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?
from The Sound of One Hand Typing