Preventing Cloudy or Milky Finishes While Burnishing a Floor

The other day we read a review from a customer who wanted to know why his new floor burnisher made his polished floor look hazy, and acquired a milky look. Like anybody else who isn’t aware of the subject, he thought it had something to do with the floor machine itself or perhaps the pad attached underneath was causing it. (a low speed floor buffer is different to a high speed floor burnisher.)

When another poster informed him that invariably the cause of such haziness was the left over stripping solution on the floor, he found it difficult to believe and insisted it had never happened earlier. Well, he had been lucky all that while. You can rent floor buffer or even have a used floor buffer on your hands, and you will be OK. But the strong solution is a dangerous thing.

Burnishing a wood floor - applying solution

  • After removing the old wax from a floor, a fairly strong alkaline solution is applied to it that partially dissolves the old finish.
  • The stripping solution is allowed to remain on the floor for ten to fifteen minutes before being agitated by a floor burnisher with a coarse stripping pad.
  • That causes any other wax finish to loosen up for its convenient removal.

As you can see this process is quite alike removing varnish from a piece of old furniture, which follows the sequence of applying a stripper, waiting for sometime and then mechanically removing the old softened coating.

How to Burnish A Floor Properly

  1. Most of the stripping solution and old wax slurry may be removed with the aid of a wet-dry vacuum.
  2. Once that has been achieved, a neutralizing solution has to be applied.
  3. Make sure that the floor is absolutely clear of old stripping solution.
  4. Even a little of its left over on getting dry can form a chemical reaction with fresh wax and cause hazing on the floor.
  5. The neutralizer, as the name suggests, neutralizes the high pH of the stripping solution and thus prevents the hazing.
  6. Though the application of a neutralizer is essentially needed after stripping of floors, a cleaning with cold water for better results should definitely precede it.
  7. Keep using your dry/wet vacuum in between washings to take away the neutralizer and clean water washes.

With a fresh coating of wax on such a washed cleaned and dried floor that has been thus neutralized will not make it look hazy.

For buffering a hardwood floor, read this guide.

Furniture Wax & Polish | The Furniture Connoisseur .com