Why is it important to use neutral pH cleaners on finished (waxed) floors?

Floor finish (sometimes incorrectly called “wax”) is really a blend of polymers in a mix of chemicals that keep it in a liquid state until those chemicals evaporate out of the finish upon application/drying. It then dries to a clear coating on the floor, which is left shiny due to the microfine pits and unevenness in the floor surface being filed in by the now-solid coating. This in turn allows light to reflect more evenly which your eye perceives as shine. When you use neutral cleaners/disinfectants on a finished floor, there is not enough pH to degrade the finish while removing the soils. On the other hand, if you use a product with a higher pH (9-ish and above) in effect, you are slowly stripping the finish by causing it to get softer and more water soluble. This is what floor strippers are designed to do. While the floor finish is in the softened state it will pick up more dirt, etc. which will cause it to look yellowed and reduce the overall shine. It is important to use neutral pH cleaners to preserve the investment made when floors are finished.