Stripping a floor to remove old floor finish, soils, heel marks, and other
blemishes is typically a time consuming and very labor-intensive cleaning
project. Consequently, it can also be one of the most costly cleaning tasks

However, there are ways to make the job a bit easier, faster, less labor
intensive and, invariably, less costly.

Here are ten – often overlooked – ways to make this happen:

  1. Always inspect the floor first. Check to see if there is soil or moisture
    build-up in corners and edges; examine the larger floor area also, looking
    for moisture damage and areas where there has been heavy foot traffic.
    These areas may have more heel marks and soil build-up, requiring more
    time and attention. Check to see if there are loose tiles or protruding
    baseboards, etc. It’s important to know the condition of the floor and what
    you are dealing with before you begin.
  2. Know what types of tools and equipment you will need. In most floor
    stripping jobs, a scrubbing pad to clean floor edges and corners will be
    necessary; two or more fresh (never used) mop heads; a clean bucket
    along with liners for the bucket; and a low speed floor machine. Select a
    floor machine with a thumb activated safety switch to prevent accidental
    startups and a machine with a GFI (ground fault interrupter) to avoid the
    risk of electrical shock.
  3. Always select the right floor pad for the task at hand; for instance, the
    darker the pad, the more stripping power. This means the machine will do
    more of the work, reducing stress and fatigue.
  4. Additionally, select high-quality cleaning solutions and strippers. Along
    with using the proper stripping pad, higher-quality floor cleaning solutions
    will help make the entire floor stripping process move along faster and be
    much easier.
  5. As much as possible, remove all furniture and obstacles from the floor
  6. Barricade the area with caution and warning signs, even if you are the
    only one in the building. Some of the most serious slip-and-fall accidents
    have occurred when cleaning professionals forgot an area was still wet.
    Warning signs can help prevent this.
  7. Wear proper protective gear to avoid eye and skin contact, especially
    when dealing with stripping chemicals and if manual scrubbing is involved.
  8. Wear waterproof, rubber soled shoes.
  9. Make sure the area is well ventilated; fresh outdoor air is preferable to
    using a facility’s HVAC system.
  10. Do not over dilute or under dilute strippers or cleaning solutions.
    There is a myth that using less water will make the product more effective,
    but this is rarely the case. Use an auto dilution system and use only cold
    water when diluting; heat can cause fumes to be released that can be
    potentially harmful to the user and heat can negatively impact the
    effectiveness of the stripping solution.

Another thing we should know is to only strip a 200- to 400-square-foot
area at a time. In most cases, the stripper should be allowed to dwell on
the floor for about 10 minutes before the floor machine is used on the floor.
This will help loosen and dissolve old coats of finish, so they can be
removed more easily.

And finally, have an exit plan. All too often, cleaning professionals begin
stripping a floor and end up backing into a wall. Work from the far end of
the floor moving backward toward the exit.

For more information on stripping floors and making this job easier
and faster, contact an expert at Charlotte Products by calling 877-745-
2880 or emailing