What Are the Ingredients in Floor Wax?

Floor wax is a liquid mixture of chemicals that create a thin, hard, protective surface when applied and allowed to dry on a surface. Floor wax offers glossiness, additional hardness, slip and scuff resistance, while protecting the floor from water or other liquid damage. Ingredients within floor waxes fall into five main categories.

Water

Water is the main ingredient in most liquid-based drinks, cleaners and other solutions; the water used in the production of floor waxes must be de-ionized water--purified water from which the mineral ions have been removed.. Using de-ionized water ensures that color-causing impurities, such as iron, are not allowed to dry into the floor wax, causing loss of clarity and discoloration on the waxed floor surface. De-ionized water also makes a better solution to mix in the other floor wax ingredients.

Preservatives

Because some of the ingredients contained in floor waxes are vulnerable to the attack of microorganisms, preservatives are added to prevent the floor and floor wax from deterioration, discoloration and unpleasant odors. While formaldehyde used to be the primary preservative used in floor waxes, antimicrobial agents that are not known to cause health risks related to prolonged exposure have replaced it. Despite the presence of preservatives, avoid cross contamination of used and new floor waxes. All used floor waxes should be disposed of properly.

Polymer Emulsions

Polymer emulsions Influence the performance characteristics of the floor wax and provide the connection between all other included ingredients,. The polymer emulsions in the floor wax are created when the styrene and acrylic type monomers are joined together chemically, or polymerized. Once polymerized the polymer used for the floor wax is suspended in water, creating polymer emulsions. Think of the polymer emulsions as bits of wax holding the potential to perform the tasks of glossiness, slip resistance, scuff resistance and so on.

Film Formers

Film formers create a glue, bonding the polymer emulsions to the water, so that when dried the polymer emulsions do not produce crystals on the surface of the floor. The film formers work to create a consistency in the mixture, hold the other ingredients together, and bind the floor wax onto the surface of the floor. The film formers remain after the water has evaporated and work to hold the natural oils of the floor in, and keep harmful environmental factors from reaching the flooring. Ingredients used to create film formers include plasticizers, coalescing agents, anti-foaming agents, leveling agents and wetting agents.

Modifiers

Modifiers like wax emulsions, water-based urethanes, ultraviolet stabilizers, cross linkers and resins are added to the polymer emulsions to improve the performance characteristics desired of the floor waxes. Resins may be added to assist in leveling the floor surface, or producing gloss and clarity. Urethanes may be used to help the waxes better adhere to worn floors. Cross linkers are used primarily for durability and to make the wax removable from the surface of the floor.