How to Strip the Wax Build-up Off a Tile Floor

Most modern tile floors are called “no wax” by the manufacturers. These floors are termed as being “carefree” since you don’t have the work of applying a coat of wax to them every week. But not all tile flooring is wax-free. If you have at least one floor in your home that still needs waxing, like I do, then you need to know how to strip the wax build-up off a tile floor.

Washing and waxing a tile floor, even an older one, can make it sparkly and looking almost like new. After repeating this process many times, though, your floor will start to look dull and yellow from the build-up of wax. The only way to alleviate this problem is to strip all of the wax off the tile floor.

No matter what type of wax remover you use, there’s only one way to properly strip wax build-up off a floor. And that’s with an old-fashioned mop and bucket. You can however, choose from two different wax removing solutions to use. You can use a store-bought brand. Or, you can mix up a homemade solution of household ammonia, vinegar and tap water. Pour a cup of ammonia into a gallon of water, then mix in a cup of vinegar. Because of the corrosiveness of the ammonia, be sure to wear a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. Be careful and don’t splash the mixture in your eyes too.

Before you begin to strip the wax build-up off, remove everything up off the floor. Then, sweep the tile floor thoroughly to remove all of the dirt and debris. Then, to start this project, you’ll need to remove the build-up from the corners of the tile floor first. The corners tend to get a worse case of build-up because there’s no traffic there to help wear it down.

The best way to do this is to spread some of the store-bought brand wax remover or the homemade solution onto each corner. In order to achieve the best results, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the container. If you use the homemade solution, allow the mix to set for ten to fifteen minutes, then use a scrubbing pad to help loosen the wax up. Mop the solution up. Check the first corner before you move onto the next one. If the corner still looks yellow, milky or dull, then it still has a build-up of wax on it. Repeat the process with the solution until the tile is stripped clean. After all of the corners are done, move onto the rest of the tile floor.

For the remainder of the tile floor, if the wax build-up is minimal, you may be able to just apply some of the solution, let it set, then mop it up. But if that doesn’t work, then you’ll need to use the scrubber to help loosen the wax up.

Once you have stripped off all of the wax, you’ll need to thoroughly rinse the entire floor. Use a clean mop and a bucket full of cool tap water. Rinse your mop out often.

After the entire tile floor has dried, you can then reapply a couple coatings of wax.

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