How to Remove Wax from Wood Floor – DIY Guide

How to remove wax from wood floor. Hardwood floors are a popular traditional flooring choice because of the beauty being brought to a space. Meanwhile, floor wax is typically made of animal, vegetable, or mineral fat that truly never dries.

This particular topcoat for hardwood floors is a great choice, but it also tends to become dull over time once it begins to collect dirt. Although wax helps to expand your wooden life span by protecting the floor against moisture, it is not a durable finish and must be reapplied regularly.

This often leads to a build-up of old wax on your floor that makes refinishing difficult because you cannot apply a more durable finish such as polyurethane until almost all traces of wax have been removed.

So if you’re caught up in this challenge, and you’ve been trying hard to get some of these build-ups off your floor. Well, this article has been structured for you, and all you need to do is relax and follow this piece to the latter as we see you through how to remove wax from the wood floor.

How to remove floor wax from wood floors

Method 1: Scrape the wax

Although this method doesn’t work for everybody, there are several other ways of going about this, and I’d specifically look through some of the ways, if not all. So know whichever one works for you and work with it.

But I can assure you that before leaving this particular site, your issues will be long gone, and you’d have different solutions that’d work for you when it comes to removing wax from your hardwood floors.

So this method is a simple, quick, and easy-to-do solution that only requires you to gently scrape the wax using any plastic object with a sharp edge. However, be careful not to damage the wood while scraping the wax off.

Method 2: Do it yourself

This method is often referred to as the Water and Spirit Method.
Needed requirements

  • Warm water
  • Mineral spirits
  • Two soft cloths or a mop.


Mop the floor/wipe down the table to clean off any residue on the surface of the wooden floor.
Pour a decent quantity of the mineral spirits onto the area. Then you start applying pressure to the wax using your clean piece of cloth.

After which, you use a clean rag or mop to remove the spirits and water from the area. Perhaps you still observe some traces of wax. Repeat the process from step 2 until you’re very certain the wax is gone from the surface.

Method 3: Using vinegar

Perhaps you’re deliberating on whether or not vinegar would remove wax buildups from your wood floor. Yes, it definitely will!

Needed requirements:

  • White vinegar (or ammonia)
  • A hairdryer
  • A plastic scraper like a credit card
  • Paper towel roll or some soft cloths.


Firstly, the wax needs to be softened. And you can do this using the hairdryer, as explained earlier. Remember to hold it about 3 inches away from the surface under medium heat. Then you scrape the wax off. You want to work at it as much as possible because this is sure the gritty part.

Then you make use of the water and vinegar solution. Dip a clean piece of cloth into the solution and wipe over the entire surface of the remaining wax. This alone should be pretty effective.

However, if you don’t mind using chemicals or smell, you can always use a water and ammonia solution using the same process. After that, you dry the area, and if need be, repeat any of the steps to ensure complete removal of the wax; sure, why not!

Method 4: Use some heat.

Maybe you’re wondering how you can remove wax from your wood floor. Well, a hairdryer would help do justice. The heat in this process works to return the wax to its liquid state.

So using the blow dryer, plug it in and hold it away from the wax at approximately 3 inches. Ensure to keep the blow dryer above the wax. Then you begin to move it around slightly until the wax softens.
Then you press the cloth into the wax and wipe away the wax in the direction of the wood grain. Be sure to dab when needed.

However, it would help if you were careful when wiping to avoid spreading the wax elsewhere. If not all the wax has been gotten off the surface, you can turn back the blow dryer on and repeat the same process.

Read Also: How to Clean Dog Pee Off Hardwood Floors

Method 5: Ice cube method

Ice cube
A sharp plastic object such as a rigid plastic ruler or credit card. Rather than melting the wax, in this method, you’d be hardening it. This is so to make it easier scraping off afterward.

Get your sharp object, preferably something like a ruler, and begin chipping away at a particular wax side. Then repeat this process as often as it takes to remove the wax. Although this method works perfectly, trust me.

However, the only issue I have with it is that it requires too much grit. I know!

Method 6: Hot iron and paper trick

Aside from using the hairdryer as a source of heat, you can also use an iron and pieces cut out from a brown paper grocery bag.

The idea is quite easy:
Get the paper laid over the wax, then run your iron over the top of the brown paper on a decent setting like a permanent press.

As the wax melts, it does this by melting up and sticking into the paper due to its porosity. Now you have your clean wooden surface. However, be careful not to get the wood too hot. You need to go back and forth quickly, and the available heat within that period is enough to do the job.

Refinishing your hardwood after you remove spilled candle wax

Be sure to allow your floor enough time to dry up completely before providing it with a new finish. When a fresh layer of wax is applied to the floor, following the manufacturer’s guide is always important. Once this is done, note how often reapplication is required and have the date marked in your calendar.

After you’ve must have brought down the ugly wax from the floor surface, you have the choice of applying a polyurethane coating which is more durable than a wax coating. This tends to be a stronger and long-lasting alternative if you want to prevent wax build-up in the future.

Before applying a layer of polyurethane, be sure that every trace of wax has been removed.
Perhaps you’re in doubt whether or not the wax has been completely removed. Rub a cloth with mineral oil over the surface and observe if it comes up clean. If it does, then you can proceed with applying your polyurethane coat.

Final Thoughts – Remove candle wax from hardwood flooring

Having years of build-up wax gotten rid of can be a labor of love. However, with a little hard work and a few inexpensive supplies, it is quite easy to restore the look of your hardwood floor.

However, there are several methods by which you can get rid of wax on your wooden floors, and we have successfully been about to come out with detailed explanations on how to go about each method.

Meanwhile, to make this task much easier, you might need to enlist the help of a family member or friend, as this would help split up the workload for a short period.

Safety while working cannot be overemphasized as you do not want to make more of a mess than the one already on the ground.

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