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How to Clean a Resilient Floor

Most new vinyl and similar resilient flooring materials have “no-wax” coatings that stay glossy with just basic cleaning. Resilient floors that don’t have these types of coatings require more maintenance.

Recommendations for basic cleaning vary by manufacturer, but a typical procedure for a no-wax resilient floor is to sweep and mop with a pH-neutral liquid floor cleaner—the best products are available through flooring retailers. Follow by using a sponge to rinse with clear, clean, warm water and allow to dry (or speed up drying by wiping with a clean towel).

If you have a resilient floor that does not have a no-wax finish, you will probably have to strip, clean, and re-wax it to get it looking glossy again. This is a big job that requires 1) buying a quality wax stripper from a janitorial supply, 2) clearing the floor area of furniture and obstacles, 3) applying the stripping solution to sections of the floor with a mop, 4) scraping up the old wax with a squeegee, putty knives, rags, and scrubbing pads, 5) mopping up each completed section with clear water, and then 6) applying a new coat of liquid wax.

Spilled liquids and food should be wiped up immediately before the stains become harder to remove. A clean cloth dipped in pH-neutral liquid floor cleaner is often the best bet. Scrub balky stains with a nylon pad, but be careful not to abrade the floor’s surface. Don’t use abrasive cleaners or mechanical buffers on high-gloss floors—this will weaken the protective coating.

About Don Vandervort
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Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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