Give Your Floors High Gloss by Burnishing

Steve Hanson

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If the floors in your building have lost their luster, it might be time to burnish them. Burnish the floors in your buildings to give them a high gloss or “wet" look. It also extends the life of the floor finish. The process of burnishing uses an ultra high-speed floor machine to renew the floor surface.

It is important to have the proper equipment to do the job. You need a high-speed machine (1500-2500 rpm), a mop bucket with cool water, restorer or burnishing chemical, a measuring cup, wet floor sign, vacuum or broom and dust mop, putty knife, safety glasses and gloves.

The first step is to thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floor so it is clean. Use a putty knife to remove any labels, stickers, gum or other substances that are stuck to the floor. Next put out the wet floor sign.

Read the directions on your burnishing chemical or restorer and prepare your mop water according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Begin mopping the floor, starting at the furthest point away from the main entry, working towards the door. Once this task is completed let the floor dry thoroughly.

The next step is to set up your machine. Various buffer pads are available, so pick the proper pad to do the job.

  • A white pad is for light dry polishing or light spray buffing for a high gloss.
  • An aqua pad is ideal for high frequency, high gloss burnishing.
  • An ultra champagne pad is for low to moderate burnishing programs on harder floor finishes.
  • A natural hair pad made with natural hair and synthetic fiber works well on a wide variety of floor finishes and traffic conditions.

You should check with the manufacturer of the pad to make sure it is right for your situation as not all manufacturers use the same color coding system.

Now you are set to run your floor machine. To get a deep gloss, make two or three passes across the floor. After burnishing, vacuum or dust mop the floor. Once those tasks are completed remember to replace any rugs, furniture, displays or mats you moved.

Burnishing is an excellent way to give floors back a glossy look. It can also extend the life of your floor finish and lengthen the time between floor strippings. A clean, glossy floor makes your whole cleaning business shine.

Copyright © The Janitorial Store (TM)

Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business. For more information, check out our Cleaning to Perfection Hard Floor Care Training Program. Sign up for Trash Talk: Tip of the Week at and receive a Free Gift!


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