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Thursday's Ask the Experts: Strip and re-polish

October 07, 2010
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Thursday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I am a domestic cleaner with no commercial cleaning experience. My employer has instructed me to strip and re-polish a hardwood dance floor.
Because I have no knowledge at all about doing this task, I am not happy about attempting it. I do not have any crew members who work with me.
The only equipment I have is a backpack vacuum, a mop and an old buffer. I am very nervous about attempting this task. I have been told I will be fine to just go by the instructions on the products.
Am I right to be wary of attempting this task?
The answer:
You may have good reason to be nervous. It depends on what is meant by "strip and re-polish."
Stripping refers to removable finishes, such as acrylics and true waxes. Most hardwood floors are sealed with polyurethane finishes that are removable only with special solvents or sanding. Neither of these latter operations is within your realm of experience. Say no, if that is what is meant.
However, your employer''s terminology may be imprecise. I suspect he means to clean and re-polish with ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor
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