How to Wax, Buff and Polish Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors add beauty to the home, but like any other type of flooring they do require care and maintenance to retain their looks. The flooring experts at ServiceMaster Clean offer 50 years of cleaning and restoration experience. Check out our tips for hardwood floor care including how to wax, buff and polish hardwood floors.
Urethane and Wax Finishes
Urethane finishes are commonly found on many hardwood floors. If your floor has a urethane finish, it might be water-based, moisture-cured or oil-modified -- the most common found in homes. Paste wax has been used for decades and has seen a resurgence alongside the popularity of hand-scraped hardwood flooring. Both urethane finishes and wax offer a layer of protection against moisture, scratches and scuffs. Never apply wax over a urethane finished floor. If your urethane finished floors needs a re-coating, consult a hardwood flooring specialist.
How to Wax Hardwood Floors
Paste wax works great for unvarnished hardwood floors but should not be used on no-wax or urethane finished hardwood. The procedure to wax hardwood floors is a simple but time-consuming process and similar to applying wax to car. Dampen a clean, lint-free cotton cloth and dip it into the floor wax. Apply the wax to the hardwood floor lightly and evenly, following the instructions found on the wax packaging. Liquid wax also may be used. Some floors may require sanding before wax is applied.
Note: Only apply wax to a clean floor that has been prepared according to the manufacturer's instructions. Always work in a well-ventilated room. Take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue. Apply multiple coats if manufacturer's instructions dictate. As the wax dries, it will appear hazy or cloudy. This indicates it's time to move on to the next step: buffing.
How to Buff Hardwood Floors
You can buff hardwood floors by hand, but it may be easier to rent to an electric buffing machine. A buffing machine helps work the wax into the hardwood to help provide a protective layer against moisture, dust and dirt. Follow all instructions accompanying the buffing machine, including the installation of the buffing pad.
To buff hardwood flooring, begin in the corner of the room, farthest from the door and work your way from left to right across that back portion of the room. Always work slowly and carefully, holding the buffing machine with two hands. The buffer will spin clockwise, so go with this motion buffing left to right to work in the wax. Depending on the size of the room, you may need to stop and inspect the buffing pad, switching it for new one if needed. When you've worked through the entire room, you'll likely need to go back and buff by hand the areas (corners and such) where the buffer didn't reach.
How to Polish Hardwood Floors
Polishing a hardwood floor helps restore its sheen after it's been waxed and buffed. Don't apply a urethane finish for a shine over a waxed hardwood floor. To achieve a glossy sheen, it's back to the buffing machine and polishing cloth. To polish the floor attach a polishing cloth to the buffing machine and re-buff to achieve the shining look desired.
Restoring hardwood floors takes time and patience. However, you can turn to the hardwood floor cleaning specialists at ServiceMaster Clean for help. We can clean, wax, buff and polish any hardwood to breathe new life into your hardwood, saving you time and hassle. With our experience and expertise, you know the job will be done safely, effectively and efficiently.