All resilient floor tiles should be protected by wax and washed as little as possible. Harsh cleansing agents and scalding water should never be used. They could fade and discolor the floors, and they will sooner or later make the tiles hard and brittle.
When washing is needed, use just a mild, neutral soap and luke-warm water. Better yet, use one of the special cleaners which are sold for this purpose at most hardware and floor cover stores. Rinse thoroughly with a lot of clear water and mop up dry. Allow it to dry thoroughly, then apply wax as soon as possible.
Basically speaking, all floor waxes fall into one of two general families: polishing waxes and self-polishing waxes. The polishing waxes come in both liquid and paste form, and nearly all have a solvent base (usually naphtha). They dry with little or no shininess, since they need to be buffed if a high shine is needed. Most polishing waxes will last longer than the self-polishing varieties, and they buff to a tougher, more water-repellent finish. Self-polishing waxes come in liquid form only. It uses water as the carrier or vehicle, since they contain no solvents, and they dry rapidly to a high luster without buffing.
Prior to waxing any floor covering, sweep carefully with a soft brush to take out dust and grit. On vinyl, cork, linoleum and vinyl-asbestos floors, either type of wax can be utilized. On asphalt, and on most forms of rubber tile, only the self-polishing waxes must be used. If in doubt as to what type of tile you have, just use a self-polishing wax.
The question of how frequently a floor should be waxed will depend on the quantity of dirt tracked in, the size of the family and the measure of wear which that particular floor gets. As a general guideline, the homeowner can assume that under average circumstances, a good self-polishing wax, decently applied, will last about four or five weeks. A good polishing wax shouldn’t have to be renewed for at least three or four months. Sections which get heavy wear might require touch-up applications at shorter intervals.
Irrespective of which type of wax is being used, always put on in thin, even layers. Spreading the wax on too heavily won’t only make it difficult to get a uniform gloss, but will actually keep the wax from drying as hard as it should. The surface will harden, but the wax underneath would stay soft. The resulting film will catch dirt more easily and it will run to discolor more quickly.
Floors & Tiles (Home Decorator Series) by David Holloway and Fred Milson
Home Decorating: Floors and Tiling by Mike Lawrence