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Friday's Ask the Experts: Wax yellowing

February 06, 2009
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Friday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: What causes wax to yellow so quickly?
The answer
Carnauba wax is a natural substance containing oils that will eventually oxidize with exposure to air and sunlight, turning the film yellow. This is one of the reasons modern finishes do not use true “wax” in their formulation.
The yellowing of an acrylic metal-interlock floor finish happens not so often because of chemical color changes, but because of fine soils being ground into the finish by foot traffic, improper cleaning, and possibly soil seal-in from recoating a dirty floor.
Mopping is insufficiently aggressive to remove fine ground-in soils before recoating. Scrub, wet vac, and rinse before recoating.
At times, asphalt sealers tracked in from parking lots and mats left on wet floors can add color to the finish. The solution... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
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