Wax #atozchallenge

WAX

Doing the research for this, I realized that the subject of wax is much more complicated than I originally thought. So I’m going to limit this discussion to just one kind of wax, the kind that housewives put on their kitchen floors up until the mid-Seventies.

Building custodians still use this sort of wax, as we can see in this video on the right way to do it.

There are many more videos on how to do this on YouTube. I just wanted to show you that it’s still being done. Just not at home, with the advent of no-wax vinyl floors that (supposedly) get that wax shine without the wax.

Daytime TV used to have at least ten ads for floor wax each hour. OK, I’m exaggerating; more like seven or eight. Here are some of them. We used Glo-Coat, because it shielded against black heel marks.

Just so you know, no, a heel doesn’t magically appear under your foot when you step on the floor. Glo-Coat was manufactured by Johnson Wax, now called S. C. Johnson because almost no one waxes their floors anymore. Johnson Wax also had Klear as an entry into the floor wax battle. Where Glo-Coat Shielded against black heel marks, Klear didn’t yellow floors.

The 500-pound gorilla in the floor wax business had to be Aerowax, mostly because it was cheap and had the best commercials. This is a mid-1950’s commercial for Aerowax as seen during the popular (at the time) soap opera, Love Of Life. This isn’t an especially good commercial, but it is a demonstration of the commercials where a spokesman for the product spent sixty seconds trying to browbeat you into buying the product, kind of like political commercials these days.

There are plenty more commercials for floor wax and other defunct products on YouTube. I try to feature a couple each week, for no reason other than I feel like it. Anyway, I’d like to end with a joke:

A policeman calls his sergeant. “I’m at a house where a woman murdered her husband because he walked on the floor she just finished washing and waxing.” The sergeant said, “Have you arrested her?” The cop says, “No, not yet.” “Why not?” the sergeant asks. “The floor isn’t dry yet.”

Did your mother (or you, for that matter) wax your floors?

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

34 thoughts on “Wax #atozchallenge”

    1. One of those things we don’t have to do anymore. With linoleum it was practically a requirement. We had a big floor in our family room when I was home, and it was my job to wash and wax it. When I moved out, Mom had it carpeted…

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  1. I remember the day and age of waxing the kitchen floors, but I don’t recall my mom ever doing it. Probably because I kept my distance on floor waxing day.

    Speaking of wax, I used to take wax paper to the playground, tear off a sheet, and sit on it as I slid down the slippery slide. Gave the slide a nice slick finish. After “waxing” it a couple times, we could fly down the slide with such speed it was hard to stick the landing!

    And wax paper is great for “waxing” the shower curtain rod… the rings glide better after rubbing it with wax paper.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Watermelon

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  2. We didn’t have any floors in need of waxing growing up. I think wall-to-wall was the thing, cause I can remember carpet in our kitchen when I was wee. BUT, when The Mister and I bought our second home, our basement had what I call ‘hospital tile’ and it had to be waxed. Did it twice. Used Future wax. Eventually, I just threw rugs down over most of it.
    My neighbor in Georgia waxed her floor once a month, even though it was a no-wax floor, she said it was worth it, cause easier clean-up between waxes.

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    1. That was Mom’s solution to the parquet floor in the living room. She decided up front she wasn’t going to maintain it the way it should be and bought an Oriental rug for the room. Got rid of the echo, too.

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  3. I remember that aerowax….my mom had that along with a wax machine and she used to wax the floors all the time. I have waxed my floors as well…..but not in a looong time:)

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    1. Waxing the floor was a way of life until they came up with the no-wax floors in the late Seventies. It was probably before that, but the late Seventies was when I first got vinyl in our kitchen.

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  4. Yep, Klear it was and my mom waxed on her hands and knees! We had a really long kitchen and I remember being stuck in my room or the living room for hours while it dried. Fortunately by the time I had to take my turn we had a mop.

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    1. If you watched any TV in those days, you saw all the ads for floor wax, furniture polish, all-purpose cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, laundry detergent (and bleach and spray starch), dish detergent, etc. You hardly see commercials for any of that anymore.

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  5. Those were hilarious. As a matter of fact we had hardwood floors in our house when I was growing up and one year when my mom was six months pregnant had just done them and put her rugs back down when she walked into the bedroom, stepped on the rug and went sliding — right under the bed, where she hit her rather large belly. She went into labor and my sister was born at not quite seven months. Wax. Dangerous stuff!!!

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter W

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    1. My brothers and I were chasing each other around the house once and I slipped on a throw rug and broke my arm. That could have been a lot worse than it was. I take it your sister lived?

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  6. I remember my mother waxing the floor. We don’t have too much floor surface except for in the kitchen and there we use some kind of cleaner that works very well. Not much traffic there except for my wife and I usually so a cleaning can last for a few weeks.

    Recently our church had someone come to strip and wax the floors in the classroom areas. It took four days and cost $900 in labor alone. A lot of space with fair heavy use.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Several times a week I try and throw in an old commercial, mostly because I like them and they aren’t anywhere near as entertaining as they were when I was younger.

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  7. Oh, I remember waxing our floors when I was a kid. My sister and I were recruited to do it, by hand. Finally, mom got an electric waxer/buffer, and at least that was fun to use. We had hardwood floors everywhere but the kitchen, which was linoleum. I loved the smell of the wax though…the Johnson’s paste wax and the can it came in. …Also, loved the TV sitcom “Mary Hartman Mary Hartman”. She was always going on about the yellow waxy buildup on her floors! So funny. πŸ™‚

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  8. When I see old timey commercials, it makes me wish I was born during an earlier era when things weren’t so fast and complicated. But I suppose they’re always fast and complicated in relative terms. So I come back to the present feeling all happy and chipper.

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  9. John, oh most definitely my mother and grandmother used to wax their floors. It seems like in my early years of marriage I waxed ours but after a while, I skipped that process. Mopping seemed adequate for the job. When I was a teen I worked in the after-school work program where I helped the janitor and I got to work a wax buffer like in your first vid. It jarred my whole body, too. lol

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet “W” (Walking Dead & Waves)

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      1. John, I steer clear of danger these days and I don’t think I ever thought to ride the wax buffer. My brain wasn’t programmed for dangerous stunts as a kid. I did dumb things but not intentionally.

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        1. Doing dumb things is coded on the Y chromosome, I think. My dad saw how self-destructive I was and told my mother, “we’d better have another, this one’s not going to last…”

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