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How to Remove Floor Polish

Many floors have a wax, acrylic or polyurethane polish placed on them for protection and shine. Over time these polishes will become scratched, dented and dull. Some polishes even turn yellow with age. When these problems occur, the best way to repair the damage is to remove the polish and start over. Removing floor polish is easiest with a floor stripper, which is available at most janitorial supply stores. This process is not difficult, but it does take several hours to complete a large floor.

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  1. Remove all furniture from the room and sweep the floor thoroughly with a broom. Wear the gloves and safety goggles while stripping the floor of polish.

  2. Plan your exit strategy. Remove the floor polish in small 2-by-4-foot-wide sections, starting with an area farthest away from an exit and gradually working towards the exit. Plan to clean two sections at a time, completing one task in the first section and then working in the second as the first section soaks.

  3. Dilute the floor polish stripper to half strength, or to the measurement on the back of the bottle. Pour the solution into a large bucket. Spread the solution over one section of floor, then over a second section. Allow the stripper to sit for about 10 minutes.

  4. Scrape away the top layer of the polish by wiping the loosened polish from the floor with the squeegee. Sweep the goop into the dust pan and dump the polish into an empty bucket. Use the putty knife, soft brush and scrubbing pads to remove any polish that is stubborn and will not lift with the squeegee.

  5. Fill the third bucket with water and dip a mop into the water. Squeeze the excess water from the mop and rinse the stripped area. Do not allow the stripper to dry out on the floor, or it will be harder to remove from the floor. This is why working two sections at a time is best.

  6. Continue to remove the polish in this way, working two sections at a time. When the entire floor is clean, mop the floor once more with a cleaning solution. Follow this mopping with a clear water rinse. Allow to dry before placing any more polish or wax on the floor.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wax or polish stripper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Mop
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Putty knife
  • Dish scrubbing pads
  • Squeegee
  • 3 large buckets
  • Old rags
  • Dust pan
  • Broom
  • Floor cleaner

About the Author

Brenda Priddy has more than 10 years of crafting and design experience, as well as more than six years of professional writing experience. Her work appears in online publications such as Donna Rae at Home, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy also writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.

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