How to Clean Built Up Hair Spray from Wood Floors


Penny asked: How do I clean built up hair spray on hardwood floors? Over a year or so, as I spray my hair lightly every day, I’ve noticed a build up on the bathroom hardwood floor. It is a light layer of hard stuff. How do I remove it without damaging my floor?

Though we may not realize how much of the sticky mist is flying past our heads, hairspray can build up on floors walls and countertops quicker than you may realize. Once hardened, the residue can be a battle to get through. Fortunately, with a little time and elbow grease, most hairsprays can be removed safely and completely from hardwood flooring.

You Will Need:

  • Bucket
  • Sponge or mop
  • Wood floor cleaner (ex: Murphy’s Oil Soap)
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloths or towels

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Begin by filling the bucket with warm water.
  2. Add the wood floor cleaner (or use it directly on the floor if indicated on the directions).
  3. Moisten the sponge or mop with the mixture and spread it over the floor.
  4. Allow the hairspray residue to become wet, but do not allow puddles of water to sit on the wood floor.
  5. Let the hairspray absorb the moisture for a minute. Hairspray is water soluble and will break down when exposed to moisture.
  6. Scrub with the mop or sponge to remove the hairspray residue.
  7. Dry with a soft, clean towel.
  8. Repeat until the hairspray is removed. For thicker residues, it may take several applications to completely remove it.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Allowing water to sit on wood floors can cause irreversible damage such as splitting and warping. Monitor the flooring carefully to ensure that the cleaning water is applied and removed in a timely manner.
  • Some cleaners may strip the top layer of the wax. If this occurs, and the floors are looking dull, simply rewax them to restore the shine.
  • This cleaning method is intended for sealed wood floors only. If the flooring is not sealed, it is NOT recommended that you use the above cleaning methods.
  • Steam mops are also helpful in removing build up from wood floors. They limit the amount of moisture that the floor is exposed to while adding cleaning power to remove the tough residues.
  • If you are unsure of how the finish will react to the cleaning product, test a small, inconspicuous area first.

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