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Best Floor Wax for Hardwood Floors

Waxing a Hardwood Floor

Interestingly,many people don’t realise that as part of ongoing care for your hardwood flooring, waxing is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy looking floor.  However not all floors may be waxed, some shouldn’t be, even if they are made from hardwood.

Modern hardwood floors are baked and sealed to protect them from damage. Most normal use that would have damaged older hardwood floors does not penetrate modern coatings. These kinds of hardwood floors should not be waxed. If your new hardwood floor has a shiny finish, don’t wax. For example, find out if your wooden flooring has been coated with a topcoat – many modern floors have a polyurethane varnish coat (or sometimes acrylic or urethane). These floors tend wear and tear less as both these types of top coats are designed to do exactly what a good floor wax should; protect your floor.

Older hardwood floors need to be waxed and buffed regularly to keep them looking their best. You will have to clean the floor before you wax. If the hardwood floor is discolored or dull, you will also need to strip off the previous wax.



Before starting on your hardwood floor, make sure you have cleaned, stripped it and prepared it for waxing.

Things to keep in mind before buying a hardwood floor wax

If your floor has a chemical layer, then wax may not be a good solution, unless you were planning on scrubbing that layer off.

Buy the right type of wax, one that is suited to the task. You may find some waxes too light and others too hard to work with. If using a buffing machine, then go with the manufacturers recommendations.

Make sure that your floor is very clean before you start; dusting, sweeping and even mopping are advisable, as you don’t really want to trap grime or dirt under the wax.

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Best hardwood floor waxes

If your floors DONT have a chemical topcoat then some of the waxes below may be just right for you.

Best Reviewed Floor Waxes
Floor Wax Name
Lundmark Wax Anti-slip Floor Wax  Lundmark Wax Anti-slip Floor Wax thumb See Reviews 
 Johnson Wax 16 Oz Fine Wood Paste Wax  Johnson Wax 16 Oz Fine Wood Paste Wax thumb  See Reviews
 Holloway House Wood Floor Wax N’ Clean  Holloway House Wood Floor Wax N' Clean  See Reviews
 Ronseal Diamond Hard Floor Wax  ronseal DiamondHard Floor Wax  See Reviews
 One Step No Buff Wood Floor Wax Aerosol  SC Johnson One Step No Buff Wood Floor Wax Aerosol thumb  See Reviews

What not to do when waxing hardwood floors

Every floor type is different. There are different waxes for vinyl and linoleum flooring which shouldn’t be used at all on hardwood floors. The reason for this that they may contain chemical compounds that aren’t safe for wooden floors.

A lot of chemical polishes hurt wood too, so make sure you use the right polish for the right floor.

Unlike furniture wax or furniture polish, hardwood floors need special finishing paste wax that is free from normal wax and polish additives. The list of ingredients to avoid is huge, but the list below are some of the key offenders:

  • Tune Oil
  • Lemon Oil
  • Ammonia or ammonia derivatives
  • Silicone
  • Bleach
  • Vinegars

The reason to avoid these ingredients is that they all have different chemical reactions to natural wood, if you want to preserve the color, look and feel, then avoid products tart can stain or discolor your wooden flooring. Some products such as bleach are especially harmful to the natural wood and we would recommend avoiding.

Paste Wax for Wooden Floors

Applying Paste Wax to Natural Wood Flooring

  • Remove furniture and other items off the floor before you start.
  • Work your way from inside the room towards the exit door to avoid being “boxed in by wax!”
  • Using your applicator of choice ( ideally cloth), use a small amount to rub onto the floor.
  • Use either a circular motion consistently or if possible, try wax along the wood grain.
  • Ensure that you apply evenly through out, wiping away excess wax where necessary.
  • Use a wax brush or terry cloth to wax corners and nooks, as well as inside of any natural cracks and dents in the wood to make sure complete coverage.
  • Allow time for the wax to dry out as much as possible, but make sure you refer to the instructions on the wax tin.
  • Once dry, you may buff the floor. Larger floors would take a while using hand, we suggest using a decent hardwood floor buffer.

Liquid Floor Wax vs Paste Wax for Wooden Flooring

Essentially both work well, however liquid wax tends to be easier to apply by hand as it spreads quite evenly. However if you want to avoid multiple coats, then a paste wax is more suitable.

5 Simple Steps to Waxing and Buffing You Floor

1. Preparation

Preparation is the key to success when it comes to proper floor waxing and buffing. It is important to ensure that the floor itself is swept clean beforehand. If you have one, use a good hardwood floor vacuum. Do not leave anything lying around. Ensure that every dog hair, every fluff of dust and everything that could ruin the finished look of your floor is out of the way. Once the floors themselves are clean, clear the room of furniture. Use care to put kitchen chairs on the table and push living room furniture as far back against the wall as possible. When the rooms are clean and clear and you have easy access, you’re ready for the next step.

2. Strip the Floor

To strip off old wax, use a stripping compound. Mix it with water according to the instructions on the label. Scour with a light abrasive pad with an open pore design. The open pores keep the wax and stripping compound from gunking up the pad. This will make a slippery mess until all the wax has been removed.

Make sure you get all the old wax and stripping compound off the floor before going to the next step. Use a scraper to get any leftover wax out of the corners.

3. Clean the Floor

Before you wax and buff your wood floor, clean it first with a damp, not dripping, mop and a standard floor cleaner. If you are using a buffing machine, it should come with a scrubbing pad and a buffing pad. The scrubbing pad is usually green. This is what you use to clean the floor. Rinse, then let dry.

4. Wax the Floor

Clear paste waxes work best on hardwood floors. Colored waxes can also be used if they match the floor exactly.

Using a soft cotton cloth, apply a thin coat of wax to the floor. Start from the far end from the door and work your way backwards toward the door. Work quickly to cover the whole floor.

5. Buff the Floor

Start buffing as soon as you finish waxing. If you wait too long, the wax will become cloudy and tacky. This can’t be fixed by buffing.

You can buff your hardwood floor by hand or with a clean cloth mophead. Each part of the floor should be polished until it glows.

Starting from the door, polish your way around the edges of the wall. Work your way inwards. If you are doing this by hand, expect to take at least an hour to buff a small room. You can use a buffing machine on very large areas.


When you are done, your floor should have a warm glow. It probably won’t be shiny unless the original coating was shiny. You will be able to walk on the floor immediately. Clean your equipment and dispose of your wax-covered cloths.

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