Wax buildup removal

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  #1  
Old 03-10-15, 05:25 PM
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Wax buildup removal

Bought a house with hardwood everywhere which was severely neglected by the previous owner. They have probably 8 years of built up floor cleaner wax on them caked with dog hair and the like. I tried straight vinegar and that didn't budge it. I read to test acetone and that worked pretty well but obviously I can't do a whole house with acetone. What else is out there for wax strippers that you have used?

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  #2  
Old 03-10-15, 05:55 PM
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Hi,
Ideally to fix your floor issue without an awful smell, to be cost and time efficient would to to sand and refinish the floors with water or oil based varathane.

For equipment to sand the floors visit your local hardware store which should rent an 8 inch belt sander and a floor edger.
The only downside of doing this is the crazy amount of dust you will have inside your home.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask
 
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Old 03-10-15, 06:08 PM
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If it is actually wax build up, you can buy wax strippers at most box stores that should take care of most. Once you get it down to where it is manageable, you may find that you will need to sand and re polyurethane it. I would opt for a square head oscillating sanding machine (rented). They don't leave gouges that will happen if you aren't accustomed to using drum sanders. Much more forgiving.

Marksr will be in shortly to provide information as to the best floor poly to use. Varathane may be good, but not sure it is floor quality.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 04:02 AM
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I am 99% sure it is wax buildup. The acetone takes it right down to the original finish. At this point, I don't think I want to do the whole refinish thing. I think I would just be happy removing the wax buildup and having the floors actually look clean even though they may be scuffed underneath etc. Right now it's so bad, you can see everywhere she had a piece of furniture, because there is a ridge of buildup around the base. It really looks terrible. Apparently she didn't think it was necessary to vac/sweep prior to cleaning the floor, so as I mentioned, the wax buildup is caked with dog hair and dust.

I found people have had good luck with the Trewax Stripper. Maybe I will give that a shot.

I will try and post a few pictures tonight.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 05:00 AM
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.... and even if you do sand/refinish, you want to remove the wax first. Sanding might remove the wax but it's also possible it will grind some of the wax into the wood making it harder to refinish. I'd consider using a commercial floor stripper although the ones at the big box stores may work ok.

Once you get the floor cleaned up let us know how it looks and where you want to go from there.
 
  #6  
Old 03-11-15, 09:17 AM
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My thought exactly. The sanding would likely just drive the wax into the wood. I might give the Trewax a shot. Like I said, I will post a picture tonight of a spot I did with acetone.
 
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Old 03-11-15, 10:21 AM
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I'm sure acetone along with some of the other solvents will work but you don't want all those fumes contained inside your house!
 
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Old 03-11-15, 10:49 AM
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Mom cleaned her waxed wood floors with a little power scrubber and a powdered product like spic and span (which dissolves wax) in hot water. But her floor had a finish on it, and she had to rinse it with a vinegar mop several times before rewaxing because it leaves a residue.

Have you tried Murphy's Oil Soap?
 
  #9  
Old 03-11-15, 10:52 AM
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I'm sure acetone along with some of the other solvents will work but you don't want all those fumes contained inside your house!
No definitely not, that was just a test to see if I could get it up.

Mom cleaned her waxed wood floors with a power scrubber and a powdered product like spic and span. But her floor had a finish on it, and she had to rinse it with a mop several times before rewaxing because it leaves a residue.

Have you tried Murphy's Oil Soap?
This floor has a finish too, right now it's just hidden under all this nasty wax...

Have not tried the Murphy's, nor did I plan on it. Isn't it products like Murphy's that cause the waxy buildup in the first place?
 
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Old 03-11-15, 11:06 AM
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You are probably right, if your goal is to completely remove the wax, use a stripper or cleaner, not Murphy's Oil Soap.

The scrubber mom had was kind of like this but way older.

http://digital.hammacher.com/Items/8..._1000x1000.jpg

You really need something like that to completely strip the wax. I used to strip floors in my younger days... sure miss it. NOT!
 
  #11  
Old 03-11-15, 02:12 PM
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  #12  
Old 03-11-15, 02:20 PM
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I'd work at scrubbing off the wax with a good detergent. Once that is done, if it doesn't look satisfactory you can probably get by with a light sanding and a fresh coat of poly. I doubt you'd need to completely refinish the floor.
 
  #13  
Old 03-11-15, 02:31 PM
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That's what I am thinking. Just need the "right" detergent.
 
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