Can You Wax A Floor Without Stripping It?

Waxing a floor has proven to be one of the best ways to help restore its brilliance and luster. If you have never waxed your floors before, you may be wondering whether or not it's a good idea to strip the floor before applying the wax. We have researched the pros and cons of stripping a floor before waxing, and in this post, we will share our findings with you.

Technically, you do not have to strip the floor before you wax it. However, if you believe that there are too many coats of wax on the floor, causing the floor to become dull, then it's best to first strip the floor before applying a new coat. Before doing so, you'll need to consider the flooring material to ensure that you do not damage it in the stripping process.

Keep reading to learn all about the benefits of each method so you can choose what is best for your floors!

corridor of an interior with polished wooden floor and glass hand rails. Can You Wax A Floor Without Stripping It

Benefits of Stripping Before Applying Wax

Removes old stains and wax

Stripping and then waxing a floor helps remove grease, scuffs, and stains that may have accumulated over time. However, the most significant benefit of stripping a floor is removing the previous layers of wax, as they can cause the floor to become cloudy and develop a yellowish tint.

High shine

Applying a fresh layer of wax after removing the old layers can give you a clean surface to work with before applying wax. This can make your mopping process way more efficient and help it get a better shine.

Fewer scratches

If layers of wax accumulate on the floor, it will be more susceptible to scratches from regular traffic and wear-and-tear. With a fresh slate to work with, you'll find that scratches will be easier to remove when you mop.

Removes discoloration

Removing the previous layers of wax also removes any discoloration and surface stains. Even the best waxes can cause the floor to become dull and discolored over time. And everyday traffic can wear down the finish of the wax, causing it to become less effective at stain prevention.

Empty big living room with super shiny waxed wooden floor

Benefits of Waxing Without Stripping

Less potential damage

Every time you strip a floor, you run the risk of potentially damaging the surface of the floor. The chemicals used in floor strippers are very harsh, and it's left on too long or reply to you correctly can cause the floor's circuits to etch on a scratch, this color, or the time otherwise damaged.

That being said, it's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Before deciding on the wax to use for your particular floors, it's important to ensure that the formula is okay to use on the flooring material.

Less laborious

The process of waxing a floor itself is very laborious, especially because you need first to sweep and mop the floor beforehand-and; stripping the floor adds an extra step to this process.

Extra protection

If you don't strip your floors before adding another layer of wax, this can increase the durability of a floor by adding an extra layer of protection over the floor's surface. This means that the floor will be less likely to scratch and become damaged from everyday wear and tear. Having a thick layer of wax can help keep your floors from sustaining damage from scratches, dents, and small holes.

How do you wax a floor at home?

Waxing your floor is a straightforward process. Let's take a quick look at the steps to do it.

Things you'll need:

  • Cleaning mop
  • Waxing mop
  • Floor wax
  • Dustpan
  • 2-gallon bucket
  • Floor cleaner (based on floor material)
  • Broom
  • Floor scraper

1. Clear the floor

Removing any freestanding furniture and personal items and place them in another room. You want the floor to be as clear as possible.

2. Sweep the floor

Start by sweeping the floor to get rid of any dirt and debris. Take your scraper tool and go over any hardened stains, encrusted food, or other stuck-on debris. You don't want to seal these stains into the floor once you apply the wax.

Find this broom on Amazon.

3. Mop the floor

Next, pour your cleaning solution in the two-gallon bucket and add 1-2 gallons of water. Then mop the solution over the entire floor and pay special attention to areas around furniture, cabinetry, and the corners of the room. Afterward, pour the water out of the bucket and add your liquid wax (unless you're using a paste-based wax). Let the floor dry completely before going to the next step.

4. Apply the wax

Next, take the liquid wax and pour it into the bucket. Then, dip your dry mop into the bucket and apply the wax to the floor, starting at the corner farthest away from the door. Work your way back left to right sweeping motions on the floor to ensure complete coverage. Then, let the wax sit on the floor for the recommended drying time (per the instructions on the label). This will usually be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Read more details about this floor wax on Amazon.

5. Buff the floor

Next, take your buffer or apply the buffing pads to your mop, and starting in the same area, work your way back within the room, buffing the floor to remove the dried wax. Continue to buff the floor until it begins to shine again. If you are applying multiple coats of wax, be sure to start in the same section of the room each time.

Check out this floor buffer on Amazon.

What kind of mop do you use to wax?

Finding the right mop for your relaxation is a straightforward process, as there are many materials to choose from. Let's look at the most popular mop head for floor waxing.


Rayon is the semi-synthetic fiber used to make several everyday cleaning products and appear on. It works great as a mop material for waxing because it dries fast, is mildew resistant, and provides excellent absorption for the floor wax.

Check out this rayon mop on Amazon.


Microfiber mops are also very absorbent and can spread waxing formulas across all floor types quickly. These mops are lighter to handle, last a long time, and are very durable. You'll be happy to know that microfiber mops are very affordable and come in several styles and sizes for everyday home use and industrial applications.

This microfiber mop head on Amazon.


You'll find that a lot of mop heads today are made of synthetic materials. These mops are excellent for waxing as They are typically mildew and mold resistant, highly absorbent, and very durable. These mops can be washed several times, and they can last for over a year or more. Synthetic mop heads are probably the most common type that you'll find, which means they are also relatively inexpensive.

Find this synthetic mop on Amazon.

How many coats of wax should you put on a floor?

The number of coats of wax that you put on the floor will depend on how many coats are already on the floor. It's generally recommended to put at least one to two coats on the floor. However, you can apply up to four or five coats if you want a shiny finish.

How often should floors be waxed?

You can wax your floors every one to two months if you prefer. It's best to first consider the material that your floor is made of and the current condition that it's in.

How often should you strip and wax a floor?

The frequency at which you strip and wax your floors depends on the material of the floor and the amount of traffic that the floors receive. It is recommended to wax a home floor no more than every five to six months. This frequency may be higher for public and professional buildings, however.

Read more about this floor stripper on Amazon.

What is the best wax for floors?

The best floor wax is usually one that provides an excellent shine into lasts for a long time. Let's look at the top contenders.

Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver

This floor wax has excellent reviews both online and offline. Miniwax is one of the most renowned brands in the home improvement industry, and their products for some of the best in the market. This particular wax provides an excellent shine for up to six months, and it dries and only two hours.

It's an easy-to-use liquid face and poly-based wax that leaves a clear finish without yellow discoloration. If you're looking for a reliable wax that has a long-lasting shine, here's one of the best ones to consider.

Learn more about this wax on Amazon.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped you gain insight into the benefits of stripping and not stripping a floor before waxing. Remember, It's always best to consider the condition of the floor before planning to strip it. And when you do, always follow the directions of the stripping solution carefully to avoid floor damage.

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