How to Remove Hairspray from Vinyl Flooring


Lorie asked: How do I remove hairspray from vinyl flooring in the bathroom? My husband uses spray bottle hair spray. I have tried everything including goof off for paint, and the floor is still sticky when I stand on it with bare feet. Yucky. Help.

Hairspray can build up over time, leaving a thick layer of stickiness. The methods that work best for removal are the same that are used to remove large amounts of hairspray from your hair. They are simple, but may require several applications and plenty of elbow grease.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Hairspray:

  1. Begin by cleaning the floor as usual.
  2. Mix one half cup of baking soda with 4 cups of water.
  3. Stir to dissolve.
  4. Moisten a soft cloth or sponge with the mixture and rub it over the sticky area.
  5. If the layer of hairspray is thick, pour a small amount of the mixture onto the surface and allow it to set for a couple of minutes. The baking soda will dissolve the hairspray.
  6. Wipe away with clean cloths.
  7. Repeat as necessary. For really bad build-up, it may take several applications.
  8. If needed, add lemon juice to the mixture or make a paste out of lemon juice and baking soda. The acid in the lemon juice will provide additional cleaning power to cut through the stickiness.
  9. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are also useful for removing the build up from the surface. Use it as your scrubber and you have another ounce of cleaning power on your side.
  10. Continue scrubbing and washing until all of the hairspray is removed.
  11. Rinse the area with clean water.
  12. Allow it to dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Shampoo will also work to break down the hairspray. Spread the shampoo over the area and scrub with a brush or sponge. Rinse completely when finished to remove the soapy residue.
  • Cleaning the area regularly will help prevent serious build up and shorten the cleaning time and effort required to remove it.
  • If the mixture above is not working efficiently, add more baking soda. It can also be applied as a paste with baking soda and water for extra cleaning power.
  • Other cleaners, such as Simple Green, will also cut through the hairspray and allow it to be removed.


  1. Will remove hairspray and do a great job. Patience comes in to leaving the alcohol on the floor the correct amount of time. Leaving it on the floor until the hairspray starts to become sticky then removing it with an old towel (semi-rough material). When finished, wash the floor with soap and water.

  2. I use a lot of hair spray and have the same problem. I spray apple cider vinegar on the floor and let it sit for about five minutes and the hair spray will come right up. It will sort of roll off in little pieces. Works every time.

  3. Ammonia will take it right off. I had a beauty salon, and lots of hair spray would build up. Be sure to have the room well ventilated!

  4. Ammonia took hairspray over-spray off very easily. I had been scrubbing for an hour when I decided to check the internet for a better way. Had ammonia in the closet and never thought of it. Thanks for the hot tip.

  5. Virginia says:

    Help! I’ve always used my hairspray while standing with my back to the vinyl tub. When we moved in, no one told us how to care for it. The gunk has built up and dulled the vinyl. There are tips on how to clean vinyl tubs under ordinary use, but I haven’t found anything that addresses this problem. All tub-tips say NO abrasives, NO ammonia, and nothing acidic like lemon juice. Would the shampoo be safe? Or, pardon the pun, am I just STUCK?
    Any ideas would be MOST welcome.

  6. Melanie says:

    If you are most comfortable using the shampoo, then it sounds like that’s a great place to start. If the shampoo doesn’t work, the baking soda will probably be fine. It is only a mild abrasive and being dissolved in water makes it even less abrasive. If in doubt, test it on a small, hidden spot first.

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