Wax build up on laminate floors can be a persistent and annoying problem. Over time, the wax can cause the laminate flooring to lose its beautiful luster. The floor will become dull, dusty and dirty due to wax build up. Also, it doesn’t just go away with regular cleaning and requires special attention.
In this blog, we will discover how wax builds up on laminate floors, understand the causes of wax development, the impact that wax has and how to effectively remove wax from laminate floors.
What causes wax build up on laminate floors?
Understanding why laminate floors accumulate wax is crucial to combating its build up. In essence, wax buildup occurs because of the repeated application of wax-containing cleaners and treatments on laminate flooring. Another prominent reason is wax spillage from improperly placed candles.
If you use a cleaner that has some wax, it can make the flooring dirty. While some wax left behind will be cleaned as people walk across the floor, some will remain – especially in low-traffic areas. With time, these layers will accumulate and form a thick layer over the flooring with each subsequent application.
The speed at which wax buildup becomes noticeable will depend on various factors like the amount of wax in the cleaner, the foot traffic in different parts of the house and how often wax is applied. The wax on a floor can collect dirt and dust, making it appear cloudy and dusty.
Moreover, wax builds are not just about aesthetic degradation but also affect health since they cause slips and falls. Here is a step-by-step guide on removing wax from laminate floors to keep them shiny.
Preparing the laminate floor for wax removal
Before beginning to clean the wax, it is essential to gather all necessary supplies to remove wax from laminate floors. The right tools, materials and cleaners will ensure that the process is streamlined and effective. Here’s everything you need:1. Soft-bristle broom and dust mop:
To clean and mop away the top layer of dust and debris.2. Vacuum cleaner with appropriate attachment:
To clean off any remaining dust and dirt that hides after brushing and mopping. Not all vacuum cleaners have a hard floor attachment. Make sure to pick the right one.3. Hot air dryer:
A hot air dryer to soften the wax.4. Plastic scraper:
A soft and flexible plastic or rubber hand scraper to remove the softened wax.5. Bucket:
For mixing cleaning solutions and using the mop.6. Microfibre mop:
For applying cleaning solutions and cleaning away residue.7. White vinegar:
It is used to prepare a vinegar solution for cleaning the laminate floor.8. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Depending on the cleaning agent, use gloves, shoes, Knee pads and eye protection gear.
Now that you have gathered all these resources, you are ready to handle the process of wax from your laminate floors.
Air Dryer and Plastic Scraper Method: Step By Step Guide
Step One: Sweep and vacuum the floor
The first step to remove wax completely off the laminate floor is to clear the laminate floor from dirt, dust and debris. This cleaning process is necessary as it prevents these tiny particles from scratching the laminate floors during the cleaning.
Follow these steps:
- Start by cleaning the laminate floor using a soft-brush broom. Alternatively, you can also use a dust mop.
- Make sure you reach every corner and clean the grooves between the boards.
- Collect all the dirt and debris in a dustpan and dispose of it properly. You can also use a vacuum to clean up if the debris is small.
- Use a vacuum cleaner that is attached to a hard floor accessory to remove any dust and dirt. Use a crevice tool if necessary to clean the corners and grooves.
Clearing the laminate floor from dust and dirt is essential for effective wax removal.
Step Two: Use a hot air dryer to heat the wax
Once the floor is clear of debris, it is time to clear the wax from the floor. This step involves using air dryer to soften the wax.
- Use a hot air dryer that has multiple heat settings. Now, use the lowest heat setting to soften the wax. Use the dryer a few inches away from the floor. You only want to soften the wax, not melt it.
- Increase to the medium heat level if the wax doesn’t respond to the lowest setting. Make sure to maintain a safe distance to avoid any damage to the laminate floor.
- The goal is to soften the wax to make it manageable in the following steps:
Step Three: Using a plastic or hard rubber scraper
Now that the wax is softened, you can move to the next step- removing the wax using the following steps:
- Use the plastic scraper at a 45-degree angle to remove the softened wax. Apply a moderate horizontal pressure and glide the scraper across the laminate floor. Doing so will minimize the risk of damage to the floor.
- Remove the wax continuously, but avoid being rough to prevent damage to the floor. Collect the removed wax for disposing of it later. This prevents the wax from sticking back to the floor.
- Be methodical in your process. Start from one corner and move to the end of the affected area to remove as much softened wax as possible.
These three steps of sweeping, softening, and scraping prepare your laminate floor for a deeper cleaning.
Step Four: Use a white vinegar solution
After you have scraped off wax, it is time to deeply clean the surface using a white vinegar solution:
- Mix one cup of distilled white vinegar in one gallon of water in a bucket. This solution breaks down the remaining wax and prevents further buildup.
- Use a microfiber mop into the solution and wring it out. Begin by mopping small sections of the laminate floor and make several passes over the same section if the wax is stubborn.
Step Five (Optional step): Try mineral spirits
This step is entirely optional. If the wax persists after step four, use some mineral spirits:
- Mineral spirits leave fumes and foul smells when applied. Make sure that the room is properly ventilated before starting the cleanup.
- Place the spirit using a microfiber cloth over the wax. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to loosen the wax.
- Use a damp rag to wipe the loosened wax.
Alternate Wax Cleanup Methods
There are several other methods that can help in cleaning up the wax from a laminate floor.
One: Using Ice and Plastic Scraper
If you encounter a fresh spill of wax, you can use this step to clean it off your laminate floor. Grab a plastic bag and fill it with ice and then place it on the wax. This will solidify the wax and make it easier to manage. Use the plastic scraper to remove this wax.
Two: Newspaper and Iron Method
An iron and a newspaper can be used to clean small amounts of wax. Put several layers of newspaper on top of the wax and then use the iron at its lowest setting to melt the wax. The newspaper absorbs the melted wax, leaving your laminate floor clean and wax-free.
Methods to avoid when cleaning laminate flooring
While the above steps can make your laminate floor look fresh and new, certain practices can damage your pristine floor.
- Avoid using ammonia to clean the flooring. Ammonia has the potency to damage the laminate floor’s protective layering.
- Avoid using steam cleaners since they add excess moisture and heat. This can cause the laminate flooring to warp and peel.
Keeping track of wax on your laminate flooring is not a difficult task. With the right knowledge and techniques, restoring the laminate flooring back to its pristine glory can be anyone’s cup of tea. Remember that prevention is the key to keeping the floor clean. Opt for wax-free cleaning solutions and make sure to periodically clean the flooring. Whether it is wax spills or other general wax buildup, the methods in this guide can be your saviour.