wax removers, some made to remove certain types of waxes, or use a homemade solution. If you know the brand of wax on the floor, follow directions on its label for removal.

If you want to make a cleaner:

1. Mix from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of ammonia (start with less and add more if needed) and one cup laundry detergent in 1 gallon warm water.

2. Test in an inconspicuous area to see if it softens the wax film. After several minutes, the area where the solution has been applied with a sponge mop should turn cloudy and soften.

3. Then scrub that area with a stiff brush, electric scrubber or very fine steel wool pads to loosen old wax.

4. Repeat process in another area until entire floor is stripped of wax.

5. Rinse thoroughly with clean, cool water.

6. After drying thoroughly, apply one or two coats of wax depending on conditions of floor, drying between coats according to wax instructions.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from Wisconsin Extension bulletin Maintaining Your Home: Care of Vinyl Flooring.

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