How to Remove Floor Wax from Wood


Roxanne asked: How do I remove floor wax from wood? I set down a bottle of Mop and Glow floor wax on a wood table and didn’t realize it had dripped and left a mark, which has since dried. I don’t want to damage the table. Please help.

The best time to remove a floor wax spill from a finished wood surface is when it’s still wet. If you can catch it early, your chances of cleaning it up without leaving a trace are excellent. Even if the spill has completely dried, however, you’ll probably meet some success with the following method.

You Will Need:

  • Soft cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Bowl or bucket
  • Furniture polish

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Mix enough of the mild detergent into the water to create a few suds.
  2. Add a small amount of ammonia. Mix it into the mixture.
  3. Dip the cloth into the solution. Wring it out so that it’s damp, but not soaked. You don’t want it dripping wet because the excess moisture might be too much for your wood surface.
  4. Gently rub the cloth over the wax spot. Apply more pressure as needed until it wipes clean.
  5. Wet a second cloth with plain water and use it to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
  6. Finish by drying with a clean, dry cloth. Make sure you remove all moisture from the wood surface.
  7. Apply a coat of polish to protect furniture. Do NOT apply furniture polish to wooden floors or surfaces you will walk on.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • It’s always a good idea to test the solution on the wood surface in a hidden spot before you begin. Apply it, let it sit momentarily, then wipe dry.
  • For stubborn spots, you can rub them gently with very fine grade 000 steel wool following the grain of the wood. Do not rub in circles. You run the risk of lightly scratching the surface, but it’s possible to hide these by applying a coat of polish or wax (as appropriate) to protect the finish once the stain has been removed. Perform this step at your own risk (i.e. be very careful!).

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