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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Question

Iíve been working for the Post Office for over ten years as a truck driver and now I am a custodian and I am learning to strip and refinish floors. I have done a couple of jobs and I feel proud that they came out well since I am new at this. Unfortunately, I didnít get much training in cleaning, so I need info as far as mixing the stripper with water. What does it mean to mix in parts? For example, 1:3 or one part product and two parts water?


Answer

Normally, the mix ratio is given in parts (units) of undiluted product to parts (units) of water. So, if the label ratio shows mixing 1:3, it means measuring 1 part of stripper to 3 parts of water. If you were mixing up a gallon of stripper solution you would add 1 quart of stripper to 3 quarts of water. Likewise, if the label shows mixing 1:6, you would have 1 quart of stripper to 6 quarts of water. Keep in mind that, as long as the ratio is maintained, you can use any part or unit of measurement, pints, quarts, gallons, liters, even tablespoons.

Most mop buckets have quart calibrations marked on the inside of the bucket. So you might see 4 quarts, 8 quarts, 16 quarts, and so on. For a large job, you would consult the label, and if the mix ratio is listed as 1:4, you could add 2 quarts of stripper to 8 quarts of water (2 times 4=8). Or, you could add 1 gallon of stripper and then refill the bottle four times with water (4 gallons) to achieve a 1:4 ratio.

Keep in mind that most strippers have variable mix dilutions for light, medium, or heavy buildup. If the floor has no gloss or buildup, use the light mixture, and if there appears to be a heavy buildup, then mix it heavy according to the label.

The first 30 minutes of the initial strip operation gives you time to observe if the mixture is correct. If you started light and the results are poor, then you would progress to a stronger mix. This can be judged by squeegeeing the area immediately after the strip operation to observe the percent of removal. A complete removal of 100% shows a dull, yet clean floor. Itís important to tweak the mix ratio at the very beginning of the job.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com