Best Product: AGLAIA Liquid Wax

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

There’s no way around it: waxing floors is a chore, one that brings to mind smelly synthetic paste wax and hard-to-control orbital buffing machines. In general, it’s a task best left for a professional. AGLAIA is the staunchly German flagship of natural products and always lists a complete list of ingredients [PDF] of each product they sell. For liquid wax, it’s a simple one: citrus peel oil, carnauba wax, and yellow beeswax.

But with this all-natural wax, which we’ve seen used with beautiful results on both wood and concrete floors, the chore is a bit easier to deal with. Liquid Wax is still wax, so it does need to be buffed to a shine, but at least the application process is easier. Because, as the name implies, it’s a liquid, you can just wipe on the wax straight out of the container with a cloth. It needs to set up for at least 12 hours, and then it’s ready to be buffed. (Important note: wax can absolutely not be used on floors finished with polyurethane; if you don’t know what’s on your floor, ask an expert to help you figure it out.)

If your floors don’t need this deep of a reconditioning, read on for another natural product that’s great at cleaning and shining in one step.

Buffing is best done by hand, with clean, white terrycloth towels, with a 3M White Pad cut up into small pieces, or with a whole pad fitted to the easier-to-handle kind of buffing machine that takes rectangular pads.

If all that talk of buffing is making you tired (and it should) you might try a lower-impact product first: AGLAIA Self-Glossy Wax. Dilute in water, use spray bottle to mist over swept floor, wipe off, and let dry, leaving a floor that’s both clean and shiny.

• AGLAIA Liquid Wax, 1 liter, around $35. Covers more than 200 square feet.
• AGLAIA Self-Glossy Wax, 1 liter, around $20. Coverage varies, but it’s a concentrate and goes far.

Both available at Environmental Building Supplies in Portland, Ore., or buy online at Phoenix Organics.