How You Should Strip Wax From Hardwood Floors

Iniciado por reyesryder, 11 de Octubre de 2021, 05:24:46 AM

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There are several reasons why you may want to remove wax from your flooring. Perhaps an accident happens, and a candle's wax drops on its surface. Or you may want to enhance its film finish and strip the old wax, which tends to get yellow over time.

These tasks may need to take place periodically, prompting you to learn How to get wax off hardwood floor in an efficient way without damaging your floor.

What Are Waxes Made Of?

To explore the best ways to remove candle or floor wax, having a great understanding of their ingredients is always a good idea.

While there are plenty of floor wax products, most of them have a high content of carnauba or paraffin. Paraffin is a synthetic polymer - a derivative from oil shelf, coal, or petroleum. This soft solid begins to melt at 99°F. It is also a common ingredient in candle wax and crayons.

On the other hand, carnauba is the product of the carnauba palm's leaves. That is why this natural ingredient is also known as palm wax. Thanks to its glossy finish, manufacturers often use it in furniture and floor polishes and waxes.

Carnauba and paraffin are the primary ingredients of wax products. They determine the ultimate properties of the wax layer, including slip resistance, removability, water resistance, scratch resistance, scuff resistance, toughness, hardness, and gloss.

On top of that, there is also a combination of liquid ingredients added to create a film after the drying process. They act like a solvent for the paraffin or carnauba above.

Most candles these days are made from paraffin. When burned, it creates heat and water vapor.

When the wax is applied to your flooring, only the coating remains after the solvent has evaporated completely. The same thing happens when your candle's wax drops onto the floor.

Technically, you can scrape the wax off your flooring with a scraper, such as an old credit card. However, this manual method isn't time-consuming but is also prone to damage caused by the sharp blade.

A smarter option is to dissolve the wax again with a solvent and then wipe off the mixture. You may need to clean the residue after removing the wax. Check out these suggestions on this post, A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Best Mop for Vinyl plank Floors, which can work with most hardwood floors.

Which Solvents Do You Need?

The ideal option for dissolving carnauba or paraffin wax is the solvent that was added to the wax and helped dissolve it when it was applied.

Manufacturers of floor wax typically use mineral spirits for this. This ingredient gives floor wax a distinct smell. This is also the recommendation from the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA).

Many strong solvents can also get the trick done, such as lacquer thinner and acetone. They can, however, remove the finish of your flooring, so they are out of the question.

If you are in a rush, hot water works too, especially when you add some cleaning agent, washing powder, ammonia, or vinegar. You will have to be more cautious since water isn't friendly to hardwood floors. Most manufacturers recommend against it because when left long enough on the floor, water will seep through its cracks and swell the wood.

Commercial Wax Removers

In addition to making a homemade solution yourself, there are also plenty of off-the-shelf wax removers on the market. You can find them in hardware and home improvement stores. This is the most convenient and time-saving way if you don't want to deal with chemicals.

These products tend to come with a spray bottle for convenient use. It is worth noting that commercial wax removers are produced for different floor types. Some work with tile, linoleum, and vinyl, but not hardwood. Read their instructions thoroughly to learn about compatible floor materials, active ingredients, and how to use the remover.

How to get wax off hardwood floor With Heat & Ice

Chemicals aren't the only thing in the world that can take out the wax. In its solid form, several mechanical methods can remove it as well. Heat is a prime example, which can help you deal with wax stains that have established a solid foundation on your flooring. Additionally, it works with wax on carpeted surfaces.

The most common source of high temperatures you can find in your house is a blow dryer. Turn it on and switch to the hot mode. Aim the dryer to the stain until the wax melts.

Don't keep the dryer too close to your hardwood flooring. Make sure there are a few inches between them so you won't scorch the surface. Only melt the wax - don't blow or spread it around. It will create a bigger mess that is much harder to wipe up later. You can also stain unaffected areas surrounding the wax.

Use a paper towel to wipe the molten wax. It is a good idea to ask someone else to help you with this. They can have a cloth on hand to wipe the wax right away while you temporarily stop the blow dryer.

Don't use a fancy towel. It is incredibly hard to wash wax from it. A paper towel or an old rag is a better choice. Sop up the wax thoroughly so you can get all of it in one swipe. If you happen to have an old plastic card, you can also lift the molten wax with its edge and wipe the remaining wax with a cloth.

You can deal with the residue, such as a film, with other cleaners. Spray or squirt some all-purpose cleaning solution on the area and use the sponge or damp rag to wipe it up.

Ice may work in an opposite way to heat, but it can also help you remove wax easily. While your dry blower can soften and melt the wax so you can wipe the liquid, ice cubes can harden the wax and make it easier for you to scrape it off your hardwood flooring.

Put an ice cube inside a plastic bag. Rub the whole thing on the affected area until the wax is hard. Use a small knife to carefully scrape the wax. Make sure to not scratch the surface: target the edge of the wax, not the floor. Wipe away the residue (if there is any) with a cleaner.


There are several things that you can remove wax from your hardwood flooring. Some are specialized products you must pick up from a store, while others are ingredients and items widely available in households. For more detailed instructions, check out the How to Get Wax Off Hardwood Floors in the Most Gentle Way guide.


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