How to Remove Wax From a Slate Floor

Slate is durable choice for flooring.

Slate virtually repels stains, and its beautiful mix of red, green and black colors are definitely eye-catching. Homeowners moving towards "greener" solutions have begun choosing slate, as it is mined, not manufactured, cutting down on pollution from factories. Before you can seal your slate floor, however, you must remove the wax on the floor, or else the sealing will not be effective.

Mix wax remover solution in a bucket. Follow the label on the wax stripper for mixing and dilution instructions. Dilution techniques may vary from product to product.

Dampen a mop in the stripping solution and apply to a small area of floor. Do not flood the floor area with solution, as it can work into and beneath the slate and damage any underlying materials.

Allow five to 10 minutes for the solution to react with the wax. If you see the solution beginning to dry, apply another layer.

Mop again to remove solution and wax. Rinse the mop in water between each application.

Continue this process until the wax is removed from the whole floor. You may need to apply more than one coat of wax stripper to an area to completely remove the wax.

Things You Will Need

  • Wax remover
  • Mop
  • Bucket

Tips

  • Purchase a wax remover from a flooring or hardware store. If you are unsure about a particular product, consult an expert at the retailer. Spot test any wax removers or solvents on a small, inconspicuous area of your floor before use to make sure if will not damage the floor.
  • You can also use a flooring buffing machine to remove wax; it can be faster than the mop, but you also run the risk of scratching the slate if you use too high a setting.
  • Allow at least 24 hours for the floor to dry after waxing stripping before proceeding to seal the floor.

Warnings

  • Keep wax stripper from touching surfaces other than the slate, as it can easily damage wood, carpet and other surfaces.
  • Some wax contains urethanes, which can be extremely resilient and require industrial-grade cleaners to remove. If the wax remover is unsuccessful, consult an expert at a flooring center for further advice.

About the Author

Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.