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How to Strip Floors with Heavy Wax Build Up

Floors are being stripped less often, so when it comes time to strip, builds ups of 20 or more coats is not out of the question. Floor Stripping is a labor intensive task, with that in mind, we offer some guidance on what type of stripper to select when you have heavy buildups on floors.

What can Go Wrong?

Stripping Floors is So Much Fun! We love to do it over and over again.
When stripping heavy build-ups, the correct stripper can save tons of time and labor $. Nothing is more frustrating than having to strip multiple times to get to the bare floor.

A “Sticky and Gummy” Mess!
When Stripping Heavy Build-ups, stripper solutions can get sticky and gummy. The gummy solution quickly clogs up stripper pads, costing more time and money $$$ in supplies. This mess can be avoided by selecting the correct stripper.

So What Type of Stripper is Needed for Heavy Build Ups?

You get what you pay for OR Don’t be penny wise and Dollar Foolish

The cost for a 1 gallon or 5 gallon container of stripper are all over the board. While cost is an important factor, remember the real cost of stripping a floor is in the time, labor, and materials required to strip the floor.

Look for a Highly Active “Super” Stripper

Floor Strippers are now available that contain substantially higher levels of active ingredients to help penetrate multiple coats. The new class of super strippers will typically have more than 50% active ingredients.
These super strippers contain a synergistic blend of powerful solvents, usually a solvent called “butyl” or 2-Butoxyethanol and another solvent called Benzyl Alcohol. This synergistic blend works superior compared to each solvent by itself. The Benzyl Alcohol is effective, yet low odor, so the overall odor of the stripper is relatively low.
The super strippers are cold water strippers, so using cold water keeps solvent odors at a minimum.

Look for a Stripper that does NOT contain Caustic Alkalis

Some strippers use inexpensive caustic raw materials to boost strength of their strippers. The problem is the offending caustic compound called Sodium Hydroxide tends to coagulate the stripped finish solution during the removal of heavy build ups. The result is that gummy sticky mess. You can find Sodium Hydroxide on a Safety Data Sheet for the stripper you are using or check the Technical Data Sheet for the pH of the stripper. Anything over 12.5+ indicates the presence of a caustic compound like Sodium Hydroxide.
Strippers that indicate that floors does not have to be neutralized or rinsed after stripping usually indicate that the stripper does not contain Sodium Hydroxide or other caustics.

WAIT:  Let it Work!

Don’t be too quick to apply and scrub.  It is counterproductive.  After applying a generous solution of stripper, give the stripper a minimum of 10 minutes to penetrate all the coats of wax or finish.

Multi-Clean Firestorm Super Stripper

    • Active Ingredients: 55%
    • Solvents: 2-Butoxyethanol and Benzyl Alcohol
    • pH (concentrate): 11-12
    • Neutralization: No neutralizing required
    • Caustics: Does not contain Sodium Hydroxide

For more information, visit our floor care webpage

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