Wax Remover Tips for Hardwood Floors

lit candle with others blurred in the background
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50

Hardwood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, but wax and wax build-up may require special techniques or wax remover products. Treated hardwood floors are one of the easiest floors to maintain and keep clean. Even spilled melted wax is easy to remove from hardwood, provided you have the right materials and technique. Read on to learn several wax remover tips, tricks and warnings.

1. Do Not Remove Hot Wax

Accidents happen, and when you move a candle from shelf to shelf, you may spill some hot wax onto the hardwood floor. Your initial reaction might be to quickly grab a towel to wipe it up. This method will remove some of the wax, but you will also spread the remainder of the hot wax outward. This will cause the thin layer of wax to harden. Wax remover chemicals will not help you here, and the only way to remove this hardened wax could damage your hardwood floors.

Instead of rushing to clean the hot wax, just leave it alone. Let the wax cool and harden. This will make removing it much easier. You can also fill a bag with ice and hold it over the hot wax. This will speed up the cooling time.

2. Be Mindful of the Chemicals Used

hardwood floors

There are many wax remover chemicals on the market, but you must use only those that are safe for hardwood floors. The most important thing is to avoid ammonia or products labeled as wax strippers. Many hardwood floors are sealed with polyurethane or another type of shellac or hard shell finish. Ammonia or wax stripper will cause the hard finishes to melt from the chemical reaction and turn white in tint.

3. Simple is Better

There are dozens of wax remover products on the market designed for use on hardwood. These products can range from a couple dollars in upwards of $10 to $20.

Rather than spend money, you can create your own effective clean-up solution. Place a few drops of oil-free soap and a splash of white distilled vinegar into a bucket, and then fill with hot water. Use a sponge mop and clean the floor as you normally would.

4. Scrape Away Wax

When you remove wax from a hardwood floor, note that it is easy to needlessly damage the floor. A putty knife is the best tool as its edge is tapered and thin. Put the edge at the wax line, and push with even pressure to easily remove the wax. When the wax is removed, buff the area with a terry cloth towel.