Restoring Worn Floor Finish Quickly

Traffic patterns in buildings will often cause the floor finish in some areas to look worn before the rest of the floor. This is a common problem near entrances or in areas where people congregate, like a queue in a cafeteria. By fixing up those areas, you can improve your building appearance without completely stripping and refinishing the floor.

In this article, we will show you how to refinish select areas of your floor using equipment you probably already have and the NSS Ecostrip Pad. This procedure is often called “damp stripping” or “top scrubbing” because our goal is to remove the first couple layers of floor finish, then recoating.

There’s also a bonus section at the bottom that contains a table to help you estimate how much time you need to strip an area.


Here’s a list of all the items you’re going to need to top scrub a floor.

  • Wet floor signs
  • Caution tape (to keep foot traffic off freshly applied floor finish)
  • A floor scrubber
  • NSS Ecostrip Pads
  • A dust mop
  • Neutral floor cleaner
  • A high-speed burnisher and a burnishing pad
  • Floor finish
  • Floor finish applicator (i.e. a finish mop or other system)

About Ecostrip Pads

Ecostrip Diamond Abrasive Floor PadsThese diamond abrasive pads are designed to quickly cut through floor finish.  Ecostrip pads are very durable and can be rinsed and reused over again.

The Procedure

STEP 1:  Prepare the area

Put out your wet floor signs and clear the area you’re going to repair. Dust mop the area to remove any loose debris that would interfere with the scrubbing process.

STEP 2: Scrub the area

Wrangler 2012 Walk Behind Floor Scrubber1. Fill the floor scrubber with clean water and neutral cleaner according to the chemical manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Scrub the area thoroughly with the squeegee up and vacuum motor off. Walk at a slower pace than you normally would. About 25% of a typical cleaning pace is a good starting place. Once the area is thoroughly wet, you can stop adding more solution to the floor. Scrub the area a second time without adding more solution. The solution on the floor will turn milky white as the floor finish is removed. You can rinse and reuse the Ecostrip Pad when it becomes loaded with floor finish. Rinsing is typically required every 5,000 square feet of top scrubbing. The diamond coating on the Ecostrip pad is extremely durable and can be rinsed dozens of times. Continue using the same pad until it stops being effective.

3. Lower the squeegee, turn on the vacuum motor and collect the dirty water.

4. Inspect the area. If there are any marks remaining, repeat the process until you’re satisfied with the results. IMPORTANT! Make sure you’re happy with the floor’s appearance before you continue. Any dirt or marks on the floor when you apply the new coat of floor finish will be sealed in place.

Step 3: Burnish the area

Burnish the area you just scrubbed. This will help bring a consistent appearance to the area and prepare it for the additional floor finish.

Step 4: Dust mop the area

There might be some residual floor finish powder on the floor after burnishing. Dust mop the area to remove the remaining dust.

Step 5: Apply floor finish to the area

Now that the old finish has been removed and the area is free from dirt and dust, it’s time to apply the next coat of floor finish. Follow the floor finish manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to protect the area from foot traffic during drying. Adding multiple coats of floor finish during this step is typical. Usually, two or three coats will replace the finish you have removed.

Step 6: Clean up and store your equipment

Now that the floor is looking good, take some time to clean up the equipment. Rinse the Ecostrip Pads and hang them up to dry. Ecostrip pads have a long life and can be used until the diamond coating is gone.

Bonus Section: Estimating the time required to strip with Ecostrip Pads

When scrubbing to remove floor finish, you will want to move at about 25% of normal scrubbing speed and scrub the area twice. The table below lists estimated scrubbing rates when using the Ecostrip Pad and can help you plan your work.

Floor Scrubber Width (Inches) Area Stripped Per Hour (Square Feet)
Wrangler 2012 AB 20 900 to 1,400
Wrangler 2012 DB 20 1,200 to 1,400
Wrangler 2016 AB 20 900 to 1,100
Wrangler 2016 DB 20 1,200 to 1,400
Wrangler 2616 26 1,500 to 1,700
Wrangler 2625 26 1,500 to 1,700
Wrangler 2730 27 2,100 to 2,300
Wrangler 3330 33 2,600 to 2,800
Champ 2417 24 1,900 to 2,100
eForce Scrubber 26 26 1,500 to 1,700
eForce Scrubber 32 32 2,600 to 2,800
Champ 2929 29 2,300 to 2,500
Champ 3329 33 2,700 to 2,900
Champ 3529 35 2,800 to 3,000
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